Together is All We Need

Written by Michael Phillips
Review by Viviane Crystal

“All night, all day, angels watching over me,” a traditional hymn, exemplifies the conflict for Katie Clairborne, Mayme, and Emma as they again face losing Greene’s Crossing Plantation in this fourth novel of the Shenandoah Sisters series. Having lost their families in a Civil War massacre, they have struggled to hide their problems, but this newest threat seems likely to destroy two years of hard work and a loving, faith-filled bond among the three women. Uncle Burchard Clairborne, brother to Katie’s deceased father, obtains legal ownership of the plantation and is determined to evict Mayme and Emma.

Michael Phillips clearly depicts the post-Civil War era in which women were powerless over financial affairs and ex-slaves were still treated as they were before the war that gave them freedom “on paper.” Faith, however, does not fail them. Two other uncles carry this plot, both caring individuals who will do anything to protect the teenage girls managing the farm. However, the weakness of Uncle Templeton might undo all that Uncle Ward Daniels achieves in solving the girls’ problem. This novel is another tribute to righteous living and justice, exemplifying the practice of the former somehow creating the latter. Simply stated but powerfully effective, this indeed comprises another historical and inspirational novel to add to Michael Phillips’ fine repertoire.