If you enjoy the Gone with the Wind era in literature, try All Things New by Lynn Austin. Set in the reconstruction era after the Civil War, this historical fiction narrative will give more vivid pictures of what a struggle life was for the wealthy and their slaves. Josephine Weatherly must find a way to reconstruct her live as the daughter of a plantation owner. She adapts to the harsh new life easier than her mother as she begins learning how to garden and sew from her former slave, Lizzie. Josephine’s mother, Eugenia is determined to try and live their former wealthy lifestyle and is disturbed by her daughter’s willingness to work when she needs to find a worthy husband. Josephine meets a Yankee with the Freedman’s Bureau who is there to help rebuild Virginia and help the slaves begin a new life. He encourages her to rediscover God’s place in her life as she questions all the suffering the South and her family has been through. The plight of the freed slaves is woven into the story with the God-fearing couple of Otis and Lizzie who stay to work at the big house. They are torn between joining their friends, former slaves who live in the woods and are preparing to move west toward opportunity, or staying to work as sharecroppers and helpers where they know the land and people. Former Rebel soldiers, the plantation owner’s sons face running huge plantations with no help or paying former slaves to work thier land. They are afraid of retribution by their former slaves and some hold night raids to run the slaves out of the land. This picture of life during a difficult time in our country’s history is bittersweet. I listened to this book on my Android phone after checking it out from the State Library of Kansas’ OneClick Digital audiobooks link.