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Customer Reviews for Thomas Nelson Sweeter than Birdsong - eBook

Thomas Nelson Sweeter than Birdsong - eBook

When Ben casts lovely Kate Winter to sing in his latest show, they find they share a love for music and ideas. But Kate's mother wants her daughter to marry a rich man. Ben has given his life to God, not to the pursuit of wealth.

Kate Winter will be the first female graduate of Otterbein College, and every young man in town courts her. But Kate's dark family secrets leave her unspeakably shy. When Kate joins the Hanbys in their dangerous work on the Underground Railroad, she finds her courage and her voice. Can Ben and Kate find a way to be together in spite of the obstacle of Kate's family?

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4.6
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17 out of 1894%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Sweeter than Birdsong - eBook
Review 1 for Sweeter than Birdsong - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:November 29, 2012
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Kaye
Location:Arizona
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
I leave critical reviews such as character development, etc. to the experts and only ask: Did I like this book? Did it hold my interest? Book #2 of Saddler's Legacy Series earns a resounding YES! I hadn't realized that the underground railroad existed so far north; in my ignorance, I thought all northerners were anti-slavery. That notion was corrected in this book. The main thought I took away was "man's inhumanity to man". It was an affront to my sensibilities! Then I asked myself what, living in that time in history, would my thoughts have been about slavery? Were they not just as you or I or just property? I shudder to think what my answer might have been if I were not an independent thinker. One just went along with what one's parents' said was right or wrong; heaven kelp you if you didn't. Slavery was not the main focus here, but the deveopment & growth of Ben's & Kate's relationship, which has twists & turns of its own. If you like history, you'll enjoy this book.
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Review 2 for Sweeter than Birdsong - eBook
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:November 14, 2012
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Charis
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Kate Winter is painfully shy, so shy that her graduation from Otterbein College is on the line because she cannot summon the bravery to perform a speech in front of her class. Forced by her mother to work through her shyness, she auditions for a musical performance led by Ben Hanby. Though initially extremely reluctant to participate, Kate decides to use the performance to run away when she discovers that her mother plans to marry her off to a wealthy man. She finds herself drawn to Ben Hanby, and he to her, though he must keep his secret, that he assists fugitive slaves to run away, to himself. An accident on the Underground Railroad throws them together, but what will they do when Kate’s parents are not happy with their growing attraction to one another?
Sweeter than Birdsong was a generally interesting story, and handled with more delicacy and balance than many romances, focusing as much on the plot points of Kate’s shyness and the Underground Railroad as on the romance of the story. I appreciated that Ben’s pursuit of Kate after he knew that it was against her parents’ wishes was portrayed as wrong, and that he had to apologize for it in the end. I also appreciated that while Kate’s relationship with her mother was very strained at the beginning, Ms. Elliott ensures that their relationship is mended by the end of the book. The strained nature of the relationship and Kate’s mother’s behaviour towards her was also given a believable backstory.
The main thing I did not like about Sweeter than Birdsong was the touching. There was altogether too much physical contact before marriage for a “Christian” romance. It could have been as good of a book, if not better, if the contact had been omitted.
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Review 3 for Sweeter than Birdsong - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Hearts Divided

Date:September 4, 2012
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Diane A Brown
Location:Cheyenne, WY
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Sweeter than Birdsong is a story that will take you back in history to a social world few, if any of us, can understand. It is a glimpse of slavery in many senses of the word at a time when the nation was divided… just beginning to change. It is a story of forbidden love between different classes of people when the heart will not follow the social proprieties of society. It is about finding courage to stand up for what is right and decent and good even when it is not popular.
The characters are lively with a variety of personalities sure to keep you reading late into the night.
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Review 4 for Sweeter than Birdsong - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Moving historical fiction set in 1850s

Date:April 30, 2012
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MaryAnn
Location:OR
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Will and Ann Hanby, whose story was shared in Fairer than Morning, are now middle-aged, with eight children. Sweeter than Birdsong, the second book of The Saddler’s Legacy series and also based on actual people, focuses on the Hanbys’ eldest son, Ben, and the lovely but shy Kate Winter. Ben and Kate are students at Otterbein College, and both have a passion for music and for those mistreated by others, such as the suffering slaves.
Set in the second half of the 1850s in Ohio, tensions are increasing between those who support and oppose slavery. The Hanbys continue to assist fugitive slaves, which leads to harrowing moments. Kate’s unhappy home life makes her desperate to escape, but her mother wishes to marry her off to a high-society suitor. Ben and Kate seem to continually be thrown (and drawn) together. They find much in common, but could they ever overcome the obstacles that separate their lives and possible future happiness?
Rosslyn Elliott does a masterful job at portraying life in pre-Civil War days. Readers will feel like they’re present and experiencing the physical sensations and the depths of emotion along with the characters. I must say I would rather read about such adventures than live them, and this novel does an amazing job at transporting one there vicariously.
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Review 5 for Sweeter than Birdsong - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellence in historical romance!

Date:April 24, 2012
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believer
Location:Omaha, NE
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
What a delight to return to Westerville, Ohio and the Hanby family! I enjoyed revisiting Will and Ann, and meeting their children. The Hanbys' passion for helping escaped slaves has continued to the next generation, especially Ben. As a student at Otterbein College, Ben met Kate Winter. Kate was so shy, conversation was limited to one-word answers and giving a speech was impossible. Sweeter Than Birdsong is the story of Kate's struggle to overcome her fear. Along the way, she grows in understanding her mother and she joins Ben's family in their work on the Underground Railroad. The ending is so perfect for both Ben and Kate, it brought me to tears!
My highest recommendation!
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Review 6 for Sweeter than Birdsong - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Wonderful Story....Well Worth Your Time

Date:April 16, 2012
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Teresa M
Location:West Columbia, SC
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
In this amazing story based on the life of Ben Hanby and Kate Winter, Rosslyn Elliott takes us back to 1855 Ohio. A time in the history of America where the horrors of slavery were beginning to come to light and people were choosing sides.
Kate Winter, a young lady known for her outstanding beauty, but so painfully shy she has panic attacks at the thought of standing before a crowd. If Kate cannot overcome her shyness, she may not obtain her goal of being the first woman to graduate from Otterbein College. Kate has to give a required speech and when it’s her turn, she flees in fear. When she sees that Ben is going to have a musicale she asks the President of the college if she could possibly sing instead of giving a speech. Just as Kate is about to step up to sing, something happens that may forever keep her from expressing herself. Will Kate ever be free from her fears?
Benjamin Hanby is an incredibly musically talented young man finishing up college at Otterbein.
Ben knows he has a calling on his life to be a minister to show people the way of the cross and to free them from bondage, both spiritually and physically. Most of his life his family had been involved with the Underground Railway and as a child Ben witnessed firsthand the sorrow of seeing a runaway slave die before he completed his journey to freedom. Before he died he gave them the name of the love of his life, and asks them to please try to find her. Ben has been haunted with their story for years. Will he finally find a way to express his feelings through song and will anyone care?
When Kate shows up for the musicale audition, Ben is blown away by Kate’s beautiful voice.
He so hopes she will be able to overcome her fear and be able to share her voice with others.
When Ben, his mother and some friends have to travel to Columbus, they invite Kate to travel with them. During this time Kate and Ben become closer, and Kate is unintentionally drawn into the dangers of the Underground Railway. Will Kate return home unchanged or will this be the start of her obtaining the freedom she has longed for? Will Kate finally find her voice?
There were a lot of twists and turns and I really loved how Rosslyn put this all together. I applaud her for all the research that went into it. I especially enjoyed reading about The Underground Railroad and how selfless people like the Hanby family risked their lives to liberate others. Job well done Rosslyn!
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Review 7 for Sweeter than Birdsong - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

EXCITIHNG!A MUST READ!!

Date:February 27, 2012
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My Book Addiction
Location:North Carolina
Age:45-54
Gender:female
SWEETER THAN BIRDSONG by Rosslyn Elliott is an exciting inspirational historical roman set in 1855 Westerville, Ohio. This is the second in “The Saddler’s Legacy”,but can be read as a stand alone. See ” Fairner Than Morning”. The characters will not only capture your heart in this wonderful story but will leave you in awe as you read the story of Kate Winter and Ben Hanby. This author has brought a by-gone era into focus with her vivid descriptions of the Underground Railroad,the people involved,the challenges of those people,their secrets,romance,and their freedom.”Sweeter Than Birdsong” is a complex,compelling story with dark secrets and faith. Another must read. While, “Sweeter Than Birdsong” is a bit slow to start it picks up the pace quickly and carries you away with the characters,era,music,and place of refuge. A great read for anyone who enjoys historical,Americana,the Underground Railroad,romance,and inspirational. Received for an honest review from Litfuse Publicity Group and the publisher. Details can be found at Thomas Nelson,the author’s website, and My Book Addiction and More/My Book Addiction Reviews.
RATING: 4
HEAT RATING: SWEET
REVIEWED BY: AprilR,My Book Addiction and More/My Book Addiction Reviews
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Review 8 for Sweeter than Birdsong - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Stunning the Novel that Grips the Heart!

Date:February 24, 2012
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Holly Smith
Location:Charleston, SC
Age:25-34
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Sweeter Than Birdsong is a novel that not only contains a fascinating story, but a subject that will grip the hearts of those who read it.
This is the first novel I've ever read by Rosslyn Elliott, and I have to say, she's probably just become one of my favorite writers. Aside from excellent writing, she's taken a story that is based on real-life people, and woven it into a tale that will hold readers captive--which is not easy with true stories.
Rosslyn Elliott takes names found on the dusty pages of history books and breaths life back into them, forever inscribing their names into the hearts and minds her readers. I can now add a few more names to my People I admire list.
This story is so rich in historical detail that I felt like I had been transported back in time.
Not only is it rich in detail, but the subjects of slavery and women's rights are delt with in such a way that it's not overbearing, but enough to make a profound impact on the reader. I've been raised in the south, where people have always tried to justify slavery. Between the modern abolition movement taking place today and reading this book, I've come to realize there is never, ever any justification of any type of slavery. This book words it in such a way that it exposes the greed behind the slavery that took place.
It's amazing how every element in this story comes together to create a flawless experience for the reader.
Any review I write will probably do this book injustice. All I can say is that you need to read Sweeter Than Birdsong for yourself.
I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Litfuse Publicity and Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 9 for Sweeter than Birdsong - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Education and entertainment!

Date:February 22, 2012
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Stephanie
Location:upstate NY
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Rosslyn continues the story of the Hanby family in Sweeter Than Birdsong. Inspired by their music to their Underground activities, she embellished the fascinating story of a close-knit family fighting against slavery and a young woman, trapped in her own frightening home life, who gets accidentally involved in their secret activities. Sweeter Than Birdsong focuses mainly on the next generation -- Ben Hanby (son of Will and Ann from Fairer Than Morning), so the book is easily read as a standalone.
I love historical fiction. I especially love 'true' fiction, based on real historic events and characters. When an author can make me want to research a person or moment of time at the close of the book, they have succeeded in both education and entertainment! A very talented Rosslyn did just that!
*I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine.*
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Review 10 for Sweeter than Birdsong - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A book about a young girls fight for freedom

Date:February 19, 2012
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Kathy Brandt
Location:Ohio
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Name: Sweeter than Birdsong
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Author: Rosslyn Elliott
A story that takes place in Ohio, back in the days of slavery (1855) about a young woman who lives with her parents. Her mother is very unhappy and her father is an alcoholic.
Kate wishes to become the first woman to graduate from her local collage, however, she is very shy and cannot speak in front of her peers. Will she over come that and be the first woman to graduate there?
Kate's mother wishes to marry her off to an influential family, and the gentleman is more than welcome to oblige. We he seek her hand in marriage?
But, Kate has some ideas of her own. She finagles a trip with some family friends and has an adventure of her own. How will this change our shy Kate?
A wonderful story, although slow moving, of different times, that the author has definitely done her homework on.
BookSneeze: Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Blog link: http://kathysscraps.blogspot.com/2012/02/book-review-sweeter-than-birdsong.html
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Review 11 for Sweeter than Birdsong - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

sweeter than birdsong review

Date:February 17, 2012
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beckie
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I received "Sweeter than Birdsong" by Roslynn Elliot for free from www.booksneeze.com. This book takes place in the 1850's in Ohio. The main character is Kate Winter, an 18 year old woman who is completely controlled by her mother. Her mom will remind you of the mom in "Titanic" and now that I've said that you will see her in your head too. Kate has two men that she is interested in, one, Fredrick, is the one her mom likes. Fredrick is great and all, but his dad is a bit of a fox, leaving you to wonder how far Kate can trust Fredrick. Ben is the other one. He is of moderate means and wants to be a minister. Mom doesn't like him. This book advertises itself to be a romatic novel with all the concerns of being proper and polite and well, boring. However, it really is a book about the Underground Railroad. It is an adventure book. Kate goes on the trip of her life when she unknowingly agrees to go with Ben's mother on a little day trip and whinds up attempting to rescue fugitives. It is really great once you get about 1/4 of the way into it. I recommend this book.
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Review 12 for Sweeter than Birdsong - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Sweet Freedom's Song

Date:February 15, 2012
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Tammi
Location:maine
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Sweeter Than Birdsong by Rosslyn Elliott is the second in The Saddler’s Legacy, and is set mainly in Westerville, Ohio 1855. I haven’t read the first book in the series Fairer than Morning (although I would like to), but that didn’t seem to matter, because the author fills the reader in where it is needed.
Kate Winter's dreams of being one of the first women to graduate from Otterbein College, but she thinks this dream is lost when her fear of public speaking causes her to flee the classroom when it is her turn for oration. Another of her dreams is to make a new home for her sister Leah, somewhere safe. A place where their father can’t hurt them, and her mother’s words won’t tear them down.
Kate and Ben are classmates and friends, and at Ben’s request Kate reluctantly joins the musicale that he is producing. When Kate’s friend, Cornelia Lawrence is scheduled to play at Neil House in Columbus, Mrs. Lawrence invites her to join them and the Hanby’s for their trip. Kate decides that this would be a good time to find a place for her and Leah to go. Little did she know that she would be so changed by the trip, as she helps the Hanby’s as they try to lead some slaves toward freedom.
Rosslyn’s writing is powerful, and draws the reader into the story. I loved the way Kate and Ben’s story leapt off the page. The scenes, sounds and characters came alive and also becomes a part of the reader. I will choose to read other books by this author, but look forward to the next book in this series, if there is one, and I hope there is, because I closed the book wanting to read more about Kate and Ben.
This story is based on the true accounts of Kate Winter and Ben Hanby. If you choose to read this book please don’t skip the historical note at the end where you will be able to learn more about these true people from history.
If you like Rosslyn Elliott’s books, and/or historical fiction I am certain you will also like Sweeter Than Birdsong.
I give Sweeter than Birdsong 5 out of 5 stars.
** Sweeter Than Birdsong by Rosslyn Elliott was provided for me free by Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.
~Tammi
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Review 13 for Sweeter than Birdsong - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Freedom is Sweeter Than Birdsong

Date:February 10, 2012
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Its About Time Mamaw
Location:Houston, Texas
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I loved this book! It will break your heart reading about pain and sorrow people went through fleeing and fighting for freedom. This book gives us a look at the underground railroad from the heart and eyes of a two young college students who want more than anything to make a difference in this world. Kate Winters is very shy and withdrawn. But Ben Hanby, musician and song writer, sees much more in this young woman. He tries bringing her out of her shell and into a world she was unaware. Which happened to be reality. As Kate is pulled from her cocoon she was forced into, by an over bearing mother and drunkard father, her world explodes into a world of adventure and grave danger. This part of her new life she tries to hide from her mother but knows she must honor her parents and tell them the truth she encountered while on an outing with Ben Hanby's mother.
This historical fiction has adventure, suspense, love, faith, hope and redemption.
This is the second in the series of Sadler's Legacy and Ben Hanby's mother and father were the heroine and hero of the first book in this series.
I highly recommend this book.
I rate this book a 5 out of 5.
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Review 14 for Sweeter than Birdsong - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

More like 4.5 stars. Enjoyable read!

Date:February 9, 2012
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Michelle Sutton
Location:Arizona
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Sweeter than Birdsong had it's enjoyable moments, and there were even a few times when I was downright enthralled and didn't want to do anything but read this book. On the flip side, there were a few spots where I found myself skimming, but overall I thought the book was well-written and inspiring. I even liked it enough to put the first book in the series on my "hope to read" list, which is something I don't do often. I loved Ben's character and the adventure his family had as part of their ministry to the Underground Railroad and abolition movement.
What spoke to my heart most in this novel was the passion that the characters had for abolition and the desire to put their own welfare at risk to save someone else. A few times I was afraid right along with them as they tried to help slaves escape to freedom, and that scene with Frank when he cried over his wife broke my heart. The description was so well-done I could hear his grief. I had a hard time liking Kate's family at all, but they did find a place in my heart at the end. Ben's family was great all along and such an encouragement to him. They seemed to be the kind of family most people wished they had.
The romantic elements in the story were interesting. I liked how Kate was portrayed as extremely shy, which makes her overcoming the fear of speaking more powerful when it finally happens. At first I could not see the appeal of why Ben would continue to pursue Kate even though they bonded during that one risky mission. But she avoided him in obedience to her mother's wishes. I wanted to say, "scrap what your mother wants and do what you want, you're an adult" but then realized the constraints at the time made that difficult to do. I understood her mother's motivation to keep her from marrying what she perceived as the "wrong man" for her future.
The one thing that struck me about this story was how even the littlest of touches, like a quick brush of the hands, could be sensual if that was the only contact you had with the opposite sex that you happened to be very attracted to. Simple things took on a lot more meaning. That was well done. I thought the author did a great job trying to build the romantic tension. The letters really added to the story. All in all, a good read. I enjoyed this author's style and will probably read her books again.
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Review 15 for Sweeter than Birdsong - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Well done

Date:February 8, 2012
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Tracy
Location:Canada
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I love historical novels, especially when they are based on a real life person (like Ben Hanby) so I was beyond excited to read this book! This is my first time reading a book by Rosslyn Elliott, and I will definitely be seeking out any future books of hers, this book was so good!
The story is mainly about Kate Winter, and her life with an over-controlling mother and a drunk father. As she dreams of escaping this life to a new one she is suddenly thrust into a new world where she becomes the rescuer and in turns finds a passion she didn't know she had.
This book was quite well written, and though it was also a romance, it didn't have the typical mushiness in it. It was adventurous and full of suspense. I truly enjoyed reading this book and will definitely be recommending it!
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Review 16 for Sweeter than Birdsong - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent historical fiction!

Date:February 8, 2012
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Lehrerin
Location:Roxboro, NC
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
It's 1855 and Kate Winter is about to graduate from Otterbein College when she fails to pass the speaking requirement. Given a second chance, Kate is forced to obey her mother's edicts and entertain a wealthy suitor. Frustrated with her family and longing to live a meaningful life, Kate plans to run away. Before she finds the opportunity, however, she is thrown into a dangerous situation with Ben Hanby, soon-to-be preacher and friend of the Underground Railroad. Ben and Kate hit it off and want to get married, but a preacher doesn't fit into Kate's mother's plans. Will they find forever love, or will their family situations and politics keep them apart?
I expected this book to be a fluffy Sunday afternoon read, but that wasn't quite the case. With the Underground railroad, alcoholism, honoring parents, choosing career paths, and forgiveness all thrown into the mix, 'shallow' does not describe this book. In fact, I was excited to learn that Ben's character was actually based on a real person. His story is fascinating and definitely makes me want to read more about this period in history. I love the way that Elliot uses Ben's real history and creates this fictionalized version for the book, using what facts are known and creating much of the rest.
Sweeter Than Birdsong is an excellent work of fiction. Fast-paced and personal, full of action and heart and drama, it is a sweet story of forgiveness, redemption, and honor. I can't wait to read Elliot's other books - and the sequel to Birdsong can't be released fast enough.
I received a free copy of Sweeter Than Birdsong from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 17 for Sweeter than Birdsong - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Great Sequel

Date:February 1, 2012
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Anonymous
Location:Savannah, GA
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"Sweeter Than Birdsong" by Rosslyn Elliott is the sequel to her "Fairer Than Morning." Both books, part of "The Saddler's Legacy" series, are based on the lives of real people who worked on the underground railroad, attempting to smuggle slaves to freedom through Ohio to Canada. In "Fairer Than Morning," we learned about Ann Miller and Will Hanby. The sequel tells the story of their oldest son, Ben, writer of songs that include “Darling Nellie Gray” and “Up on the Housetop.”
We also meet Kate Winter in "Sweeter Than Birdsong." Kate is the painfully shy daughter of a socially ambitious mother and alcoholic father. Her dreams of being part of the first female graduating class of Otterbein College are threatened by the public speech requirement and her desire to escape from her difficult home life. When Kate is inadvertently drawn into work on the underground railroad, she learns there are worse situations than hers from which to escape. Her compassion for slaves draws her to find courage within to do that which she never dreamed she could.
I enjoyed both the historical part of the novel and the fictional story line. Elliott is gifted in both aspects of this genre. I also appreciated the afterword which made the distinction more clear. Thank you, Thomas Nelson Publishers, for sending a complimentary copy of this book for my review.
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Review 18 for Sweeter than Birdsong - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Written with a skilled pen

Date:January 25, 2012
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Christianfictionaddiction
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Kate Winter dreams of escaping from the confines of her family home and her controlling mother, alcoholic father, and self-centered sister. However, her plans to be the first woman to graduate from Otterbein College in Ohio in 1855 seem destined for failure when she cannot summon the courage to give a public speech, a requirement for graduation. When Ben Hanby, the college's musical genius, encourages Kate to sing in a try-out for a musical, her life takes an unexpected turn. Her beautiful voice captivates him, but she becomes ever-more-centered on her lack of courage when she is unable to follow through on singing her song. Her plans to escape from her family continue to consume her until a trip with some family friends causes her eyes to be opened to the reality of slavery, and her focus turns to the plight of others. Kate and Ben must battle through societal expectations and very real danger to find the courage to live out God's calling on their lives.
Elliott has spun a fine tale, written with a skilled pen. The book is filled with excitement, characters that are easy to grow fond of, and heart-breaking circumstances that are certain to capture your interest. The author includes fascinating historical details that will cause you to shake your head at how society could embrace a horrific institution such as slavery. She brings the issue to life by putting very human faces to the struggle of the black slaves to achieve freedom, and has woven that theme seemlessly into Kate's struggle to find herself and determine God's hand in her life. I found the book difficult to put down, and I was deeply moved by the book, particularly as I learned that the book is based on real circumstances and that Kate and Ben truly played a role in American history. Although this is the first time I have picked up a book written by Elliott, I highly anticipate the next book in the series (and though I hadn't read the first in the series, I did not find that this fact at all impacted my enjoyment of Kate and Ben's journey).
I highly recommend this book and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher and the Booksneeze program, for the purposes of this unbiased review.
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