Historical Fiction

July Book Club Book Review » My Daughter’s Legacy by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould

MDLReviewVirginia, 1864 Therese Jennings cannot abide the thought of owning slaves. When her widowed mother inherits a plantation, Therese flees to Civil War Richmond, where she works as a governess by day and tends to wounded soldiers at night. But when trouble befalls her family, can she reconcile her obligations with her beliefs? And will love—whether with an old beau or a handsome new suitor—ever fit in her broken world? Virginia, present day Nicole Talbot’s life is back on track after years of substance abuse. Home from college for the summer, she’s finally ready to share a shocking secret, one that raises new questions about a traumatic childhood experience. But when facts she uncovers cast doubt on her family’s legacy, she must risk all that she’s gained—her fresh start, her family’s trust, and her growing relationship with a new man—to unlock the secrets of the past.

Mindy Starns Clark     •     Leslie Gould    •     Purchase     •     Add to Goodreads

My Thoughts

By a narrow margin, My Daughter’s Legacy edges out My Brother’s Crown to become my favorite book in the Cousins of the Dove Trilogy. I’m a little surprised by this, because the Huguenot storyline (book 1) is what initially drew me in. After a slightly weaker second book, Clark and Gould have returned with a climatic series finale.

Those who dabble in genealogy will relish how the authors connect the past to the present through mementos which have been handed down through the Talbot family since the Civil War. Additionally, the introduction of a new clue—an illuminated manuscript—cleverly ties all three books together. As with the previous installments, historical events often provide the impetus for modern day revelations. While there were several quick transitions, I could usually sense when the authors were about to make a switch from the present day to 1864.

Between the characters holding/revealing secrets and plot twists, the pace progresses at a good clip. I wouldn’t say that Nicole’s story outshines Therese’s, but the intricacy of the 22 year old murder investigation made me eager to return to the modern day. Furthermore, it was rewarding to read how Nicole turns her life around and owns her past mistakes. Neither story ended the way I expected—an added bonus and a fitting conclusion to the Talbot family saga. 

I received a copy of this book for free as a member of the Harvest House Book Club. A favorable review was not required of me. All opinions expressed are my own.



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