by Lynne Larson
Caught in the middle of a massacre in Lawrence, Kansas, during the Civil War, Leah Donaldson, a twenty-year-old Mormon governess, must risk everything to save two children in her care—and she lives to pay dearly for the decision. Young Ethan Pace loves Leah and can hardly stay still as she is taken away by the enemy for refusing to reveal where he and his sister are hiding.
Five years later, Ethan desperately searches for her, trying to reconcile all that has happened and grappling with his feelings for her. Still idealizing Leah, he hopes she has survived and that he can help her get to Zion and her people. But after everything she's been through since they last met, will Leah overcome her regrets and allow love into her life? Will she come to see Ethan as the caring man he has become rather than the lovesick boy she once knew?
|Published||Covenant Communications, Inc. (April 1, 2016)|
By Aimee Brown, Submitted on 2016-04-29
I love historical fiction and learning about events that happened in our country's history. I knew nothing about the massacre in Lawrence, Kansas before reading this book. It always just baffles my mind what we as human beings do to other human beings. This event is heart breaking. It really, truly was a massacre of epic proportions. I'm so glad this author chose to tell this story. It deserves to be remembered and those people honored.
Obviously this is fiction, so the main characters of this book are fictional, but many of the characters mentioned were real. The event was real. Stories always take on a different feel when they are based on true and real events. At least that's how it is for me.
Aside from the obvious devastation of the actual massacre, this book is gentle in nature. It flows slowly and easily. You get to know the characters in a very natural way. It was a good story.
Content: Some violence, clean otherwise
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
By Katie, Submitted on 2016-04-27
I always enjoy a fictional story with a bit of real history mixed into it and this one delivers. The Civil War had some guerillas and this story shows just how much damage they did to one small town in Kansas. This time period is full of stories and I loved the way the Mormon pioneers were tied to the Civil War, joined mainly by one main character, Leah. Leah is orphaned and working as a governess until she can join Zion out West. She is caring for 14-year-old, Ethan, and his younger sister, Addie, while their father fights in the war. Years after the rebels attacked, Leah is full of regrets, but Ethan is determined to help fulfill her dreams.
Leah is a likable character, one who is very wise and mature for her age at times and almost childlike at others. She's very accepting and loving because of her background and really makes the lives of these children and their friends entertaining and memorable. Ethan is smitten by the pretty governess. The story is told in first person, through his eyes, which is interesting. I appreciated watching him grow up and become a man.
The story is heartbreaking and hard to read at times, but has a light and hopeful feeling throughout most of it. It made me think back on my carefree summer days as a child. While mostly predictable, there are a few twists that I wasn't expecting, especially toward the end. This would be an especially enjoyable read for those who like historical fiction and/or fictional stories about the Mormon pioneers.
By Cathy J, Submitted on 2016-04-27
I was amazed at just how quickly I was sucked into the story of this book!
I loved the way that Ethan is, you see everything that happens in this book through his eyes and I loved it! He's a 14 year-old boy living in Lawrence, Kansas. When his dad has to go away to war, he leaves a young Mormon girl, Leah Donaldson, in charge of Ethan and his younger sister Addie. I loved the way that Ethan sees Leah, pretty much falling in love with her from the very first moment he sees her. I think that his loving her makes it so he doesn't do the typical things teenagers would, things like rebelling against anything she asked him to do. Instead Ethan goes out of his way to protect her from anything that he can and he makes her life easier with his every action.
I loved Leah's character too. I loved the way she keeps her integrity intact to be able to join the Saints in Zion someday. And I love the way that her actions have a profound effect on Ethan and his friends, Bobby and Toe Jam. An even bigger effect than any of them ever plans on. I also love the way she sacrifices herself in order to protect these young people.
I love the plot of this one. I had never heard of what happened in Lawrence during the Civil War and the story really touched me, and left me wondering just how that would have been for the people who really lived there and had those horrible things happen to them.
This is a great book, the plot will leave you not wanting to put the book down and wanting more of the story when you do finish!
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
By Andrea, Submitted on 2016-04-24
I wasn't sure what to think about Loving Leah when I read the book description, but I enjoy historical fiction so I decided to accept the opportunity to review it.
I was pulled in right away by the characters and the intriguing historical aspects. Leah was such a great person, and you couldn't help but like her as seen through Ethan's adoring eyes. It is hard to imagine living during the Civil War, but I thought the author did a good job portraying the attitudes abounding during that time.
I was expecting a bit more to the story (the bulk of the book is given away in the description). I thought it was well written, but the ending wasn't what I expected (or hoped for). That isn't necessarily a bad thing-often it makes for an excellent story. However, I really like a solid resolution, and I felt that I'd become quite invested in the main character's life, but was left hanging about him and his future.