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Reviewed by Brenda Casto for Readers' Favorite
Year of Jubilee by Peggy Trotter is a story that grabbed me from the beginning pages and wouldn't let go! We first meet Jubilee Stallings on her eighteenth birthday, and it isn't a happy celebration at all. Instead I found my heart aching for this young girl who finds herself in an abusive marriage, one that she was forced into. Her only solace was that her husband Colvin left her alone for long stretches of time on their isolated farm in Indiana. When a stranger shows up, a stranger who turns out to be her husband's cousin, Rafe Tanner, claiming her husband was dead and that he was the new owner of the farm, Jubilee fears what will happen to her. When Rafe comes up with an idea that will allow them to both stay on the farm, Jubilee fears that Rafe will be just like her deceased husband. What will Jubilee do? Will she ever have a home and family that she has always longed for?
Year of Jubilee is one of my favorite historical reads this year! I found myself drawn to Jubilee; life had been difficult to say the least, growing up in an orphanage and then winding up with a horrible, abusive husband - it was no wonder she was fearful. Peggy Trotter deals with a few tough issues, such as abuse and the emotional scars that it leaves behind. She handles them in such a realistic, yet caring way that I could feel the emotions that Jubilee felt. My heart broke for her on more than one occasion, but it also soared for her as she found her inner strength. The slow blossoming relationship that grew between Rafe and Jubilee was bittersweet to watch, because Jubilee had such a long way to go, but the patience that Rafe exhibited was heart melting perfection.
Several secondary characters allowed the plot to move along at a brisk pace, holding my interest from beginning to end. Ms. Trotter certainly knew how to bring the various settings to life, from the squalor that we first see on the farm, to jostling over dusty trails in a stagecoach, to a romantic picnic by the Ohio River, each setting providing a richness to the story which allowed me to visualize Jubilee's reactions to all that she saw. Whether you're a fan of historical romance, or love a good inspirational story where the characters will certainly touch your heart, Year of Jubilee is a book you shouldn't miss.