Shiloh – Lori Benton

Shiloh by Lori Benton
Also by this author: Mountain Laurel
Series: Kindred #2
Published by Tyndale on October 5, 2021
Genres: Fiction, Christian
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Award-winning author Lori Benton delivers a rich historical novel of faith, hope, and second chances.
December 1795A year has passed since Ian Cameron reluctantly sent his uncle's former slave Seona and their son, Gabriel, north to his kin in Boston. Determined to fully release them, Ian strives to make a life at Mountain Laurel, his inherited plantation, along with Judith, the wife he's vowed to love and cherish. But when tragedy leaves him alone with his daughter, Mandy, and his three remaining slaves, he decides to return north. An act of kindness on the journey provides Ian the chance to obtain land near the frontier settlement of Shiloh, New York. Perhaps even the hope for a new life with those he still holds dear.
In Boston, Seona has taken her first tentative steps as a free woman, while trying to banish Ian from her heart. The Cameron family thinks she and Gabriel should remain under their protection. Seona's mother, Lily, thinks it's time they strike out on their own. Then Ian arrives, offering a second chance Seona hadn't dared imagine. But the wide-open frontier of Shiloh feels as boundless and terrifying as her newfound freedom--a place of new friends and new enemies, where deep bonds are renewed but old hurts stand ready to rear their heads. It will take every ounce of faith and courage Ian and Seona can muster to fight for their family and their future . . . together.

This is a tremendous story. It is one of those books that is difficult to know where to start to write an adequate review. I loved Shiloh. It’s a satisfying continuation in this captivating series by Lori Benton. The beloved characters are back. The storyline follows both Ian and Seona, and the choices they must make regarding their lives. If you haven’t yet, you will definitely want to read Mountain Laurel first. (Shiloh also ties in to another, earlier novel, which I’ve heard would be helpful to read, but I still haven’t read it, and I liked this story just fine.)

I’m a little bit unsure what to say, I don’t want to give any spoilers. This is all about Ian and Seona…their story. Ian’s wife died, and now they are both free to love each other. But…there is so much they  have to work through first. Seona is just learning what it is like to live as a free woman. She’s moved to a new community to be near Ian. And they must discover if their love is strong enough to endure. This story gives a realistic look at what life must have been like back in those days. Both for white people and Black people, free people, and slaves. It is so important to read about these events so that we can have a better understanding of what people went through.

There is also a bit of a mystery in this book. Someone is out to sabotage anything and everything. The question is who? and why?! This story line added to the plot, and made it more intriguing. In summary, I found this story to be well written,  carefully thought-out, with deep, realistic characters. And the cherry on top – a charming, detailed setting. All around, this is an amazing story.