I couldn't wait for Sarah Eden's new book, Ashes on the Moor, to come out. I am a huge fan of hers and I can't think of a book she's written that I didn't like. This one was no exception!
In Ashes on the Moor, we meet Evangeline Blake who has just lost her family. With only her sister left, she clings to her as they face an uncertain future with an aunt and uncle. But a cruel twist of fate separates them and throws Evangeline into circumstances that she's unprepared for. Forced to be the town's new schoolteacher and live in a humble home in need of a lot of care, Evangeline is lost and overwhelmed. The only person who shows her a bit of kindness is an Irishman named Dermot McCormick. He's also trying to figure out his place in the world since his heritage is looked down upon no matter what he does. But as Dermot and Evangeline build a friendship, stronger feelings flare and they must decide if love is worth fighting for.
I loved this book. It's not a light romance, but a look back in time when a woman had few choices and your birth and heritage could prevent you from having life's basic necessities. Ms. Eden has obviously done an incredible amount of research as the town of Smeatley with its Yorkshire residents comes to life, fairly jumping off the page. So many language, dress, and food details add to the amazing setting, giving the characters even more depth. Our heroine, Evangeline, will draw on all a reader's emotions as she deals with so many losses and has to keep picking herself up over and over. I wanted her to not only get her happily-ever-after, but to stand up and make a few people accountable for what they'd done! Dermot is also a character that will stay with you after the book is finished. He's suffered and risen above it, and all the while built a foundation of love and care for others, instead of bitterness as to his lot in life. He was the perfect match for Evangeline and their romance was a sweet, slow burn, that will give you all the feels. Definitely another one for my keeper shelf!
I think the best thing about Sarah Eden's books is that they aren't just stories, they are an experience. She pulls you into another time and place and takes you on an adventure that you won't soon forget!
You can download your copy here
Here's the back copy:
The life of an impoverished schoolteacher is not one Evangeline Blake would have chosen for herself. Torn from her home and her beloved sister and sent to work in the gritty factory town of Smeatley, Evangeline must prove herself to her grandfather, a man who values self-reliance above all else, before he will grant her access to her inheritance. Raised to be a lady of refinement, she hasn't any of the skills necessary to manage on her own nor does she have the first idea how to be a teacher. But failure means never being with her sister again.
Alone and overwhelmed, she turns to the one person in town who seems to know how she feels—Dermot McCormick, an Irish brick mason who is as far from home and as out of place as she is. Despite the difference in their classes and backgrounds, Evangeline and Dermot's tentative friendship deepens and grows. Her determination and compassion slowly earn her the faith and confidence of the skeptical residents of Smeatley, who become like the family she has lost.
But when a secret from her past comes to light, Evangeline faces an impossible choice: seize the opportunity to reclaim her former life and rejoin her sister or fight for the new life she has struggled to build for herself—a life that includes Dermot.
Ashes on the Moor is the inspiring love story of one Victorian woman's courage to fight against all odds, and the man whose quiet strength gives her the confidence to keep trying.