Sweeter than Birdsong

Written by Rosslyn Elliott
Review by Elizabeth Caulfield Felt

This is the second book in the Saddler’s Legacy series, set in the 1850s. Sweeter than Birdsong is a fictionalized account of the relationship between real-life abolitionist songwriter Ben Hanby and Kate Winter, one of the first women to graduate from Otterbein College in Ohio.

Painfully shy Kate is dominated by her overbearing mother and confused by her absent, alcoholic father. Her quiet beauty attracts the attention of several suitors, and her inability to express herself makes one wonder if she’ll ever be able to take control of her life.

Ben Hanby wants to end slavery in America, by helping escaped slaves, by teaching children, and by songwriting. He especially wants to help Nelly Gray, a slave whose husband died in his home while trying to get to freedom. His obsession with helping Nelly causes a string of events that tie Ben and Kate together.

The relationship of Kate and Ben is charming, and their prayers to God for help are well-placed and not overdone. They develop nicely as characters, and the romance in the novel will please readers of Christian romance.