Compromise With Sin

A Novel

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
414 Pages
Reviewed on 10/25/2016
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Author Biography

I stumbled into writing this historical novel when life handed me something I couldn't resist, and from that this novel and my novel-writing career were launched. It began when I was serving on the board of the Nebraska chapter of the National Society To Prevent Blindness, I was intrigued to learn that the organization was founded in 1908 to promote passage of legislation to prevent the blinding condition known as ‘babies’ sore eyes.’ That term grabbed me. I had to know more, and what I learned early in my research set my imagination reeling. What would happen to a respected woman who dared to champion this controversial movement to end this scourge? And if I hadn't been hooked before, discovering that Helen Keller played an important role clinched it.

I wrote the novel for two different readers. One will say it's a story about Louise Morrissey, a Victorian-era woman who seeks redemption after her "compromise with sin" has tragic consequences. The other reader will say it's the fictionalized account of how Helen Keller, Louise, and others violated social taboos to bring about of one of the greatest public health triumphs of the 20th century, one that continues to impact our lives today.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers' Favorite

Leanna Englert’s historical fictional work, Compromise with Sin: A Novel, is both informational and engaging from the first page to the last. Beginning with the last decade of the nineteenth century through the next twenty years, and set in Riverbend, Nebraska, the characters embody the values and beliefs of the time period. Louise Morrissey and her husband, Frank, own the Riverbend Inn, but Frank makes all the decisions regarding the business, finances and their marriage. Louise, however, is committed to providing cultural opportunities in this small Midwestern town by establishing a town library and bringing the annual Chautauqua Festival to its citizens. Louise is also committed to becoming a proper lady, although her childhood was defined by poverty and abuse. The birth of her baby girl, who soon became blind, led Louise down an uncharted path, complete with many challenges, both in her personal life and in statewide and national political efforts.

The quality of writing in this novel is outstanding; much historical information is conveyed within the context of a fascinating story. Author Leanna Englert captures the morals of the turn of the century in Compromise with Sin. Her characters are well-developed and interesting. Ms. Englert illustrates several prejudices of the era - one character is a “half-breed”; sexist attitudes towards women; biased religious views; discrimination against those living in poverty; conservative social values. Even with these intertwining themes, the storyline flows, and the reader anticipates what will happen next. This book is truly a page-turner.