In the second Cousins of the Dove novel, a time-split between modern-day Virginia and the colonial era, Maddie Talbot agrees to take on her sister's care after a drug-induced car accident. She knows the job won't be easy, not with a recovering addict in her tiny apartment, but investigating a mystery from their childhood and reading some letters written by an ancestor give both her and her sister a focus and encouragement. In the letters, Celeste Talbot runs away after her fiance, a British soldier, to the New World where she hopes to be made his wife. Instead, she discovers her ill sister on the same boat, and another man--NOT her fiance--buys her indenture. Who can she trust to help her protect her sister? Her fiance? Or the kind carpenter who sailed beside them?
I would highly recommend reading the first book in the series before this one; though the historical tale is basically stand-alone, the modern mystery storyline is developed across the series, and each book builds on the previous. Granted, even the historical tales are based on the same family line, so it's nice to follow the generations.
The two stories tie well together, but they aren't the same story set in two different time periods. Though there are echoes of Celeste's story in the modern Maddie's tale--namely, an elder sister watching out for her younger, less disciplined sister, and a few similarities in the romance department--they both were intriguing in their own way. I enjoyed the focus on indentured servitude in the colonial side, though Celeste could be frustratingly impulsive in her choices.
I really like the modern story that is being continued through the books--from the childhood discovery of a murder to it's successful solving? Okay, we're not that far yet. Hopefully, that will be the case, though. It's interesting to see the bond between the four cousins, the manifestations of the trauma each of them endured at a young age, and the slow process of healing. I liked how Maddie was already working on toning down her perfectionism at the start of the book, and the progress she makes throughout. I thought the authors did a good job with her relationship with Nicole and aiding her in overcoming addiction. Even knowing exactly what needs to be done, watching her sister's evasions of the truth, wanting to be easier on her, and maintaining a good relationship are all still really (and realistically) hard on Maddie.
Thank you Harvest House and NetGalley for providing an e-book for review; I was not required to make the review positive, and all opinions are my own.
Cousins of the Dove:
1. My Brother's Crown
2. My Sister's Prayer