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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Eve's Daughters by Lynn Austin

Emma Bauer has held a secret about her past for some time now, not telling her daughter or granddaughter, who are quite close to her. But now that her granddaughter's marriage is in jeopardy, Emma feels that she must do something. Beginning with her mother's story of how she unwillingly came to America from Germany in order to escape the war, and continuing to her daughter's story and finally her own, Emma reveals to Suzanne what it really means to be in love and what a privilege it is. She only hopes that her secret does not further destroy her Suzanne's marriage, not to mention to the lives of her other family members.
If you couldn't tell already, Eve's Daughters is another one of Lynn Austin's patented historical epic tales with a nonsensical title. Some authors are very good at writing one brand of fiction, or one type of plot, and Lynn Austin is one of those. The key to success for these types of authors is finding a good plot to repeat over and over again, not mention always doing something a little different. Lynn has proved that she can do these things, yet ends are not her strong points, often costing her five star novels.
Emma, Suzanne, and all the rest of the characters are all developed well, as usual for Lynn Austin. There are no villains in any of the stories save for the wrong choices of the characters. I always enjoy plots where the main characters are the villains themselves because this proves that all plots do not have to be the same.
Lynn Austin systematically tells the stories of four different women, each from a different generation of the same family, with some present scenes sprinkled in. Lynn has mastered this type of plot so that it seems second nature to her. Each story is realistic and unique; the same thing does not happen every time. However, in this variety, Lynn could not abstain from fixing some imperfect elements in these stories. This is perhaps Lynn's biggest problem. There is nothing wrong in general with writing a story that works out somewhat; the problem occurs when an element is fixed in an unrealistic fashion. This is the most popular issue in Christian fiction today. Lynn did not prove herself to be above this in Eve's Daughters.
However, this is only a minor issue and should not be given much attention, for Eve's Daughters is a masterfully written epic with a good foundational idea. Lynn Austin is the best historical fiction author on the market.
4.5 stars

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