Lost Saints (Lazare Family Saga)
Charleston, South Carolina, 1840s. This second book in the Lazare Family Saga picks up right where the first in the series left off, so it is advisable to read the first book, Necessary Sins, beforehand. While soulmates Joseph Lazare and Tessa Stratford negotiate the dangers of beginning an increasingly unchaste affair – namely his priesthood and her husband – other members of the family struggle with their own secrets of identity and guilt. Young David is haunted by the memory of a decision that may well be his undoing, while a distant Cheyenne relative struggles with the discrepancy between his appearance and cultural heritage. At some point, all secrets come into the light, and they can only hope that the family ties that bind them will provide protection and salvation.
Elizabeth Bell is quickly becoming one of my favorite historical fiction authors. To be able to paint the past with such depth and color is a rare skill that few, even some of the most acclaimed authors, possess to this level. Her outstanding research enables her to evoke both the sacred and mundane in ways that add layers to her story and richness to her characters. Her writing is truly more vivid than any movie, and in these times of quarantine and uncertainty is exactly what fans of historical fiction need to escape. However, she does not romanticize the past; its violent and ugly parts are all part of the tale she weaves. It seems strange to call an author with only two published books a master, but she is well on her way to claiming that title. I can’t recommend this book or the rest of the series enough and eagerly await the third book.