This review was printed in the Akron Beacon Journal June 24, 2018.
BOOK TALK: area authors and events Love tale set after Civil War
The Civil War is over, but there still is plenty of conflict in Cuyahoga Falls writer Laura Freeman’s Impending Love and Madness,
fifth book in a series about the six Beecher sisters of Darrow Falls, a Western Reserve canal town. Impending Love and War
began the series in 2014 with sister Courtney, an escaped slave and a lively courtroom scene. In succeeding books, the sisters travel to Washington City to nurse wounded soldiers and acquire beaus along the way. In Madness,
Jennifer and her husband, Logan, are joined by Cassandra and her hometown crush Zachary Ravenswood in a celebratory outing: They’re going to take in a play at Ford’s Theatre.
After the turmoil surrounding the Lincoln assassination dies down, the Ohioans prepare to return home. Zach is heir to an 800-acre horse farm and hopes it will provide financial security to allow him to marry Cass. While the men are waiting for their discharges to be official, the group scrounges up some surplus supplies and uses them to help a couple of Virginia families who lost their homes during the war. At first, the former Confederates are wary of the help; later, most of the onetime enemies are glad to put the war behind them, but a few remain openly hostile.
Discharge paperwork delays Zach’s return to his home, and he receives word that his grandfather has died and he now is the owner of the horse farm. When he arrives, he finds the house in disrepair, most of the staff gone and the accountant, Seymour, acting as if he owns the place. Seymour makes a pretense of grudgingly following the new owner’s orders, but in reality he may be planning something malevolent.
An afterword says that the final book in the series will be Impending Love and Promise;
it likely will concern finding a beau for Jules, the youngest Beecher sister. Impending Love and Madness
(352 pages, softcover) costs $16.99 from Wild Rose Press. Laura Freeman will appear at 10 a.m. Saturday [June 30] at Twinsburg Public Library, 10050 Ravenna Road, as part of Twinsburg’s “Our Living History Day.” Footnotes •