Friday, November 27, 2009

Book Review - Dawn's Early Light by L. C. Lewis

Yesterday, we celebrated Thanksgiving, a holiday that commemorates the people who came to this country to seek freedom from their oppressive ruler and to gain the ability to worship as they chose. As I think on all the many reasons I have to be thankful, the fact that I was born in a time and place of such freedom is high on my list. Thus, it's very appropriate to take a little time today to think about the ways in which that freedom came to be - through the courage of brave men and women who stood up for their beliefs and weren't afraid to face their challenges, and overcame them, often at the cost of their own lives.

L.C. Lewis has written an incredible series to honor some of those very first men and women, the first generation raised on American soil after the Founding Fathers established the government that would set us apart from every other nation on earth. The newest installment in this series, "Dawn's Early Light," has just been released, and I'm honored to receive a copy to review.

Being a historical fiction author myself, I was immediately struck by the richness of Lewis's language and how I felt sucked into the era, and with the nearly seamless way history is blended with fiction. Writing historical fiction is hard. Finding a balance between facts and fantasy, seeking ways to deliver the information without sounding stiff - it's always a challenge. I believe Lewis has risen to that challenge.

I felt myself filled with compassion as young farmer-turned-soldier, Jed Pearson, returns home after a long absence to discover fugitive slaves hiding on his land. Rather than turning them over to the law, he immediately leaves his home again to guide them to safety, even though he's only been home a few minutes. He put the safety of those children of God ahead of his own wants and comforts because he knew what would happen to those slaves, should they be returned, and his sense of justice and mercy would not allow it. I loved seeing the story go forth on both sides of the Atlantic, and how it all came to a conclusion.

As the years roll by and we find ourselves more separated from these events that gave us our freedom, it becomes easy to forget. Fully two hundred years passed from the founding of the nation until my birth - I was born in 1976 - and it would be natural for me to let those important historical landmarks fade in my mind. After all, aren't they just stories, passed down from generation to generation? No, they are not, and we would be a very ungrateful nation if we didn't learn everything we could about our history and share that knowledge with our children. I confess, I haven't read the first two novels in L. C. Lewis's series, but having read the third, I'm going to get the first two, read them, and give them to my children to read as part of their education in what makes us free.

Readers: leave your comments in the trail for this post and be entered in a drawing to receive a free copy of this book, as well as a chance to win this beautiful necklace, compliments of L. C. Lewis.

8 comments:

Kimberly Job said...

I've got this book sitting by my bedside in my pile of books waiting to be read and reviewed. After reading your review, I'm even more excited to read it.

Rebecca Talley said...

I'm reading it right now and I've also been struck by the authenticity of the story, the richness of the language, and the heart that comes through the words. Excellent book.

And, BTW, I remember marching in a parade commemorating the 200th annversary of the Declaration of Independence. Yes, I could've been your babysitter.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Rebecca, I bet I would have loved you as a babysitter!

Laurie LC Lewis said...

Tristi, thanks for reading "Dawn's Early Light," and for this beautiful review! I know you've got a lot on your professional plate, and since you're my oldest son's age, I know how busy your family life must be as well! So thanks for the support, and here's my wish for a quick nap before the busy Christmas season begins!

Tiffany said...

Another book to add to my ever growing list of books I want to purchase. I have read the first two and I have anxiously awaited the arrival of this third book. Now to round up the funds. These books are truly amazing. Being a Navy wife for 20 years, I love the history of our country.

Terresa said...

I love historical fiction. This book sounds like a great read!!

Shellie said...

That sounds like a good book to me. I don't think I would have the patience to write something like that.

Keith Fisher said...

I haven't seen it yet. but I plan to read it

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