The Jewel of Gresham Green
Jewel Libby, auburn-haired seamstress in late 1800s Birmingham, is trying desperately to save her little girl Becky from the hands of Mr. Dunstan, whose leering gaze and suspicious behaviors terrify Jewel. Saved by the kindness of her local vicar, Jewel flees to Gresham, where she and Becky find refuge with the family of Vicar Andrew Phelps. Moving in with aspiring writer Aleda Hollis, Jewel and Becky observe a community with several crises. Scheming nephew Donald Gibbs aims to profit from his ailing uncle’s estate and wishes to hasten his death by depriving him of human contact. Philip Hollis, Aleda’s brother, has married Loretta, who is extremely cold to him as she mourns the loss of a former love. Andrew Phelps faces a dangerous gallstone surgery and asks his stepson Philip, a surgeon, to assist in the operation.
Well-detailed and fast-moving, the plot is absorbing and inspirational. We want good to triumph over evil in this story since the moral values of the strong characters reflect their unwavering belief in God. Lawana Blackwell’s style is accessible yet mature as she guides the reader through the world of Gresham Green.