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Fairer than Morning

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Description

Ann dreams of a marriage proposal from her poetic suitor, Eli—until Will Hanby shows her that nobility is more than fine words.

On a small farm in 19th-century Ohio, young Ann Miller is pursued by the gallant Eli Bowen, son of a prominent family. Eli is the suitor of Ann's dreams. Like her, he enjoys poetry and beautiful things and soon, he will move to the city to become a doctor.

Ann travels to Pittsburgh, accompanying her father on business. There she meets Will Hanby, a saddle-maker's apprentice. Will has spent years eking out an existence under a cruel master and his spirit is nearly broken. But Ann's compassion lights a long-dark part of his soul. Through his encounters with Ann's father, a master saddler, Will discovers new hope and courage in the midst of tremendous adversity.

When the Millers must return to Ohio and their ministry there, Will resolves to find them, at any cost. If Will can make it back to Ann, will she be waiting?

Reading Guides

Reading Group Guide

  1. Ann's journey by steamboat to Pittsburgh provides the opportunity for reflection and change, as travel often will. Why does Ann's first trip to the city change her?
     
  2. How does Mr. Miller influence Will Hanby? Have you ever known someone like Mr. Miller, who has stepped into a parental role for a young person unrelated by blood?
     
  3. Jacob Good behaves in ways that are shocking, by normal standards of decency. What do you think motivates him in his relationships to others?
     
  4. After Ann reads The Mysteries of Udolpho, she reconsiders her attitude toward sentiment and benevolent acts. Do you think some novels can either benefit or harm the way people think? Why or why not? And if so, can you think of examples?
     
  5. Where is Will spiritually at the beginning of the novel? How and why does he change by the end of the novel?
     
  6. Will's trials could have left him a broken person, but instead he chooses to help others in similar abusive situations. Do you know anyone who has turned pain into a desire for serving others?
     
  7. How does the environment (weather, countryside, cityscape) reflect what is happening in the story?
     
  8. Why does it take Ann so long to understand her emotions toward Will?
     
  9. Will spends much of the novel repenting his behavior with Emmie Flynn. Why do you think he crossed his own moral boundaries and did something he later regretted?
     
  10. Dueling was controversial in the nineteenth century. Gentlemen felt it was necessary to defend their honor, but many spoke out from the pulpit against the practice. Do you think there could be a legitimate reason for a duel in 1826?
     
  11. In the afterword, the author describes which parts of the novel are factual and which have been fictionalized. What is the difference between a historical account and historical fiction? What are the advantages and disadvantages of fictionalizing history?
     

Reviews (2) Write a Review

A WONDERFUL TWIST September 11, 2012

FAIRER THAN MORNING by Rosslyn Elliott threw me for a loop and took me by surprise. I felt as though I was taken back to the early 1800's with Ms. Elliot's amazing description and play on words. With three possible hero's, I was kept guessing who would end up with the heroine, a unique twist from the stories I'm accustom to reading.

Ann Miller is pursued by Elie Bowen, a man any woman would be proud to marry. But there are lingering concerns, and when Ann travels with her father to Pittsburgh on business, she encounters two other men. Allan Burbridge, obviously smitten with her, but it's Will Hanby that captures her curiosity.

Will, a saddle-maker's apprentice, has suffered from loss of his family and abuse from his master. Upon his meeting Ann, the compassion he sees in her ignites in him hope that he long thought was dead. When Will is no longer able to endure the abuse of his master, he flees in hopes of finding Ann and her father.

The compassion of a few good Christians as well as Will's growing faith was one to be admired. Ms. Elliott did a wonderful job conveying the hands and feet of Jesus in a natural and convincing way. I was truly humbled to read of their acts of Christianity as well as Will's determination and faith despite his horrific circumstances.

As is often the case with me, I failed to read the back cover of FAIRER THAN MORNING, for if I had I would have realized the shocking information revealed in the final pages. I won't give it away in case you're like me, and love a good surprise.

Review by Kym

Rating




"Fairer" Is More Than Fair June 12, 2012

I just finished reading Fairer Than Morning by Rosslyn Elliott, and let me tell you, this book captured me from the first page all the way through to the end. It was not hard to fall in love with Ann Miller trying to raise her little sisters and take care of her father. Knowing that Ann watched her mother die was heart-breaking, but knowing she lost her mother when she herself was so young nearly tore me in two.

After meeting Ann, Will shows up in the landscape of the book with a new apprentice master, Jacob Good, who wasn't good at all. He was a mean, vindictive, abusive, lying, cheating master who didn't mind tearing into his apprentices without provocation. Will endures his abuse until Jacob kills his next-door-neighbor's prize sow and then lies about it in court. After court, Jacob delivers a beating to Will that nearly kills him. As soon as Will can stand, he runs away and ends up living with the Millers in Ohio. Will eventually decides to go back to Pittsburg to face his master and Ann's father wants to buy out the remaining term of Will's apprentice contract which was a contract of indenture. Jacob refuses to be bought, but instead wants his day in court that proves his own undoing.

This book was hard to put down in so many ways. The writing was tremendous, the story-line completely believable, and some of the side stories touched my heart. After I read the book, I read the author's note that explains that this story is based in fact. I love historical novels that are based in fact and not just based in a specific historical era. Rosslyn rates two thumbs up, five stars, and a WOW!!!!

Review by Becky

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Fairer than Morning, Rosslyn Elliott
  • Fairer than Morning, Rosslyn Elliott

Details

Ann dreams of a marriage proposal from her poetic suitor, Eli—until Will Hanby shows her that nobility is more than fine words.

On a small farm in 19th-century Ohio, young Ann Miller is pursued by the gallant Eli Bowen, son of a prominent family. Eli is the suitor of Ann's dreams. Like her, he enjoys poetry and beautiful things and soon, he will move to the city to become a doctor.

Ann travels to Pittsburgh, accompanying her father on business. There she meets Will Hanby, a saddle-maker's apprentice. Will has spent years eking out an existence under a cruel master and his spirit is nearly broken. But Ann's compassion lights a long-dark part of his soul. Through his encounters with Ann's father, a master saddler, Will discovers new hope and courage in the midst of tremendous adversity.

When the Millers must return to Ohio and their ministry there, Will resolves to find them, at any cost. If Will can make it back to Ann, will she be waiting?

More Information

Length 400 Pages
Series A Saddler's Legacy Novel
Publication Date May 10, 2011
Company
  • Thomas Nelson
ISBN-10 1595547851
ISBN-13 9781595547859
Height 8.1"
Width 5.4"