Fairer Than Morning, by Rosslyn Elliott, is an outstanding beginning for The Saddler’s Legacy series. The book begins with fifteen-year-old Ann Miller, certain she is destined to marry Eli, with whom she has much in common. Her father, Samuel Miller, feels she is too young and forbids the marriage, at which time Eli moves on to another young girl.
The story picks up three years later, when Ann and her family travel to Pittsburg on business. There she meets Will Hanby, a saddler’s apprentice. He is indentured to a cruel master, and Ann has a difficult time with the idea that she can do nothing to help him. The plot thickens with the discovery that Samuel Miller is assisting runaway slaves, as Ann’s life is endangered when she begins to investigate herself. As the Millers return home to Ohio, Will escapes his cruel master and heads to their home. Simultaneously, some former slaves are in danger and are also taken to the Miller’s home. Eli again pursues Ann. She must choose between marriage and the care of her younger sisters.
The remaining part of the story keeps one’s attention as Elliott keeps the plot twisting. It is a magnificent tale, based on the true story of Ann and Will Hanby of Ohio in the 1800s. I especially appreciated the attention to the many social problems of the period, such as indentured apprentices, slavery, the Underground Railroad, poor houses, and the vast differences between the social classes.
This was a superb book. I will look forward to reading its sequel next February.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.