Title: To Win Her Favor (A Bell Meade Plantation Novel)
Author: Tamera Alexander
My rating is 5 out of 5
The novel is set in a time shortly after the War Between the States in Nashville, Tennessee, where thoroughbred racing horses were the future. Breeding thoroughbreds was also passed down from generation to generation, and I learned that there is more history to racing horses than the way it is promoted via gambling.
As I read, I was remained again that just because the war ended many of the prejudices of nationalities, colors, gender and more remained for many decades. The lead female character, Maggie, really resonates within my heart as she is a strong woman who knows what God created for her to do the reality of which was visible when riding her own horse, Bourbon Bell. With only her father remaining and his health declining, with the advent of Mr. Cullen McGrath onto the plantation, the future becomes filled with hope. For the future of both Linden Downs and Maggie are of utmost important to Linden before he passes on.
The hardest part was acknowledging the prejudice that existed back then and even now in all societies, and how hard it is to overcome and interact with people with such views. In the book, it is shown just how devastating to the person who holds the prejudice can be and the ways such a viewpoint can easily be picked up by close associates. The wonderful part of the tale was seeing how a marriage of convenience with the help of God can blossom into a true marriage with love, joy, anger, forgiveness and much more.
Even though a few of the characters had lost loved ones, what brings hope is the relationship one has with the Lord along with friends who walked with them through hardship. In all, the novel is a reflection of both what is sour and what is sweet within the human condition. The challenge presented in the novel, which some characters dealt with and others decided not to change, was the prejudice that resided within their own heart. As I place this novel on my shelf, I know that asking God to remove the prejudice from within my own heart will be a reoccurring challenge for me. What about you?
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