In the days of ancient Israel, Hannah is a woman oppressed. Her once-hopeful marriage is a nightmare, her husband Levi is violently abusive. Hannah believes it is because she is barren, and if she could only give him a child, all would be well. But no child comes, and she does not know how long she can possibly endure. She prays for release and after six long years of Levi's cruelty, he suddenly drowns. Hannah is finally free, free to heal her body and spirit.
For 18 years, Gilead has been under relentless attack from neighboring Ammon. Javan, a tall, handsome Israelite warrior, has lost everything during the Ammonite attacks. The sole survivor of his family, possessor of nothing but burned land, he joined with Jepthah's army to bring vengeance, decimating 20 cities along the Israelite/Ammonite border. During the mopping-up after the last victorious battle, Javan finds Taleh hiding in the remnants of her house.
"Old Testament War between Israelites and Ammonites"
Verbena Barnes and Damon may have lived in the same village, but the lines between their two families are harshly enforced. The Therns own most of the village, while Mr. Barnes is merely a sailor. Once, six years before, Damon's older brother Andrew had dared to marry across those lines - to Verbena's older sister Edeline. The Barnes have since fallen upon hard times. Then Andrew dies, leaving Edeline in a world that no longer has any use for her. Without her husband, she has no one to guarantee her the status she once had.
"Historical melodrama with heft and romance"