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Tea Party Winners: Carla Gade's winner is Becky Dempsey, Andrea Boeshaar's winner Caryl Kane, Gina Welborn's winner Jasmine A., Carrie Fancett Pagels' winners book copy -- Lynda Edwards, teacup and saucer -- Wendy Shoults

Monday, July 18, 2011

Book Review of Laura Frantz's The Colonel's Lady


The Colonel’s Lady
By Laura FrantzRevell  (August, 2011)
http://laurafrantz.net

Book Review by C. F. Pagels

I received a copy of The Colonel’s Lady from the publisher; however, I have already pre-ordered a half dozen copies for giveaways.  My opinions are my own. This book officially releases on August 1.  It is available for pre-order through Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and other book retailers.

Laura is my favorite Christian fiction writer. Her debut novel “The Frontiersman’s Daughter” deserves to be a classic. She puts out one fiction title a year and all her fans, myself included, wait with bated breath for our next delivery of a Laura Frantz book. And oh how I was rewarded this year because this book could have been written just for me (I wonder how many other readers feel just the same way!). Forgiveness is a huge theme in these first three books of hers, set in frontier Kentucky at the transition between colonial and young America.  I write in the same subgenre and have researched and read many of the  same books as Laura and The Colonel’s Lady seems to me to be the closest to reality of the three books so far, which makes it that much more chilling in some ways and able to suck me right into her storyworld. For me to accept her Colonel Cassius "Cass" McLinn as a hero, Laura had to write in a way that I could put aside my distaste for this imperfect man and his behavior.  She had to make me see how her heroine could love him. 

Roxanna, at almost nine and twenty, is a full grown woman and the oldest of Laura’s heroines thus far. She sees through a woman’s eyes and as someone who has experienced loss but can still reach out to love others, included a little girl who has lost her voice. This mute child, similar to the daughter in the movie “The Patriot” is believably continually mute for she experiences one horror after another.

Roxanna Rowan’s father was a scrivener for the colonel but she must take his place after he is killed.  Laura does a nice job of incorporating Roxanna's work into the storyline and of explaining what is involved without fussing over it (no easy feat).

While Christian readers who do not partake of alcohol may be surprised at finding this included in The Colonel’s Lady, this was a very real problem in Kentucky, especially, through the 19th century. I cannot address beyond that as I have not read, but quite likely given the history of turning to spirits for many reasons including difficulty at times with ensuring drinkable water.  And imbibing is not glamorized nor sugar coated in this book.  Similarly, Ms. Frantz introduces some of the more tragic ladies of the time, many of whom experience devastating outcomes for their immoral behavior. And while it is not “on the page”, some of the severe punishments given to soldiers are also mentioned. So, gentle reader be advised that this is not a “glossification” (my word) of the times nor does TCL whack you over the head with the gory details such as some recent Christian fictions I have read. 

Biggest complaint: Must wait another year for another Laura Frantz book!!!  Second biggest complaint: Not available on audio and if it was I would listen to this and her other books over and over again!!

Giveaway: Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of The Colonel's Lady, either Kindle or paperback. TCL officially releases on August 1st.

43 comments:

  1. I'm very excited for this book and so happy that I won a copy in a previous giveaway :) I agree that what I admire (among many things) about these books as that Frantz does not gloss over or omit the gritty or grimness or severeness of life in the 18th century. It was hard and it was messy, and people were not perfect or glowingly moral just because they lived long ago. I think with her work, it just makes her character's triumphs and loves all the more believable and satisfying when you know that there was some darkness in their days to contrast with the light. And I love learning more about the era without it feeling like 'and now the author will display every minute detail of a random bit of history that was tediously researched and now you're gonna hear every last fact.' the research flows easily and conversationally. Which is a gift!
    Looking forward to reading this myself! Come on, August!~

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  2. As Heather said and I've mentioned before, Laura's characters LIVE the history and therefore the reader is not bored with alot of historical facts. I've learned so much from reading her books; I just love them! I am wistfully looking at a copy I received from the publishing company, and haven't had time to even crack open, because of circumstances this past 10 days or so. After Carrie's review, I feel like I'm going to pop if I don't get a chance to start reading it today.

    Speaking of Carrie's reviews, I love them because they are so insightful, and she brings out things that most people, including myself, don't see or think about. I'm thinking it must be the psychologist in her.;-) Thanks for the great review, Carrie!

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  3. This book sounds very interesting. I like books with real, and sometimes messy, characters. Life is just sometimes that way. We live in a sinful world and we struggle with real temptation. If we didn't, we wouldn't so desparately need a savior.

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  4. Carrie, I'm absolutely drooling. I cannot wait to read this book! You are right about waiting with baited breath. Your review is wonderful and makes me want to read it all the more. Thank you!!

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  5. Diana, I agree with you about Carrie's reviews. She always does a great job and insightful they are!

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  6. I read TCL while it was still under construction, and I can't wait to read the finished story. I have my copy now and it's on the top of my TBR pile. It's my favorite cover of Laura's so far too.

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  7. I can't wait to read this book! I agree with you, The Frontiersman's Daughter should be considered a classic! I can't tell you have many people I've passed it along to and they've read it in a matter of days (hours). ;)

    Please sign me up for the drawing! :)
    aaronandlori (at) gmail (dot) com

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  8. please sign me up for the drawing.
    angelac(at)mchsi(dot) com

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  9. Only on page 50 of The Colonel's Lady (finally got a chance to start reading!) and I already know...Laura Frantz has done it again! I'm already hooked! What an awesome talent the Lord has given this little lady!

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  10. Carrie, what a great review! Can't wait to read it myself. I'm sure I'm going to read it as soon as I get my hands on it.
    You have to wait another year for a Laura Frantz novel. I only have to wait for a couple of weeks. LOL
    Really, really looking forward to read it.
    Marian B

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  11. I love Christian fiction and I love historical fiction so this book would be perfect for me!!! Robin Edwards at robe1030@aol.com

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  12. This one has been in my Amazon Cart for months...ooooh, I'd love to win it instead. It might be my most anticipated book for the year.

    Lovely review Carrie. I know just how you feel about Laura's writing.

    debraemarvin (at) yahooo

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  13. Thank you for sharing your wonderful review, Carrie! God has certainly gifted Laura with an amazing talent! I'm finishing up MaryLu's Surrender the Heart today, then diving in to TCL (Surrender the Heart is AMAZING, by the way, for anyone that hasn't read it!!).

    Thank you for entering me!
    Michelle
    scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

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  14. Oh, Michelle, I loved MaryLu's StH, too! Debra, I just feel like Laura has carried me away to another place and time! Robin, yes, this book is perfect for anyone who loves good fiction!

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  15. Marian Baay, you are not anonymous to me and thank you so much on behalf of the Dutch people who will get to read The Frontiersman's Daughter because of you! Waving at Diana!! Angela, thanks for stopping by!

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  16. Heather and Lori, you two are ladies after my own heart - I can just tell by what you wrote!! Hugs!

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  17. Thanks Lori B and Carla for your kind words and Diana, too! Hi Connie - so true! Robin, good luck and we will put you in for the drawing!

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  18. Carrie!!

    There are few books I am looking forward to more than The Colonel's Lady. Laura Frantz is right at the top of my favorite's list along with Liz Curtis Higgs and Francine Rivers!! Yes, she's THAT good!! Please enter me in the contest, but even if I don't win, I will buy it and have her sign it at ACFW.

    Hugs,
    Julie
    gsus(at)charter(dot)net

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  19. I wish Revell would do something about getting their authors books on audio. My favorite authors seem to write for Revell and none seem to have audiobooks. So very glad for the Kindle versions! The print on the Revell books is very good, though, which makes it easier to read. I totally agree with you and hope more readers than ever will find Laura's books!
    Thanks for coming by, Julie, and I recall again teasing you on another blog about having to enter a contest to win a Revell book when you are one of their authors!!! Oh, and you do know your name is in TCL, right?

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  20. Will be a new experience to read this author

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  21. Coming in on this late...but would LOVE an opportunity to win this book to complete my collection. Her stories are beautifully written-- character-driven, and literary; they sound like what I imagine hand-made lace looks like--finally crafted and something to hold on to for generations. Thank you Carrie, for presenting this--and blessings on your writing, Laura.

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  22. I love what you said, Pat, "Her stories are beautifully written-- character-driven, and literary; they sound like what I imagine hand-made lace looks like--finally crafted and something to hold on to for generations." I once told Laura that if her books were paintings, we would see them hung in a museum, like a finely crafted masterpiece. And if they were a song, they would be the most beautiful melodies you'd ever heard. :::sigh::: I need to turn this computer off, and get back to TCL. ;-)

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  23. I recently saw this book advertised. Sounds interesting. Please enter me in the drawing.

    Blessings,
    Jodie Wolfe
    digging4pearls(at)comcast(dot)net

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  24. Pat, And your writing is so wonderful, too, and takes us to the edge of Laura's story world! I can't wait to see your MS all complete and then published!

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  25. Musingsnprint, It will be a wonderful experience! Jodie I always love to see your email address because that is part of the whole reading process is that digging for the pearls of wisdom and spiritual component that we get in reading Christian fiction. Laura's theme of forgiveness is amazing plus all the other aspects of her character's spiritual journeys.

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  26. Michelle, Yes, it is so nice to read something so beautifully written and hard to put is aside when done!

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  27. Sounds like a great story! Thanks for the chance to win a copy. :)
    twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

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  28. Oh, I cannot wait to read another of Laura Frantz's amazing novels! This one sounds very intriguing. I really hope to win this one!! Thank you for all your giveaways!! ncmom@att.net

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  29. I've been waiting for Laura's newest book, she touches my heart and spirit with her stories. Please include me in the drawing, thanks!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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  30. Hi Pegg!I hope the weather in MI is not as brutal as down here. And NCmom, MB's niece, I imagine it is as hot and humid as here so Laura's new book would make a great escape! Merry, thanks so much for stopping by and I love your name!

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  31. EEP! I decided I wasn't going to sign up for any more books right now, but WOWZERS, this is tops on my list. Put me in the drawing! Thanks!
    muschfarm(at)yahoo(dot)com
    Naomi

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  33. Your review is amazing - the book sounds like a must read! I would like to win a paperback. Thank you.

    tatiana_lwg(at) yahoo.com

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  34. Hey, y'all. Just had to stop in from muggy, hot, South Carolina and tell you I'm 1/3 of the way through The Colonel's Lady and am loving it!!! It's getting better and better. I don't want to read it fast, because then I won't have it to read anymore. But I also don't want to put it down...I'm in a total dilemma here. I told Laura I would not care for a red headed hero, because of all my rascally red headed brothers as I was growing up, but trust me, I am not thinking about them AT ALL! Colonel Mclinn is...well, you'll see! Yowzah! Hey, Carrie!:-)

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  35. This sounds like a good one! Please enter me in the giveaway.

    seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

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  36. Loving all this enthusiasm for Laura's new book! I've been eagerly awaiting readers' reactions to it. Not as much as I'm sure Laura is. She'll love all these responses when she gets home from her research trip.

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  37. Naomi, this is definitely a book you will want to read ASAP! Tatiana, are you Russian - cool name! MB, I have a red-headed colonel who is an antagonist in my MS so I agree with you but Laura wove her spell on me and I fell in love with him, too!

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  38. Judylynn, You are in! Yes, Lori, she will have a nice surprise we hope!

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  39. Carrie ... I actually didn't know my name was in TCL till Laura made veiled reference to it, but I am planning on purchasing my copy at ACFW so Laura can sign it (less temptation than having it lying around the house when I have other books I'm committed to read), so I am very excited to see what she said ... AND to read the book!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  40. Bless you all for the heartfelt, encouraging comments here. What a gift to come back to!! Both reading friends who are dear to me and those I don't know but would like to! And many thanks to you, Carrie, for being such a great moderator and handling comments in my absence. And for all these wonderful giveaways!! God is so good!

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  41. Welcome back, Laura! I hope your trip to Pennsylvania was very fruitful and inspiring AND that you will be sharing with CQ!

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  42. Congratulations on the release of your new book! I found your website to be interesting & would love to be entered to win a kindle or paperback copy of your book. Thanks for sharing photos of your trip. Would love to travel some day & see history in places like you have visited & written about in your books. God Bless & take care.

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  43. Well, I am not sure what happened with me, but I seem to have failed to have drawn a winner for TCL. I was in Philadelphia when I should have done the random.org, but did it today and the winner is JUDYLYNN!! Congrats!

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