Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Soul's Prisoner Portraits of Grace #2 By Cara Luecht

I received this book from Celebrate Lit Blogger Program and the author for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.
Book Description:  
She'll fight for her future...but can she escape her past?
  Chicago, Winter, 1891
Rachel is in danger. She s seen too much.
She creeps along the cement walls through the dank underbelly of the asylum. She d never planned to leave her quiet farm life, never thought she d find a place in the city, never imagined she d be in the kind of danger that would have her cowering in Dunning s cold, labyrinthine basement.
Jenny has finally found her place. After a childhood of abuse, she has friends, a real job, and her only wish is to give her adopted son the kind of life she never had.
A life of stability, without the risk and uncertainty of a father.
But when Jeremy, Rachel s brother, stumbles into their warehouse, asking for help to find his missing sister, Jenny s carefully constructed life begins to crumble.

My Thoughts: 

 Soul's Prisoner is the latest book in Cara Luect's series, Portraits of Grace, and it is a fantastic. As a fan of Christian Historical Fiction this book intrigued me. The cover really drew me to this book. It definitely depicts what is in this book. Added bonus, Cara Luect lives in WI, which is where I live so it's great to support a local author! Cara Luect writes with authority about the way of life in our country especially Chicago during 1891, asylums, mental health, painting, and art. As a Christian Historical Fiction, for me the best part is learning about things and Cara Luect gave me lots of information that made me curious and so it was great to find the info online and learn more. I found Cara Luect's style of writing unique and she seamlessly transitions throughout the book between a few stories with in a story. Her way of writing made me feel like I was there in this story, part of it. The characters are well rounded and well written. I found myself drawn to Jenny. Her selflessness and concern for everyone is inspirational. Her faith is unwavering. Soul's Prisoner is the 2nd book in this series, but is great as a stand alone, I never felt like I was lost through the book. This book is one that will stay with me for a while, it touched me in a way that this story will not be forgotten.   This is the first book by Cara Luect I have had the pleasure of reading and I plan to read more from Cara Luect. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will NOT be disappointed. I give this book 5 STARS.



 Souls prisoner celebration tour copy

About the Book

Soul's Prisoner front
  

Book Title: Soul’s Prisoner  
Author: Cara Luecht  
Genre: Historical fiction with some suspense and romance  
Release Date: December 15, 2015  
Chicago, Winter, 1891 Rachel is in danger. She’s seen too much. She creeps along the cement walls through the dank underbelly of the asylum. She’d never planned to leave her quiet farm life, never thought she’d find a place in the city, never imagined she’d be in the kind of danger that would have her cowering in Dunning’s cold, labyrinthine basement. Jenny has finally found her place. After a childhood of abuse, she has friends, a real job, and her only wish is to give her adopted son the kind of life she never had. A life of stability, without the risk and uncertainty of a father. But when Jeremy, Rachel’s brother, stumbles into their warehouse, asking for help to find his missing sister, Jenny’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble.
Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

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Award winning author, Cara Luecht, lives in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin with her husband, David, and their children. Cara graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Currently, Cara is studying for a Masters of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Guest Post from Cara Luecht

The Setting for Soul’s Prisoner: Dunning Asylum for the Insane Dunning Asylum for the Insane was built in the 1850s and housed psychiatric patients until the early 1900s. It has since been demolished, and a small park currently stands as the only remaining testament to the people who lived and died on the grounds. The original plot of land also included a poor farm and a cemetery. A railroad used to connect the grounds to Minneapolis, Chicago, and Milwaukee. It was nicknamed the “Crazy Train”—a phrase that still survives in our language today. Those buried in the cemetery include Civil War Veterans, victims of the Chicago fire of 1871, orphans, paupers, and the residents of the asylum for the insane. Most estimates agree that nearly forty thousand people were buried on the grounds. There is no doubt that mental illness is hard on families, but in the 1800s, having a family member who struggled with mental illness was an embarrassment. With little understanding of mental health in general, and even less compassion for those who suffered, examples of this tragic response to the threat of mental illness can be seen in the numerous inmates who were there simply due to addiction or depression. There are even cases where women were committed because their families were humiliated by their giving birth outside the bonds of marriage. Often times, challenges with mental health were synonymous with the notion of moral failure or vice. Because of this, even many charities looked the other way when corruption or abuse was exposed. Reporters sometimes wrote about the horrors of the institutions, but once the sensational story was out, and the initial outrage worn away, few worried about the people who suffered on a daily basis. And because of the moral implication of mental illness, families commonly turned over their suffering members to the county, and later simply explained to friends that the person had died. And that is exactly what the mentally ill would do in the institution. Live there until they died, forgotten. And that’s how the story played out at Dunning, until late in the 1900s when developers began to dig the roads and foundations for a new neighborhood on the grounds of what was once the Asylum. At that time, Dunning, and the people who had resided there, were still within living memory, so when bones were unearthed, it was no mystery how they ended up on that patch of land. What had slipped from memory was the magnitude of the collective stories of suffering and hardship. For this novel, the people and events are fictitious. However, when examining old news stories from an institution known for corruption, it is not hard to imagine situations like the ones in the novel. The details that are true are the nearly one thousand inmates, no hot water, little to no heat in the winter, bad food, and the general feeling of living ghosts, intentionally forgotten, and doomed to never leave the grounds.

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Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of Soul’s Prisoner and sketching art supplies!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
https://promosimple.com/ps/cb74 

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