Friday, January 10, 2014

Songs of the Shenandoah by Michael K Reynolds

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Songs of the Shenandoah

B&H Books (January 1, 2014)


Michael Reynolds


Michael K. Reynolds is a writer with more than two decades of experience in crafting fiction, non-fiction, journalism, copywriting and documentary production. He is the author of a series of Irish historical novels published by B&H Publishing Group. These highly acclaimed books are available in bookstores and libraries across the nation and beyond.

Michael is the writer and producer of an Emmy and Telly award-winning series of documentaries titled, Crystal Darkness. These thirty minute anti-meth films have been heavily promoted and broadcast in cities and states throughout the United States and Mexico. They have been viewed collectedly by more than 10 million people and the message has reached more than 30 million to date.

He also has wide experience as a speaker and on-air personality and has been interviewed on a variety of newspapers, radio stations and televisions networks throughout the nation.

Michael earned his B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of California, San Diego and lives in Reno with his wife and three children. He is active in marketplace, marriage, small group and men’s ministries as a leader and speaker.


At the onset of the Civil War, Seamus heeds his wife’s wishes to return to her beloved family farm in the South, where he takes a post as chaplain for General Stonewall Jackson’s brigade. As Seamus ministers to the troops, his sister Clare ministers in a different way—by being a powerful voice in the Northern cause toward freeing the slaves. All this while their youngest brother Davin, who became wealthy during the Gold Rush, struggles to find love and identity in a fallen world. It’s a clash of loyalties and beliefs that threaten the entire family, each of them trying to hear God’s encouragement in the midst of the tragedy of war. The dramatic conclusion to the acclaimed Heirs of Ireland Series.

My thoughts:

The Heirs of Ireland is the saga of the Irish clan Hanley and begins as Clare and Seamus come to America to escape the potato famine. Later Caitlin and Davin come, and the four do their best to gain their footing in a new land. From the moment I opened the cover on the first book in this series and closed the final cover of Songs of the Shenandoah, I was captivated. Beautifully written, with a compelling and intricately woven plot as well as a host of characters that felt more like real people than those just written in the pages of a book.

Some of the Hanley siblings find treasure in work and ministry, some in the gold fields of California, but each must make their own way and learn their own lessons to discover that true wealth comes by sharing love and forgiveness to his/her family and fellow man and that reward comes when one stands up for what he/she believes.

One of the things that really stood out to me in Songs of the Shenandoah was the songs themselves, not just Seamus learning about the "songs of the Shenandoah" from Pastor Asa, but of the singing at the church in New York, as well as the music box that Clare receives. I think it made the story all the more moving.

This final book was truly a satisfying conclusion to the Heirs of Ireland series. Any fan of historical sagas, Irish immigration, and the Civil War will want to include it in their future reading.

My thanks to CFBA and B&H Publishing for generously providing a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Songs of the Shenandoah, go HERE.

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