Written by a mother/ daughter team, Ethan's Flight is set just prior to the Civil War in the 1850's. There is excellent attention to historical detail. The book slips between two parallel story lines, skillfully merging them together as one. The lives of two very unsuspecting and innocent sisters cross paths with two brothers who are fleeing the law for a wrongful conviction of murder and aiding/ abetting. They meet in the safety of a `western' town in Missouri and the tale cleverly unfolds.
This book is completely clean and safe on the `mom/ educator radar', one I would let a teenager read, or even my grandmother, without fear that something inappropriate would come out. The authors show the humanity of their characters as they wrestle well with human emotions of death, wrongful doing, justice, belonging, love and personal growth. Close attention to family dynamics, cultural values, and character dynamics exist to make this a really pleasant page-turner. There is an occasional profane word, but it is within the context of the story. This reviewer was so pleased to find that true love does exist in this novel, as does respect for right and wrong and a clear sense of justice.
I had some issues with the book, however. While washing machines did exist in the Victorian Era, they were not readily accessible until well after the Civil War, really becoming affordable and popular in the early 1900's. While there were patents and models for washing machines in the 1860's, for a lumber family to own one in the early 1860's would have been improbable. (But the book is fiction and in fiction, you can dream.) Finally, I would encourage `closing the loops' with the characters a bit more. Did Ethan ever heal from his gunshot wound? How did Stephanie's painting efforts come out? There seemed to be much focus on filling `the wedding list' and less on making a good ending transition into another book.
After being falsely convicted of murder, young Bostonian Ethan Adams is freed by his brother’s daring rescue. The brothers pause their flight in St. Jo, MO, where, homesick and saddle-sore, they plan their future. Changing their names, they barely knock the dust from their clothes before they become involved with a beautiful pair of sisters—who have their own hidden dangers. Living with their aunt, due to their father’s impending insanity, the girls aid their conductor uncle on the Underground Railroad. Will ETHAN'S FLIGHT garner them all a future, or will the danger drawing nigh and pre-Civil War strife tear their lives, and hearts, apart forever?