I received a copy of TO HAVE AND TO HOLD by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller from Bethany House. It is part of the Bridal Veil Island series. The story takes place in 1886, so it instantly endeared itself to my heart – I love historical fiction. Then, the opening snared my attention and I could not stop reading until late in the night.
The story begins with Audrey Cunningham and her father, new residents of Bridal Veil Island. This opening has all the makings of a thrilling read. They have sold their old home, so they cannot go back, expecting a fabulous new start. Instead, they are plagued by back taxes and are in jeopardy of losing their ancestral home. The family does not know the locals, so they are unsure of who to turn to for help. Their predicament reminded me of the tax struggles many families are suffering through now. This will help people, including myself, to connect with the story more. Aunt Thora, who lives with the Cunninghams, reminded me of my grandmother, through her forgetfulness and mannerisms, further connecting me to the tale.
Bridal Veil Island is an excellent setting for a story. It is very detailed and picturesque, with wild turkeys strutting around and water on all sides. The characters mention Jekyl Island, and an author’s note explains it is a real place – now, I really want to visit there.
The descriptions of the food, such as mixing cream into eggs for breakfast, made my mouth water. The story also deals with how Southerners felt toward Northerners during the latter half of the 1800’s. Aunt Thora, for example, hates Northerners, even though Audrey and her father hail from the North. This is an excellent book for fans of historical fiction.