My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Source: Received eBook from author to review
Genre: Historical Christain Fiction/Romance
Book Description: To Laugh Once More is a Victorian Inspirational Romance set in Florida and Georgia in 1895. The War may be over, but the battles still rage. A dissatisfied wife. A misunderstood husband. Three tragedies will alter their path forever. Will their choices tear them apart, or will they allow them To Laugh Once More? Three years after her marriage to Hamilton, former debutante Lydia Barrington Scarbrough is dissatisfied with life. She has yet to have children, and she spends most of her days sitting in a circle of women chatting about homemaking. She thought life would be more than what it's turned out to be. Hamilton travels on business and never takes her with him. What's a lonely wife to do when she has no children to raise? She longs for adventure and romance, and really, she longs for the fulfillment of her purpose in life. A purpose beyond being a wife and raising children. Lydia faces a series of hardships that stretch her faith beyond capacity. Leaving her childhood home in Florida for Georgia proves to be more difficult than she ever imagined, and her marriage may not survive the trials. Lydia's own personal battles drive a wedge between them. What will it take to make Hamilton attempt to save their marriage and draw Lydia back to him? As Lydia strives to etch out a place for herself in a new world full of unfamiliar prejudice and attempts to overcome her private battles, she must help Hamilton understand her deepest longings and learn the true meaning of joy. Will she surrender her will in order to find her purpose? Will her future hold a happier marriage, motherhood, and a calling greater than she could ever have imagined?
My thoughts: I didn't realize when I began reading this book that it was a second book. The first book, To Dance Once More, takes place before Lydia and Hamilton were married. While the author does a great job at letting the reader know that there were events before this book, I felt like I was missing a chunk of history. That only happened a few times. Sherri Wilson Johnson really did a great job at getting me to speed fairly quickly and enjoying this story three years after their marriage.
Lydia spends quite a bit of the book unhappy. She longs for more than she currently has. She wants to travel, be more involved, and to have a child. This book is about her learning to find joy and acceptance with her life, to trust God, and to move forward.
The book also covers a period in time that were a struggle for people in the Southern United States. The Civil War is over, but the black people are treated as second class citizens. The setting of this book is in Florida and Georgia. Lydia and Hamilton are placed right in the middle of the conflict. Lydia's belief that black men/women should be treated the same as white people was not a popular one for the time. It also led to some volatile situations.
Overall, I enjoyed this story. I just wish that I had read the book before this one.
If you would like to read To Dance Once More first, here are the links!
About the Author: (Taken from Goodreads) I am Sherri Wilson Johnson. I live in Georgia with my husband, children and dogs. Writing is my favorite pastime and, fortunately, I have been able to see my dream of publication come true. I write fiction, non-fiction and homeschool resources, but fiction is my true love.
My debut novel, To Dance Once More (OakTara), was released in September 2011. My second novel, Song of the Meadowlark (OakTara), released in September 2012. To Laugh Once More released September 8, 2014.
Visit her Website.