23 July 2014

Love Stays True by Martha Rogers

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Can Sallie and Manfred overcome the distance that the war has put between them and find love?

In April 1865, the day following the surrender at Appomattox, Manfred McDaniel Whiteman and his brother, Edwin, are released in an exchange of prisoners. They are given a few provisions, and they begin a long journey to their home in Bayou Sara, Louisiana.

At home Sallie Dyer is waiting word of her beloved Manfred. Though just a young girl when Manfred left, Sallie has grown into a caring young woman who is determined to wait for her love – despite her father’s worries that she is wasting her life on someone who may never come home.

On their journey Manfred and his brother encounter storms and thieves and are even thrown in jail. Will he make the journey home before someone else claims Sallie’s hand?

Within the pages of Love Stays True, Martha Rogers tells a sweet, historical love story: the Civil War separates childhood sweethearts, Sallie and Manfred, for several years, but with the fighting coming to an end, they soon discover whether their love endured through the complications and obstacles of war. With surprisingly very little action, thoughts and emotions almost entirely keep the plot moving, as Sallie and Manfred wait and hope for the chance to be together. The novel’s pace is slow and leisurely, without much urgency.

Throughout the novel, I found it easy to like and root for these main characters – although I must say they do lack depth. Manfred, a soldier released from a war prison, seems entirely unaffected by the horrors he saw in war and easily relies on his faith in God to keep him safe. While both admirable and honorable, the simplicity of his conflict-free thought processes make him appear a bit one-dimensional. Sallie, on the other hand, easily doubts her faith in God (and Manfred’s love) after one night requires her to do a harsh, burdensome act to protect her family. I understand why the event is traumatic for her, but the way her same thoughts seem to repeat without any change until the very end make her, too, one-dimensional.

Still, Love Stays True is a perfectly enjoyable read. It is nice and simple with a clean, heartwarming romance, so I recommend it to readers looking for just that. Thanks to Booketeria, I received a copy of Love Stays True and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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