Product Description from Amazon.com:
Ann dreams of a marriage proposal from her poetic suitor, Eli-until Will Hanby shows her that nobility is more than fine words.
On a small farm in 19th-century Ohio, young Ann Miller is pursued by the gallant Eli Bowen, son of a prominent family. Eli is the suitor of Ann's dreams. Like her, he enjoys poetry and beautiful things and soon, he will move to the city to become a doctor.
Ann travels to Pittsburgh, accompanying her father on business. There she meets Will Hanby, a saddle-maker's apprentice. Will has spent years eking out an existence under a cruel master and his spirit is nearly broken. But Ann's compassion lights a long-dark part of his soul. Through his encounters with Ann's father, a master saddler, Will discovers new hope and courage in the midst of tremendous adversity.
When the Millers must return to Ohio and their ministry there, Will resolves to find them, at any cost. If Will can make it back to Ann, will she be waiting?
My take on this book:
"Fairer Than Morning" is a historical fiction novel set in the 1820's in Rushville Ohio and Pittsburgh PA.Ann Miller's boyfriend has just proposed to her. Eli Bowen is nineteen but Ann is only fifteen. She turns him down because she knows her father would never allow her to marry before she turns eighteen, because it is what her mother would have wished.Ann was only nine when her mother died, leaving Ann to become the mother figure for her two younger sisters Mabel and Susan. Her father is a saddler and also a circuit preacher which leaves Ann to be the caretaker of the children quite often. When Ann's father needs to attend business in Pittsburgh he allows the girls to go along. Where she meets Will, someone that she can't quit thinking about.
Will Hanby signs up for five years of indentured service to Jacob Good so that he can learn to be a saddler. But Mr. Good is a cruel man who thinks nothing of abusing Will. When the abuse becomes to much Will makes a drastic decision that has him running to the Miller farm for refuge.
While this story is a historical fiction, it is actually based on real people, which had me anxious to read this story. The story drew me in from the first pages when a young girl at fifteen is being proposed to. The author easily draws you into the lives of the characters in the story, making you feel as if you are right there with them. Parts of this story were hard to read, the abuse that Will and the other slaves suffered was really heart wrenching.
This is the first book in The Saddler's Legacy Series, and I for one will be looking for the next book titled "Sweeter Than Birdsong" due out in Feb 2012.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.