Saturday, September 12, 2015

Review: "The Mistress of Tall Acre" by Laura Frantz

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: Laura Frantz brings to life some of Virginia's most historical towns in her latest release, "The Mistress of Tall Acre." Post-Revolutionary War Williamsburg, Alexandria, and Richmond are mentioned frequently with the typical Frantz attention to detail. As a fan of historic homes, it was easy for me to envision the stately plantations of Three Chimneys and Tall Acres, two stalwart witnesses to their residents' lives. Frantz, as usual, does a masterful job of melding historical facts with a fictional plot. She teaches readers about various nuances of the political and social climate just after the Revolutionary War, but the lessons are cloaked in an intriguing and romantic plot.

The romantic premise of the plot, a marriage of convenience, is one that we have read many times in various forms.  Although the details are always different, as readers, we know the basic path that such a plot will follow.  Frantz throws in some surprises and suspense to sprout questions in readers' minds. Toward the end, I began wondering if there would be a resolution or if the story of Seamus and Sophie would continue in another novel. Both Seamus and Sophie are well thought-out characters who can easily capture readers, hearts. It is Seamus's daughter, Lily Cate, who can really melt hearts with her sweet disposition.  She is the center of many heartwarming scenes and added another dimension of love to the story.

"The Mistress of Tall Acre" is a novel that I certainly recommend to readers. I don't consider this one of my favorite Laura Frantz novels because the plot didn't feel as unique and compelling as in some of her other novels. Books like "Love's Awakening" and "The Colonel's Lady" are ones that I could pick up again and read as if they are new novels, relishing the layers of dimension and detail. "The Mistress of Tall Acre" is one that most likely wouldn't hold many surprises for me as a re-read. Regardless, it is a well-written novel, definitely worthy of reading at least once.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Summary from Revell: There can be only one mistress of Tall Acre . . .

The American Revolution is finally over, and Sophie Menzies is starved for good news. When her nearest neighbor, General Seamus Ogilvy, finally comes home to Tall Acre, she hopes it is a sign of better days to come. But the general is now a widower with a small daughter in desperate need of a mother. Nearly destitute, Sophie agrees to marry Seamus and become the mistress of Tall Acre in what seems a safe, sensible arrangement. But when a woman from the general's past returns without warning, the ties that bind this fledgling family together will be strained to the utmost. When all is said and done, who will be the rightful mistress of Tall Acre?

Triumph and tragedy, loyalty and betrayal--you will find it all in the rich pages of this newest novel from the talented pen of Laura Frantz.

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