The poignant drama related by John Brown's daughter in this, the fourth book in the series, adds a heartwrenching touch to this period of national turmoil. It's another example of the interesting touches that Monfredo continues to her stories. Highly recommended.
Usually I'd be the first to gush about how wonderful this series is, but I must admit I'm unimpressed by this entry. The first half of it is very, very slow going. There are too many new characters--most of them suspects--being introduced to keep them all straight, and it leaves the established characters rather neglected. Also, the story gets bogged down in the minutiae of numismatics. I collected coins as a kid, and even I was bored stiff. Finally, the attention given to John Brown and his family detracts from, rather than adds to, the central story going on in Seneca Falls. While I think Monfredo's speculations about Annie Brown's adolescent love-life are novel, I fail to see how they're germane. On the bright side, some strong new women have been introduced to Seneca Falls, namely Margaret Taylor (who I'm hoping will stick around town for a while) and Glynis's seamstress niece, Emma. And the injection of yet another love interest for Glynis is, I think, inspired. I! love the fact that this never-married librarian, who at 41 would be considered an old maid even by contemporary standards, is portrayed as being as sexually appealing as her teenage niece. As a whole, though, Through a Gold Eagle is not for the faint at heart. There's a lot of mire to be slogged through at the outset, and if you're not a tried-and-true fan of Glynis Tryon, you may not find the payoff in the second half of the novel to have been worth the effort.
Unfortunately this author is clearly setting herself up to churn out a lengthy series on this heroine. She is also having trouble blending historical fact and fictional characters. I felt I'd just completed a fact stuffed history lesson. The book had potential but in the end, I was just bored.