Pam Hillman. The Road to Magnolia Glen. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2018.
In reading a great number of historical fiction books on a regular basis, one starts to notice how some time periods are exceptionally well represented in the genre. In comparison, others that are equally fascinating are almost entirely neglected. Fortunately, Ms. Hillman’s most recent novel delves into one of the under-represented time periods in American history.
The Road to Magnolia Glen continues Ms. Hillman’s Natchez Trace series. Set in the late eighteenth century, this novel builds on the cast of characters first introduced in The Promise of Breeze Hill. Quinn O’Shea travels to meet his brother, Connor, in Mississippi, bringing along his two younger brothers from Ireland. During the ocean journey, he encounters Kiera Young and her younger sisters. When the families land in Mississippi, the Young sisters quickly discover that their original destination was merely a cover-up for their brother-in-law’s arrangement for them to serve out a cruel indentureship. Fortunately, Quinn saves them and removes them to Breeze Hill Plantation and the safety of Connor O’Shea’s extended family. While at Breeze Hill, the Young girls discover unknown opportunities for self-reliance and a future they did not expect. However, Quinn’s freedom from his family responsibilities may be threatened by his tendency to protect Kiera at every turn.
The Road to Magnolia Glen builds on Ms. Hillman’s cast of characters and fascinating settings first introduced in The Promise of Breeze Hill. This intriguing plot takes Christian fiction to new places and time periods, while feeling surprisingly familiar and approachable to readers.
Overall, I quite enjoyed reading The Road to Magnolia Glen. This novel greatly benefits from the context and setting of the series’ first book, as readers will feel quite comfortable in this otherwise unfamiliar setting and historical period. I also thought that the characters and plotline were more thoroughly developed, showcasing significant growth in Ms. Hillman’s writing. Quinn and Kiera serve as strong main characters that are capable of carrying the story, while presenting a natural structure for the introduction and continuation of other characters’ storylines, too. I am looking forward to seeing where Ms. Hillman takes her readers next, as this series is ripe for continuation and further development.
Fans of Ms. Hillman’s previous works, particularly The Promise of Breeze Hill, will likely enjoy reading The Road to Magnolia Glen. Additionally, readers who appreciate unique examples of historical Christian fiction will find this story to be well worth reading.
Special thanks to Tyndale House Publishers and NetGalley for the complimentary copy of The Road to Magnolia Glen! Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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