All Things New, by Lynn Austin.
In the immediate aftermath of the U.S. Civil War, Josephine Weatherly and her family try to find a way to resume their lives and recover their former status and lifestyle, only to find that everything is different now. This book deals with differences in race and state of origin (north versus south), and even more with losing and finding faith and learning how to forgive and to set aside old biases.
I loved this book, and found it almost impossible to put down once I started it. I loved the realism of the enormous changes that the Weatherly's and their neighbors and friends had to come to terms with. I have only two criticisms. First, at times the book became a bit preachy, which I disliked, and I think this distracted a bit from the strength of the story. More importantly, I felt like everything resolved a little bit too easily in the last pages of the story. The characters' feelings were too strong, I feel, to have simply resolved into a happily ever after scenario with a blink of an eye, particularly as there was no particular catalyst event to cause the change. It would have been more realistic to see their attitudes gradually changing over the course of the book. Nonetheless, this was a fantastic read, and I highly recommend it. 4 out of 5.
I received an advanced review copy of this book from the publisher. This did not affect my review in any way.