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Camellia (Song of the River #2)



Title:  Camellia (Song of the River #2)
Author:  Diane T. Ashley and Aaron McCarver
Pages:  313
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Barbour Publishing
                Camellia continues the “Song of the River” series by Diane T. Ashley and Aaron McCarver.  It is set in various locations like Vicksburg, Memphis, Natchez, and others during the Civil War.  The story of Blake Matthews and his growing faith continues as a subplot.  Another subplot also involves a character from the first book in the series, Lily.  Both plots are wrapped up nicely.
                Camellia Anderson is an 18-year-old, vain, shallow, Southern belle.  Her one main desire is to attend a finishing school where she wants to learn how to attract the most suitable man for a husband.  She wants to learn all the rules of etiquette and skills needed to run her future home.  She won’t have to actually do any work as she will have slaves to do it, so she thinks.  She believes in the South’s cause and resents the Yankees for trying to destroy the way of life in the South.  She calls herself a Christian, but certainly doesn’t act like one.  She is quick to judge and speaks without thinking.  Do you know someone like that?
                Jonah Thornton has grown up in the South and his father is a strong supporter of slavery.  Jonah, however, has secretly sided with the Union.  He believes God values every soul regardless of their skin color.  He joins the Union Army, but after his first battle experience and killing a man, he is removed from the fighting action and trained as a spy.  He returns to his home to discover any information he can on the Confederate troops, supplies or strategy.  He has met Camellia in the past and thought her superficial then.  It seems a couple of years haven’t changed her much.  However, every so often he can see underneath her veneer and catch a glimpse of something much more substantial.  Jonah is a strong Christian man who is willing to fight for and, if necessary, die for his beliefs.
                Through various scenarios, Camellia and Jonah have a lot of contact with each other.  Their meetings usually end in an argument, but occasionally with a kiss.  Camellia can’t understand why she is attracted to Jonah when her best friend’s brother, Thad, is the perfect match for her…a true southern gentleman.  As the war continues, Jonah is increasingly in danger of being discovered as a spy, Union soldiers are taking over the southern ports on the Mississippi, and Camellia is able to practice her skill as a healer.  She gets much satisfaction out of practicing her God-given skill.  She comes to realize how shallow she has been in the past and how unchristian her actions have been.  She now understands Jonah’s beliefs and embraces them.  Is Jonah the man God has led her to?  Can they both survive the perils of the war to find a future together?
                This is a wonderful story of seeing faith growing and at work in the lives of believers.  They learn to rely on God as man will surely fail on his own.  God’s provision and blessings are seen time and again, and it warms the heart to see believers give Him the credit.
                My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457
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