After the Shadows

Revell. (Secrets of Sweetwater Crossing, Bk. 1). Mar. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780800740641. pap. $16.99. CF
Everything in Emily Leland’s life changed when she left Sweetwater Crossing, TX, after her wedding one year ago. Her husband and mother have since died, her pastor father has died by suicide, her youngest sister is traveling abroad, and her other sister blames Emily for everything. Trying to make ends meet while processing a load of grief, Emily opens her family’s mansion, Finley House, to a motley collection of boarders. The town’s new teacher, Craig Ferguson, and his young son find a haven there. Craig has radical (for the 1880s) ideas about teaching and classroom discipline, though, and soon earns the ire of the town’s mayor. Meanwhile, death continues to stalk Sweetwater Crossing, as many elderly residents pass of seemingly natural causes.
VERDICT Cabot (The Spark of Love) is becoming a must-buy. Her sensitivity and realistic portrayal of characters often on the margins of history really shine in this new historical series, which includes a child with Down syndrome, a domestic-abuse survivor, and a family impacted by suicide. Read-alikes can be found in the works of Melanie Dobson, Ann H. Gabhart, and Tamera Alexander.
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