North Carolina, 1795. Over a year ago, Ian Cameron sent Seona and their son Gabriel to live with his family in Boston. Seona was formerly enslaved to Ian’s uncle but has now been freed. Ian is wed to Judith due to cruel manipulation on the part of Judith’s mother but has vowed to make their marriage work. Then tragedy strikes, and Ian finds himself alone with Mandy, his daughter with Judith. He decides to head north and has a chance to obtain land in Shiloh, New York. Seona is in Boston, trying to decide whether to stay with Ian’s family or go out on her own with her mother. Then Ian arrives, promising a future in Shiloh. But is that what Seona wants? When evil creeps into their midst, will their faith see them through?
Benton has taken on the daunting task of creating a sequel to two of her books at once. Shiloh is the sequel to Mountain Laurel but also brings in characters from her first published novel, Burning Sky. The characters are interwoven seamlessly, and the story is filled with historical details, adventure, love, doubt, and fear. As Ian embarks on a journey back to Seona, he is also on a spiritual journey of learning to trust God and become a better man. Seona and her mother, Lily, are each experiencing the ranging emotions of an enslaved person who has been freed, and both think of choosing a different path. The Christian themes of trusting God and each other abound in this book, but the results of greed are also explored through the character of Aram Crane. Shiloh, above all, is a journey of faith and a lesson that as faith grows, love grows along with it.