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Deborah Heal, the author of the Time and Again "history mystery" series, was born not far from the setting of her book Every Hill and Mountain and grew up “just down the road” from the setting of Time and Again and Unclaimed Legacy. Today she lives with her husband in Monroe County, Illinois, where she enjoys reading, gardening, and learning about regional history. She has three grown children, three grandchildren (and another on the way), and two canine buddies Digger and Scout (a.k.a. Dr. Bob). She loves to interact with her readers, who may learn more about the history behind the books at her website and Facebook author page.
on Oct. 12, 2013 :
Deborah Heal definitely lived up to my high expectations in Unclaimed Legacy, the second addition to the Time and Again trilogy.
Despite having a to-read list that would reach the sky, I couldn’t wait to reconnect with Abby and Merri, and read about their next foray into history. And all my wishes were fulfilled as Abby and Merri explored the past, tended the delightful Old Dears from next door and solved a 19th century murder mystery. Of course, Unclaimed Legacy isn’t just about history. Abby and Merri have some challenging issues to deal with in the present as well. Merri has ongoing struggles in her relationships with her parents, and Abby has John, her “wish he was more than a friend” friend. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but her developing friendship with John was one of the cutest romances I’ve ever read, anywhere!
One aspect of Unclaimed Legacy that surprised me was the discussion of issues such as domestic violence and adultery. And I have to say I’m rather impressed by the sensitive way the author has accomplished this. It’s a hard task to honestly examine these issues, without becoming graphic, depressing or crude. But Deborah Heal exemplifies how to candidly explore these issues with sensitivity, tact and realism.
One area that particularly struck me in her depiction of domestic violence was how the abuser twisted the Bible to defend his abuse. This doesn’t mean that this character was a Bible believing Christian; in fact I think it suggests quite the opposite. But I have personally seen this sort of behaviour many times, and I found it very enlightening to read about it in black and white and see just how evil this behaviour really is and how deluded the perpetrator can be. It explained to me one way in which abuse can continue to be perpetrated and justified, and how it can develop to a point of truly drastic consequences.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Unclaimed Legacy and I’d recommend it to readers looking for fun speculative historical fiction.
I received a free copy of Unclaimed Legacy from the author for the purpose of review. I was not asked to give a positive review and my thoughts and observations on this novel are entirely my own.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)