Special thanks to Krisi Keley, author of “On the Soul of A Vampire,” for the wonderful review of my second novel, In Name Only, which she also posted on Amazon, Goodreads, Smashwords and Barnes and Noble.
In 1876, nineteen year old Caroline Martin journeys to Philadelphia to live with her uncle and cousin after the death of her beloved father, whom she has taken care of for many years. Uncomfortable in her new surroundings because of her own modest background, but welcomed by her wealthy uncle, she settles into her new life and is soon courted by her kind and upstanding neighbor, Liam O’Donovan, as well as frustrated by the presence of his vice-ridden, womanizing brother, David. Despite her concerns over Liam’s wealth and their differing views on some subjects because of it, Caroline finds happiness when she becomes Liam’s wife. But when a terrible tragedy strikes, she finds herself forced into having the relationship she never wanted with the troubled and troubling David.
In her second novel, author Ellen Gable has crafted another beautiful historical romance which examines difficult issues faced by people in every age. While her exceptional attention to historical detail allows the reader to feel immersed in the story’s post-Civil War era, the challenges the characters must deal with – lust, adultery, abortion, class and gender prejudice – all are still very real and relevant to a modern audience. Handled with amazing sensitivity, In Name Only is not simply a novel about one man’s redemption from the addictions that plague him, but a story about how love can change us all if we let it. Through the evolving relationship between Caroline and David, it shows not only how love makes us want to be a better person for the beloved, but also how love as an act of the will, rather than simply an emotion, can open us to the truest, most precious type of all – the kind that sees and sympathizes with the pain and struggle in others and allows us to recognize that these human weaknesses are not so different from our own.
Although this is an outstanding Catholic novel which celebrates the Christian ideals of charity, forgiveness, faith, redemption and the sanctity of life, I highly recommend it to anyone who cherishes a wonderfully well-written story featuring complex and superbly-developed characters, whose challenges are universal – above all the one that calls us to love another truly, not in spite of human frailty, but in it.