Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould successfully end their three book Cousins of the Dove series with MY DAUGHTER'S LEGACY. With each book telling dual stories, one historic and one contemporary, that's a total of six captivating stories. One of the strongest points for me was that I was able to read all the novels within a four month period - no dredging through the crooks and crannies of my memory to fit the pieces together. All the stories revolve around the Talbot family, paper makers who first leave France in the 17th century for religious freedom. The contemporary stories focus on a small group of female cousins who even though adults bear the scars of a bloody discovery they made over twenty years ago. While I always found the historical story in each novel to be a bit more interesting, the modern female characters were well developed, each with her own talents, but also a struggle.
MY DAUGHTER'S LEGACY features Therese, lifelong friend and neighbor to the Talbots, who has been raised by her northern father, a staunch abolitionist, and her genteel mother, a product of Southern plantation life. When her father dies, quickly followed by her grandfather, Therese pushes her mother to free her grandfather's slaves and when she does not, Therese leaves for Richmond to work as a governess. The contemporary story re-introduces Nicole, the youngest of the cousins, and the one whose life has been most tumultuous since that long ago discovery. Now clean and sober, Nicole has returned to Virginia for the summer, just when a story surfaces about an illuminated scripture rescued by a 19th Century Talbot that may have a bearing on a crime in 1995. Could new evidence implicate their grandfather?
These novels led me to think about our own ancestors and our connections to them. Sure we share ethnicity, country of origin, and a family tree -- maybe even a few photos or heirlooms. If we are lucky, there may be some oral history to latch onto. But think how powerful it would be to know how our personalities, our beliefs, our life struggles lined up with those of our ancestors? Well, that isn't exactly what happens in the six stories that make up the Talbot saga, especially since the contemporary day Talbots never quite get the full stories of their other century counterparts, but we readers are privy to more information, making it clearer for us how the stories intertwine. Bravery driven by faith and the moral code born of that faith, strength of family, and love are the themes in each of these intriguing stories. I can't recommend THE COUSINS OF THE DOVE series enough. I received a copy of this title from Litfuse. I was not required to review this book, and all opinions are mine.
By the way, right now the e-copy of this book is on sale!! And the authors currently are hosting a giveaway of a $75 gift card. Just follow this link.