Publication Date: September 2015
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
ARC Copy from Netgalley.com and Baker Publishing
Once again Laura Frantz does an amazing job at telling a compelling story. The Mistress of Tall Acre begins on 8 August 1778 when a baby girl is born to Anne and Seamus Ogilvy of the Tall Acres estate in Virginia. Delivered with the help of the neighbor, Mistress Menzies and her daughter, Sophie, baby Lily Cate will bind three of these four people in an intricate relationship over the next few years.
The core of the storyline begins in the fall of 1783 after the Revolutionary War has ended. General Seamus Ogilvy has returned home to raise his young daughter by himself after the death of his wife while he was away fighting. The young girl struggles to accept the changes in her life and by chance, she meets Sophie Menzies, a quiet, dignified young woman, in the woods one afternoon. Thus begins a bond between Sophie and Lily Cate, which will eventually draw the General into their circle.
The book encompasses the struggles that went on after the Revolutionary War for many families and their members that had questionable ties to Britain. The historical detail covers the fragile politics of the new government, the British laws that remained as a part of the new government, and everyday life after the war. Along with the historical detail, some suspense comes in to play with the discovery of a diary, the strange sightings of a bearded man, and a mysterious disappearance and reappearance.
The characters have personalities and qualities that really appeal to this reader. Sophie is a genuinely nice, decent person; Seamus is a man of integrity and deep strength; Lily Cate is a totally vivacious six-year-old; and Anne Ogilvy plays her part convincingly. Great characters! I very much enjoyed this book. Ms. Frantz writes with such depth of emotion and real characters that the reader cannot help but be drawn into the story. Terrific read!