Shine Like the Dawn: A Novel / by Carrie Turansky. 6.30.2017

Multnomah ISBN 9781601429407

Adult Rating: 4

Award-winning author Carrie Turansky pens a new Edwardian novel where childhood friends reunite after the deaths of their parents.

In Shine Like the Dawn, Margaret (Maggie) Lounsbury works in her grandmother’s millinery shop while caring for her six-year-old sister, Violet. They lost their parents several years earlier in a boating accident. Maggie is bitter towards God (and Maggie’s childhood friend Nathaniel Harcourt) for abandoning them after their accident, not knowing that his family kept Nathaniel and Maggie apart.

When Nathaniel returns home to deal with his father’s illness four years later, he discovers an unpaid debt to Maggie’s father and is committed to repaying it after his father’s death. Nathaniel takes over his father’s engineering company, dealing with worker conditions and problems with his stepmother. Meanwhile, Maggie begins to suspect her parents’ death wasn’t accidental, and asks Nathaniel to help her search for answers. Will the person behind it cause more “accidents”? Will this bring them closer to one another when they discover the truth?

Turansky excels in her writing–her books are filled with rich characterization and descriptive narrative. Historical details give the reader a glimpse into life in an English village. The faith element is present but not heavy-handed. Maggie’s bitterness prevents her heart from healing, and her faith is struggling. Maggie’s grandmother and Nathaniel do not preach but serve as examples of being strong in their faith, despite life’s struggles.

Fans of Turansky’s novels will enjoy this new work. Shine Like the Dawn is a joy to read, with its family drama, clean romance, and the restoration of an estranged relationship to God.

Recommended for adults in public libraries.

Carol R. Gehringer, worthy2read.wordpress.com