Dreams of Savannah
Published by Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date January 5, 2021
Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Georgia, Cuba Civil War Era - US - 1849-1865
Main Character Ages: 18-24
Written for: Adults
Cordelia Owens can weave a hopeful dream around anything and is well used to winning the hearts of everyone in Savannah with her whimsy. Even when she receives word that her sweetheart has been lost during a raid on a Yankee vessel, she clings to hope and comes up with many a romantic tale of his eventual homecoming to reassure his mother and sister.
But Phineas Dunn finds nothing redemptive in the first horrors of war. Struggling for months to make it home alive, he returns to Savannah injured and cynical, and all too sure that he is not the hero Cordelia seems determined to make him. Matters of black and white don't seem so simple anymore to Phin, and despite her best efforts, Delia's smiles can't erase all the complications in his life. And when Fort Pulaski falls and the future wavers, they both must decide where the dreams of a new America will take them, and if they will go together.
I would like to thank Bethany House Publishers, Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
When I “met” Cordelia, I felt like she was modeled after me! Other than her being the daughter of a plantation owner in a different century and some other finicky details. But her love for people, stories, and romance, her ability to see beyond what is visible into the “perhaps”, and her boundless optimism? Yeah. I’m her. She made me laugh at the way she assumed she was able to accomplish things she had never even tried to do before, simply because a proper heroine would have been able to do them.
I loved Phin. For the way he encouraged Delia with her daydreaming and stories. And how he readily swooped in to play the part of the hero. He understood her in a way no one else did.
Both Delia and Phin had always considered themselves Christians. Proper, upstanding members of the highest society. Yet as war began to tear their lives apart, they came to see the truth about themselves and their need for a saving faith in Jesus.
When Phin was at his lowest and feared he would die, he couldn’t even find the words to pray… But God, in His mercy, sent deliverance from a most unlikely source. And helped Phin to turn his life around and to give him a different perspective. Where he had previously listened apathetically to the sermons on Sundays, he now searched the Scriptures to find the truths there and learn how to apply them to his life. He even began to look quite differently at the issue of slavery.
When the truths on which Delia had built her foundation crumbled beneath her and then she received the news of Phin’s death, instead of breaking, these things caused her to draw strength from the Lord and cling to hope. I especially loved the way she showed such kindness and grace to those who had caused her such grief.
As much as I enjoyed this couple, my favorite character was Luther. His close relationship to the Lord, the hours he spent in prayer and reading scripture, his unrelenting hope for reconciliation with his wife, and especially the way he loved one who was practically his enemy touched my heart. His friendship with Phin was a lot of fun – I loved how they were able to communicate with just a look.
This incredible story delves so much deeper than the issue of slavery which triggered the Civil War. It puts faces on the oppressed and shows reasons beyond the one most often associated with it. I highly recommend it for all who enjoy reading historical fiction that makes them think.