After the Shadows by Amanda Cabot Review

Posted by abakersp in Historical, Reviews / Spotlights / 0 Comments

I know I have a lot of favorite authors, because there are so many talented authors out there – but WOW. Amanda Cabot is certainly a favorite. Her stories always touch my heart, and I cannot turn the pages fast enough as I am reading. Then I get to the end and I’m sad to say goodbye to the characters. Thank goodness there is a book two in this series!

About the Book

After the Shadows by Amanda Cabot ReviewAfter the Shadows (Secrets of Sweetwater Crossing Book #1)
Author Amanda Cabot
Published by Baker Books
on March 21, 2023
Genres: Fiction / Christian / Historical, Fiction / Christian / Romance / General, Fiction / Christian / Romance / Historical
Pages: 352

A brighter future awaits--if she can escape the shadows of the past

Emily Leland sheds no tears when her abusive husband is killed in a bar fight, but what awaits her back home in Sweetwater Crossing is far from the welcome and comfort she expected. First she discovers her father has died under mysterious circumstances. Then the house where the new schoolteacher and his son are supposed to board burns, leaving them homeless. When Emily proposes turning the family home into a boardinghouse, her sister is so incensed that she leaves town.

Alone and broke, her family name sullied by controversy, Emily is determined to solve the mystery of her father's death--and to aid Craig Ferguson, despite her fears of men. The widowed schoolmaster proves to be a devoted father, an innovative teacher, and an unexpected ally. Together they must work to unmask a killer and escape the shadows of their own pasts in order to forge a brighter future.

Bestselling author Amanda Cabot transports you to 1880s Texas Hill Country for a brand-new series that will have you flipping pages to solve the mystery and get to the happily-ever-after you long for.

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My Perspective

After the Shadows is a moving historical novel full of history, mystery, secrets, second chances, and even a plot twist I didn’t totally see coming (only a little!). Cabot has crafted characters that seems to be stuck in their circumstances – Emily thinking she doesn’t deserve happiness and that all marriage is like the one she endured, and Craig who is having a hard time letting go of what happened to his wife. Here’s the thing – we all go through things in life. Things we don’t want the world to know about. But if you can find that one person to confide in (like Emily and Craig), it can totally change your life.

Cabot does bring some difficult issues up during the course of this book (mostly domestic violence), yet she doesn’t go into such detail that it causes you to put the book down. You get enough to get a glimpse of what Emily went through, which enhances her storyline and enables the reader to connect with her more. I thought it was done perfectly, and really acted as a reminder to me that it has been going on for years – many more then we imagine. And yet Emily provides such hope. Though she had put up this giant wall around her heart, throughout the story you see it start to lessen. You see her start to understand that not all people are like her husband was.

I enjoyed Craig’s character as well, and the realizations that he needed to come to. I can’t really talk about it because of spoilers, but the point was that we cannot blame ourselves for things that happen when they are truly outside of our control. Nor can we put up these “safe barriers” that we think will shield others from enduring the same pain. We have to keep on living and just take it day by day.

After the Shadows is full of life lessons, emotion, a sweet, slow budding romance, and so much more. Historical fans will not only enjoy the storyline, but they will appreciate all the history that Cabot has provided on the pages. I cannot wait for the next book to release so we can read Louisa’s story! Highly recommend.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Favorite Quotes

The masks some people wore could fool anyone. George’s certainly had.

“I was an ancient seven-year-old who thought he knew everything, including how to woo a girl.

I”You’re not responsible for other people’s behavior, and you shouldn’t blame yourself for it.”

Instead of worrying about that, each night Emily search for – and found – at least two good things that had happened that day and gave thanks for them.

One of the good things about dusting was that it gave her time to think. One of the bad things about dusting was that it gave her time to think.

About the Author

With both parents avid readers, it’s no surprise that Amanda Cabot learned to read at an early age. From there it was only a small step to deciding to become a writer. Of course, deciding and becoming are two different things, as she soon discovered. Fortunately for the world, her first attempts at fiction, which included a play for her fifth grade class entitled “All About Thermometers,” were not published, but she did meet her goal of selling a novel by her thirtieth birthday. Since then she’s sold more than forty novels. When she’s not writing, Amanda enjoys sewing, cooking and – of course – reading.

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