I’m perpetually desperate for a good read and ridiculously horrible at finding new books. My typical system? Filter through Amazon.com’s free Kindle offerings, choose the prettiest covers, download to my tablet, read as little or as much as my attention span will allow, ultimately devouring (up to) a book an evening.
My pickiness in five steps: I want clean entertainment, a biblical perspective, an engaging and entertaining storyline without a predictable plot, some thought-provoking dialogue, and at least a little romance somewhere in the mix. (I’m a love-loving girl, after all!)
Rachelle Rea’s Steadfast Love series is basically my ideal series, consisting of three of my favorite books. The Sound of Diamonds and The Sound of Silver and The Sound of Emeralds make up the perfect trifecta of reading entertainment. Especially because I married into a Dutch family and love the Dutch-British historical context and conversations. (And trying to build my Dutch vocabulary means I love learning some phrases while reading the bilingual conversations!)
Dirk and Gwyn lead surprisingly adventurous lives (the year 1566 doesn’t mean needlework and tea parties for Gwyn, despite her privileged upbringing) and Rachelle Rea showcases the tension between the privilege and the adventure by telling the story in first-person from both of the main characters. Although a little confusing at first to track with the multiple perspectives, once I learned the flow I fell in love with hearing the story from both Gwyn and Dirk.
Knowing my delight in the Steadfast Love series, imagine my excitement when Rachelle announced the brand new Follow the Dawn, which features some of the same characters as the Steadfast Love series! While Anna Emory’s story is uniquely her own (and is a story that would, in my opinion, stand alone if you wish it to), her quiet personality and remarkable adventures are interwoven with the lives of Dirk and Gwyn and Margried and Cade just a few years after the conclusion of The Sound of Emeralds. I loved being back in the world of nobility and history. I devoured this gentle adventure all too quickly (I loved it that much!) and now have plans to head back and re-read the whole series from the beginning–as well as the accompanying short story, Letters Home.
If clean entertainment, Biblical perspective, non-predictable storyline, and thought-provoking dialogue wasn’t enough to keep me engaged with the Steadfast Love series, you know what else does? Knowing the author! Rachelle Rea Cobb has been a member of the Kindred Grace writing team for seven years and The Sound of Diamonds marked her debut into the world of published authorhood–she’s living as the heroine of her own story and is making her way in the world of publishers and editors and deadlines. I would celebrate her success no matter what the book, but I rejoice in her gifting as a writer because I love her work.
Photography: JenniMarie Photography
(originally published in 2016; edited from the archives)