Keturah (2018) by Lisa T. Bergren is the first book in The Sugar Baron’s Daughters series. This novel comes in all forms including eBook, and is 352 pages in length. With a full-time job and a very active five-year old at home, this book took me four days to read. I received a review copy of Keturah from Bethany House Publishers that I requested from Litfuse Publicity Group. In no way has this influenced my review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. I give this story 5+++ STARS. Keturah is a Christian Historical novel set in the West Indies in 1773.
About the Book
In 1773 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father’s estates and know they have one option: Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage.
Although it flies against all conventions, they’re determined to make their own way in the world. But once they arrive in the Caribbean, conventions are the least of their concerns. On the infamous island of Nevis, the sisters discover the legacy of the legendary sugar barons has vastly declined-and that’s just the start of what their eyes are opened to in this harsh and unfamiliar world.
Keturah never intends to put herself at the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation. She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives.
To keep her family together and save the plantation that is her last chance at providing for them, can Keturah ever surrender her stubbornness and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love awaiting her?
About the Author
Lisa T. Bergren has published more than 40 books with more than 3 million books sold combined. She’s the author of the Christy Award-winning Waterfall, RITA®-finalist Firestorm, bestselling God Gave Us You, and popular historical series like Homeward, Grand Tour, and more. She’s also a recipient of the RT Lifetime Achievement Award. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and three teen-and-older children.
As I intimated in my First-Line Fridays post from yesterday, Keturah is a fantastically intense story. I loved every second, and I am so sad that my time with this book is over. I adore Keturah and her sisters. I love their distinct personalities, how they interact with each other as sisters, and how they support one another through think and thin. Gray is a superb hero. He is sweet, caring, strong, smart, and knows when to ride in and save the day, but also knows when to back off. I find knowing when to back off an excellent trait in my fictional and real heroes!
The villains, especially Mr. Shubert, are so evil and hateful they made my skin crawl anytime they appeared in the story. Mr. Shubert has the blackest of black hearts. He is arrogant and smug and cold. Several moments were very difficult for me to read because I would have such visceral reactions to his actions. I found myself actually making a fist and tearing up with frustrated tears…you know, the kind of crying you do when you are so frustrated you feel like screaming and hitting something. That’s how frustrated I got with Mr. Shubert. What a testament to Mrs. Bergren’s writing prowess! I wanted to physically harm a fictional character…LOL!
At first, I struggled hard with this story. I found myself getting very angry. Most all of the men in this novel are repulsive. Keturah’s first husband, Edward, is awful. The white men on Nevis Island are cruel and haughty and smug. And, I even found myself not liking Keturah for a few chapters because she, too, felt arrogant and self-serving. I was starting to get a little worried that I wouldn’t like this book, but then it dawned on me — I was reading this story as a woman in 2018. I was projecting my 2018 ideals, values, sense of justice, education, and Biblical understanding onto a group of people who lived 245 years ago.
245 years ago, wealthy white men purchased human beings for various purposes. 245 years ago, women had extremely limited power, if any, they had limited access to funds, if any, and they had very limited rights, if any. In 1773, men were the top of the food chain and made sure everyone knew it. They were allowed to behave like monsters, and society called this their God-given right. Once I realized I was reading Keturah through the wrong perspective, I adjusted and finally realized just how amazing this story is. I started to see Keturah as a person, and could truly value her personal growth. My change in perspective allowed me to see the stunning symbolism that’s rampant throughout this text. A small change in perspective — placing myself into the historical context of Keturah’s time — made Keturah a story I will remember long after I post this review.
Keturah is an amazing read. This story deals with some truly ugly aspects of our human past. But, it also deals with issues we laud today: women’s rights, justice for those mistreated, overcoming fear, standing up for what is right, the underdog winning against all odds, and allowing God into our hearts so He can fix the hurt spots. This story is SO complex and beautiful and real. If you are looking for a gripping and intense Christian Historical novel with a sweet romance story on the side, then I cannot recommend Keturah enough. This is definitely a story I recommend you buy today!
Enter to win a copy of Keturah. Five winners will be chosen! Click the image below to enter to win. The winners will be announced March 13 on the Litfuse blog!