Reflecting Gold – Cynthia Simmons

“That’s right. I was grumpy with you at times, and that was wrong. Reflecting God’s love, reflecting gold is work, but I’m going to try hard to stay there because I’m confident God will take care of us.”

Reflecting Gold is a historical novel, set in Chattanooga during the Civil War. It is the second book in the Southern Gold series. The book starts in 1863, and although I hadn’t read the first book, it was easy to pick up the story from there.

The main character, Mary Beth Chandler, is married to Peter. They have inherited the bank from Peter’s father. His mother is still involved with the bank, and that makes for interesting family dynamics. The mother is a brilliant character and made me smile and cringe in turn.

Cynthia Simmons, the author, has done a great job in weaving so many things into the story. There is the Civil War, and as with all wars, there isn’t much civil about it. She shows the characters of some of the main players in Chattanooga. Just learning about the workings of the bank was fascinating in itself. The story starts with a break-in at the bank.

It was interesting to read about the financial struggles a bank could have and the effort of staying on the gold standard. The break-in wasn’t the only disaster to hit the bank. The book is full of murder and mayhem, and had me turning the pages fast to find out whodunit and why… It turns out that there had been crimes going on in the first book as well, but the occasional reference to the first book was helpful with this.

Then there is the information about herbs and healing plants that fascinated me. I started a Herbal Medicine Degree once, so this was intriguing for me, and I’m sure others will find it interesting as well. Mary Beth is very skilled with herbs and has Peter’s younger sister helping her. At one stage I thought that had brought disaster on the family… Oh dear, I promise, no spoilers!

Cynthia Simmons, the author

The book isn’t very fast paced, but makes for a lovely relaxing read, with plenty to keep you occupied. I can’t imagine the amount of research Cynthia Simmons had to go through… She really has done a great job of bringing that era close to her readers. I have never been to the States, but I could just picture Chattanooga in the 19th century. Blazing heat was a little harder to imagine, haha, but the way she described the furniture, clothing and houses really helped me.

The most helpful part of the book was the idea of Reflecting Gold. Cynthia says that she used her husband’s illness and what she went through to share the lessons that she learned in that time. I loved that. It came out in the way she describes Mary Beth’s growth in grace. It’s why I love Christian fiction, and why I love writing. I love using the hashtag #fictionwithamessage a lot, as it’s helpful to me and others. Mary Beth’s questions around her faith and the help from her pastor throughout the book was so worthwhile and stayed with me longer than the mayhem!

I was given a review copy through Celebrate Lit but was under no pressure or obligation to write a favourable review. Here is the link to buy Reflecting Gold:

I enjoyed being part of a team of other bloggers, do have a look at their sites as well! This is my first time with Celebrate Lit, so I’m extra excited! Here are the links:

Through the Fire Blogs, September 9 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 9

Texas Book-aholic, September 10

Inklings and notions, September 11

For Him and My Family, September 12

deb’s Book Review, September 13

For the Love of Literature, September 14 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 16

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 17

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 18

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, September 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 20

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 21 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 22

Giveaway time!

Also, there is a Giveaway! Just follow the link to find out more about this. Cynthia is giving away the grand prize package of a $30 Amazon Gift Card and a copy of the book! (This only works in the US, sadly!)

I hope you have signed up for my newsletter, as I would love to stay in touch! Happy Reading!

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