Published from The December Issue of
The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
The Legacy of Deer Run
Elaine Marie Cooper
The Year is 1800.A young man makes weapons for the defense of America, still a fledgling nation. He also protects his heart from the allure of a young woman who seems so far above his station in life that he cannot win her.The lady fights her own war against loneliness and grief. Despite her finery and airs, she is drawn to the young armory worker, who is distant yet disarming.Love is the not the only entanglement. The nation’s enemies are afoot. They creep within the very walls where America’s defenses are being forged. Who are they? When will they strike? Who will survive their terrorism?Intrigue of the heart and intrigue of the times are only part of this compelling story—Book 3 of the Deer Run Saga. This series finale is a gripping mix of romance and deception, faith and forgiveness, transgression and trial.
Elaine Marie Cooper begins her story on a sad note. The Lowe family of Deer Run had just lost Anne, the wife of James Lowe during childbirth leaving a baby girl in his distraught and loving arms. James’s twin brother Daniel Lowe, Jr. the Protagonist in this third book of The Saga of Deer Run, has made a rushed arduous trip home from the weapons armory in Springfield, Massachusetts for the funeral. Daniel overhears ugly words of town gossip Mrs. Endicott proclaiming an old rumor that the Lowe family was under a curse because of Daniel Lowe, Sr having been an enemy soldier in the past bringing on tragic destiny for the Lowe family. Daniel began to question the idea that a loving relationship with a woman could bring a horrible destruction and end by victimizing any woman who fell in love with a male Lowe. After all, it had happened to Daniel’s first love Deborah four years ago; and now to James’s wife, Anne. Were they rejected by God’s love because they fell in love with a Lowe? If this were so, twenty-one year old Daniel glumly construed during his long cold journey back to Springfield, then vowed he would never marry. Daniel, on edge and miserable when he arrived back at the armory barracks, was soon greeted by the very one Daniel preferred not to see, Ezra Pritchard who coerced Danny into drowning his sorrows in ale at the tavern. Danny finally agreed, not conscious that trying to drink away his problems would only add to his sorrows.
While all of this was happening, we look in on the recently moved family from Boston to Springfield – the Dobbins. Nineteen year old Susannah Dobbins in her room crying and sobbing with outrage that she had left the only home she’d ever known. She blamed her father for moving them from Boston when she had lost her mother to death eight months before as well as all her friends and especially Elias Hopkins who had won her romantic heart, or so she thought at that time. She is telling God in a not so kind manner that it isn’t fair that He took her sweet mother away when her father, brother Stephen and she needed her mother so. Susannah hears the noise of revelers in the street below her window and looks down in distaste at seeing three drunk armory workers, one quite inebriated being held up by the other two men. Daniel, being the most drunk of the three happened to raise his head in time to catch the unbelievable sight of Susannah leaning out the window showing much more busty loveliness than intended. Daniel was in shock and awe as he gazed at the beautiful young woman, and Susannah was in shock and humiliation at realizing her chemise was pulled lower than it should have been. She drew back in repugnance and took to her bed vowing never to mingle in society with such a rogue. Although, she had noticed this young rogue was handsome with his dark hair and features, she preferred not to show notice of such.
Times were very difficult then during the 1800’s, with fear and fright always hanging above their heads. Jobs were not to be found in the smaller populated villages, which forced the young men to find work at the Armory in Springfield making weapons for the defense of America. Espionage happening in and about the armory and elsewhere caused suspicions and mistrust of anyone speaking a foreign language; as well as dishonest armory workers looking for a fast dollar in spying for the enemy. Daniel Lowe, Jr , is a valued worker there, as his honesty and good character were respected and noted by his superiors. Susannah Dobbins. a beautiful young woman fighting her own battles with loneliness and the lack of a promised love for life. She first comes across as selfish and self-centered, and let’s add snobbish to that description. Both Daniel and Susannah are products of loving families, however the level of richness in the monetary sense was a wide spectrum.
The next chapters of Elaine Marie Cooper’s story brings about the actual meeting of Susannah and Daniel. The morning after the three armory workers went out on the town and Daniel and Susannah saw each other, other dramatic events happened to keep my attention glued to this story. In fact, not once in the entire story did my interest wane. I disliked putting Ms. Cooper’s book down to catch a few winks at night.
At this point the characters we have met so far have been invited to a church raising. Excuse my quick track back to the ferry boat trip across the river that morning, where Daniel and Susannah were both passengers; and of course looked upon each other in recognition each noticing alluring qualities of the other, like Daniel’s green eyes and Susannah’s lovely mane of light brown hair. During the ferry trip, a gusty wind blew Daniel’s hat into the water, which is a very unique tie-in to a future meeting of the young couple. I’m not giving away any spoilers, you’ll need to read this wonderful story yourself. Once at the church raising, little did they realize that they would be formally introduced by a churchwoman who sat them at the same table to be served. Hence we are hooked and settled for a great read.
The weaving and joining the romance between Daniel and Susannah is thoughtfully and delightfully written. Times of illnesses and the families coming together to aid and show concern caused me to wish that we had today that same type of care and concern for others with many of today’s citizens. From my reading of this era, things seemed simpler in some ways…but overshadowed with learning to cope with each situation during the hard circumstances of distance and dangers of travel. Even twenty miles on horseback or carriage over rough dirt roads must have been exhausting and rigorous at least.
Elaine Marie Cooper has my utmost respect and admiration at the deep genealogical and history research she mastered to write this fine book. Her love and enticement of writing comes through every page. She has definitely written an historical romance of the deepest kind. Family love and loyalty, deepening romantic love, supporting love for troubled souls, love for friends and learned love for self brings the drama alive. There are unpredictable problems of the family members and family love and support sustains each travesty. Watching the true changes in the main characters through their faith in God and each other is heart rendering. My own tears streamed watching Susannah’s metamorphosis into a caring and selfless young woman. Daniel and Susannah’s romance, and the need of forgiveness and reconciliation of Daniel Lowe, Sr to his own mistakes where his daughter Polly and Jonathan were are brought about through the excellent writing of Elaine’s talented skills.
Even though love prevails throughout this story – many lessons are learned through bad choices, prejudices, deception, to God’s redemptive love reaching down from his heavenly abode to touch and turn situations for good. There are family deaths and births in the same day that is supernaturally defined by our Lord’s blessings in only the way he can rain grace overall. Because so much of her story was based on actual fact endeared the book to me.
This reviewer is deeply touched having read Elaine Marie Cooper’s intelligent, sensitive and realistic writing of The Legacy of Deer Run. It put me in a time and place I was fascinated to be a part of and wishing for more. My personal involvement with the Lowe and Dobbins families were very real to me even though I haven’t as yet read books I and II of this series – I plan to do that forthwith and offer a subtle hint to Ms Cooper that I wish a fourth novel to be in the works. Wouldn’t it be fun to watch the Lowe families spread across the space between Deer Run and Springfield with generations growing into the 1900’s?
My rating on this novel is a very high five for the superior story line, deep research and the working of actual facts into the story for an excellent and compelling historical romance novel far above the norm. I am honored for Elaine Marie Cooper’s request for this review. Thank you and I am blessed.
Meet our SR Reviewer ~ Barb Shelton!
Barb is married to Jack Shelton, a retired military officer and lives in Arlington, Texas. Having been married for thirty seven years, Barb and Jack share eight children between them, (His, Mine, Ours); 19 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Barb was born and raised in Enterprise, Kansas. She is musically inclined and is a retired church music director. A former Weight Watcher lecturer, she has had many interesting and unusual jobs, including working for a private detective, defense attorney, office manager for a video production company and administrative assistant to two different pastors. She is involved in volunteer and church activities, and describes herself as creative, friendly and can talk with anyone.“I am a Christian and love to spread God’s love and enjoy making others smile and lift up their day.”She wishes to write a book one day. “I’ve been through several soap operas in my lifetime and lived to tell about them.”Barb is the writer of two blogs, Passing it Forward and Blessed by Grace, both of which she invites you to drop by to visit one day.
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