Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Review: Rebecca Brandewyne’s THE OUTLAW HEARTS – Post Civil War Story of Love’s Power to Heal
Set in Missouri in the years following the Civil War, beginning in 1870, this is the story of two people wounded in both spirit and body. Jenny Leigh Colter was a plain girl in a family of handsome men and beautiful women. It was a family she loved. But a brutal Yankee colonel took her sisters from her and the war took her brothers. Without funds and only her two former servants for companions, she answers an ad for a schoolteacher needed in the Ozarks.
On the way to her new position, the Morgan gang, former Confederate heroes who now make their as outlaws, robs Jenny’s train. However, one of them, Luke Morgan, returns all the money they took from those who served the South. Luke notices Jenny right away and her plainness does not repel him having been married to an unfaithful beauty, but he knows she has seen his face and can report him to the authorities. When he discovers she is the new teacher in town, he considers marrying her to prevent her testifying against him.
These two wounded souls help each other. It’s an endearing romance and a story of healing and hope. Luke is a worthy hero and Jenny a compelling heroine, a true survivor. She includes some great secondary characters, too. Brandewyne often tells the story from the perspective of the narrator. Be aware, the flashbacks to what happened in the war are vivid and brutal.