Selah (The Sugar Baron’s Daughters)

Written by Lisa T. Bergren
Review by Susan Higginbotham

Selah Banning and her family, operators of the Double T on the island of Nevis in the West Indies, have an audacious scheme: to run their ranch with a mix of freedmen and slaves, the latter working with the understanding that they will be freed in the future. Even more shockingly, the family hires a black overseer. Needless to say, such progressive views do not endear Selah and her relations to their neighbors, particularly the sinister Angus Shubert, and the activities of Selah’s sister Verity on behalf of the rebellious American colonies win the family even more enemies. But Selah has one ally: Jedediah Reed, a Methodist preacher who shares her views—and who wants to capture her heart.

I confess that I found Selah—enlightened, spunky, courageous, adept at anything to which she turns her hand, devout, and, needless to say, stunningly beautiful—a bit too much. Still, this is a well-plotted, fast-paced story with a lot of romance, action, and intrigue, and its fresh setting will be welcome to readers eager to venture outside of the usual venues for historical fiction set in the 18th century.