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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

When Harriet Beecher marries Calvin Stowe on January 6, 1836, she is sure her future will be filled romance, eventually a family, and continued opportunities to develop as a writer. Her husband Calvin is completely supportive and said she must be a literary woman. Harriet’s sister, Catharine, worries she will lose her identity in marriage, but she is determined to preserve her independent spirit. …

Overall Book Review:

All That Makes Life Bright: The Life and Love of Harriet Beecher Stowe is a thought-provoking and well-written read. Shadow Mountain’s beloved author Josi S. Kilpack delivers another powerful historical romance to the Proper Romance series. Kilpack meticulously researched the early months of marriage between the Uncle Tom’s Cabin author and her husband, Calvin. As Harriet attempts to establish some kind of home and work balance, her struggles will deeply resonate with readers. In fact, the narrative is astonishingly relevant for this day, despite taking place almost two hundred years ago in 1836. The varied emotions and character development of the couple is profound and make this a book one that is hard to put down. All That Makes Life Bright features Christian themes and is highly recommended!

Review of an Advance Reading Copy provided by the Publisher

Content Analysis:


Violence/Gore:  A few secondhand scenes of violence including a slave suicide, fist fight, and mob; a character imagines a scene where a slave is brutally whipped. 

Sex/Nudity:  Multiple incidents of kissing; a sexual reference and several implied occurrences of sexual activity regarding pregnancy and family planning. 

Mature Subject Matter:

Death of family members, slavery, second marriages, childbirth, exhaustion.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

A character drinks whiskey as migraine relief.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My mother was the one who sparked my love of books. Long before school instruction, she sat me down and taught me to read. My childhood was filled with trips to the library and bookmobile to find great books. My first loves were The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lingren. Now as a mom and speech pathologist, I am constantly looking for good, clean books to use at home and in therapy. I enjoy reading many different genres, but my favorites are usually historical fiction. I married my best friend, the “boy next door”, and we have a beautiful little girl who we often find sprawled out on the floor, flipping through picture books. Together our family likes to swim, run and play tennis. Besides reading, I also love to bake, garden and travel.