Two sisters, two different ways of life. Conflict rules.

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I love finding a new author who writes beautifully and tells a good story. Karen Elizabeth Hann wrote Glory in the Flower as her debut novel, and the book shines. Hann’s first book in the Sonatas of Grace series makes me wish the rest of the books were available now. I also wonder why a publisher hasn’t picked her up.

Kate and Ollie, a young married couple, seem to have a perfect life. Katherine Fairchild Shanahan plays piano and organ and Ollie (John Oliver Shanahan) works on his thesis with an eye to going into missionary work. They live in married student housing on the campus of Ashton Christian College. Kate’s great-great-grandfather. Nathaniel Ashton Brownley, heir to the vast Brownley railroad fortune, founded the school. The third generation to head the college, Saul Garrison Brownley, dominates the family.

Glory in the Flower alternates between Kate and Ollie’s life and that of Mia, the black sheep of the family. Mia, a talented violinist, works in the music industry in Nashville. Kate and Ollie are strong Christians, and Mia lives the antithesis of a Christian life. Their grandfather, the Reverend, which everyone calls him, controls not only the college but also the lives of his children and grandchildren.

The book deals with the conflicts in the family as well as the ordeals each of the granddaughters faces. Family dynamics fascinate as do the characters’ reactions to the situations. Although the novel cover dark topics, I had to keep reading as I quickly came to care for Kate and Mia. Just when you think you’ve the next step figured out, Hann throws a curve at the players. This sincere but dysfunctional family captivated me. Five stars.

To paraphrase her bio, Karen Elizabeth Hann, a freelance writer and editor from Alberta, Canada, spends most of her time slaving away for her feline overlord. He directs her every move, demanding she write more and more so he can have the very best quality kibble. Karen earned her BA at the University of Lethbridge and her MA at the University of New Brunswick. Hann has previously published poetry and essays. Glory in the Flower launches as her first novel. She can be reached at hann.karen.elizabeth@gmail.com.”

Ms. Hann gave me a PDF copy of Glory in the Flower, but I was in no way obligated to write a review.


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