Saturday, June 6, 2015

Mist of Midnight (The Daughters of Hampshire) by Sandra Byrd

“I thought about Captain Whitfield and his pull on me.  I should have been more resistant to his charms than almost anyone, as he had, for the moment, appropriated my house and doubted my integrity.  Was he capable of harming someone, her, me, to keep the house?  Had he planned it that way, or was he as he seemed, a gentlemanly victim of circumstance, much like myself?  If she had indeed been murdered, perhaps someone else had done it.  Who else had motive?  I should seek to find out.  Cautiously."


I really want to go to India now.  That’s one thing this book did for me.  I don’t know what your motivation is for reading books.  You may want to escape, go on a vacation, go somewhere you have never been, or be educated.  When I read, I often want to do one or all of those things.  I love books that minister to the heart, and when you leave them, you take something meaningful away.  I took some things away from this book.  And I bet you will too.

Set in the Victorian Era, Mist of Midnight, is the story of Rebecca Ravenshaw, the daughter of missionaries who left England when she was a child to serve in India.  While in India she serves alongside her parents for twenty years.  When her parents are killed during an Indian mutiny, she leaves India to return to England.  Upon her return, she discovers another woman has already been to her father’s estate claiming to be her, but has recently died.  She is faced with proving her identity or losing her inheritance.  There are many seemingly standing in her way, the most prominent, Captain Luke Whitfield, a man whose connection to the family traces back many generations.

This was my first time reading a book from this genre, Gothic romance. I didn’t even know what a Gothic love story was before I read the novel.  I researched the genre and elements include mystery, gloom, romance, and the supernatural.  All of these elements can be found in Mist of Midnight.  It could also be classified in the genre of Christian fiction.  There are many Christian tenets within the pages, including the heroine’s desire to find the good in her male counterpart.  “Love believes the best of every person.” (1 Corinthians 13:7)  This element is strewn throughout the story, although Rebecca has to fight fear as well.

The story was gripping.  It was intense. It was riveting.  I could not put it down.  It may sound extremely cliché, but it is true nonetheless.   I had to force myself to not turn to the back of the book so I could unravel the mystery of all the players in the story.  There was much tension!!  However, it was not filled with gore, in case there is any question about the mystery or gloom.

Mist of Midnight is a very well thought out and well researched novel.  I learned so many things about history as a result of reading this book.  I learned about the Victorian Era, Indian Culture, and what it would be like to be a missionary in India in the 1800’s, all while reading a story brilliantly woven together.

I would recommend this to fans of this genre, people who enjoy a mystery novel, anyone wanting to learn about this time period in England, or the culture of the people of India.  The novel is very clean in regards to romance, so it also would be appropriate for senior-level homeschool students.

Many blessings to you on your journey as God continues to unfold your story,
Beth










Disclosure Statement:  I received an advance reader copy in exchange for this review.  I was not required to give a favorable review.  The thoughts and opinions here are entirely my own.

For more background information about Mist of Midnight, or to learn more about the author, Sandra Byrd, you can find her at sandrabyrd.com.

To read a sample of Mist of Midnight, visit amazon.com or christianbook.com.

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