CFBA Presents …All Things New By: Lynn Austin

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

All Things New

Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2012)


Lynn Austin


For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband’s work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she’d earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published twelve novels. Five of her historical novels, Hidden Places, Candle in the Darkness, Fire by Night, A Proper Pursuit, and Until We Reach Home have won Christy Awards in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2009 for excellence in Christian Fiction. Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005. Lynn’s novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.


In the aftermath of the Civil War, Josephine Weatherly and her mother, Eugenia, struggle to pick up the pieces of their lives when they return to their Virginia plantation. But the bitter realities of life after the war cannot be denied: their home and land are but shells of their previous grandeur; death has claimed her father and brother; and her remaining brother, Daniel, has returned home bitter and broken. The privileged childhood Josephine enjoyed now seems like a long-ago dream. And the God who failed to answer any of her prayers during the war is lost to her as well.

Josephine soon realizes that life is now a matter of daily survival–and recognizes that Lizzie, as one of the few remaining servants, is the one she must rely on to teach her all she needs to know. Josephine’s mother, too, vows to rebuild White Oak…but a bitter hatred fuels her.

With skill and emotion, Lynn Austin brings to life the difficult years of the Reconstruction era by interweaving the stories of three women–daughter, mother, and freed slave–in a riveting tale.

If you would like to read the first chapter of All Things New, go HERE.



The setting of this book takes place at the end of the war, going into the lives of a rich Southern Virginia family having to deal with the fact that there are no more slaves. Some of them stayed, but most flew the coop. Josephine, her mom and sister moves back to their Virginia plantation after the war ends. Josephine’s mother and brother had a rough time realizing the ex-slaves that stay one to work for them were servants, not slaves. As the story unfolds, Josephine’s brother Daniel tries to take the situation in his own hands, and things got a little nasty there at one time.

It took me a while getting into this book, it was just slow going and boring until over half way through for me. Maybe that’s the way it was back then though. What kept me reading was, I wanted to find out what would happen to the once slaves that were now free. Parts of this book are very sad and depressing, and it is difficult to read. But overall, I am glad I finished reading it because it has a wonderful ending. Lynn Austin does a wonderful job of pulling all of the issues and situations together for the end. I do feel however that there was enough left for the imagination that a book two would be an interesting book. I would love to read what happened to Josephine and her northern friend, and the Weatherly family, an well as the slaves set free. And that’s all I will say about that, cause I would give away too much!

This book was provided by Bethany House through Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. I was not required or expected to give a positive review. The opinions in this review are mine only.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sandra McLeod Humphrey
    Oct 13, 2012 @ 20:51:36

    What an impressive bio–five Christy awards, twelve novels, and a Hallmark film! I’m definitely going to have to check out Lynn’s books!


  2. splashesofjoy
    Oct 15, 2012 @ 17:49:27

    Thank you for your comment here, and all of your comments Sandra. I hope you come back and read my review of this book!


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