Maher's skill with the English language sets her apart in the best of ways. Her word choice creates eloquence, paints beautiful word pictures, and places the reader squarely in both time and place with her well-developed characters. Her research and depth of knowledge is readily apparent. Maher's dialogue flows smoothly and is believable. The reader sees both the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley and the Maryland countryside as well as the horrors of battle scenes and prison camps. They see the hearts of abolitionists, slaves forcibly separated from their families, brothers torn apart by a country divided, those with misguided loyalties, and both those hardened and those broken by war's realities. Most importantly they see the hearts given to God and the healing of the forgiveness that follows.
Marietta Hamilton comes of an age where she is allowed to join her family's abolitionist missions. It is on such a mission that she becomes compelled to reunite a mother and son, and as a result falls in love with Ethan Sharpe, an honorable son of the south who chooses to take up her cause and to seek her hand in marriage. The obstacles that keep Marietta and Ethan apart seem to multiply over time, but their reliance on God and their dependence on His Word sees them through, even though, like many of us, they are tempted to and sometimes seek to help God along by pursuing plans of their own.
I always feel like I am taking a chance when I agree to review a book for a new-to-me author of whom I have received no specific recommendation from a friend. I am so glad that I took that chance on this author and this book, and I will gladly agree to review any other books she writes in the future. I am one of those readers who has several fiction and non-fiction books going at once. This time, all other reading was halted as I became immersed in The Abolitionist's Daughter. I thank Kathleen L. Maher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and received no monetary compensation.