Review: Words Spoken True by Ann H. Gabhart

When I read the synopsis of Words Spoken True, I thought that it sounded interesting, especially to me, as someone with a newspaper background who enjoys learning about how things were in earlier newspaper offices and presses. This book doesn’t disappoint when it comes to that. Though I’m no expert on the history of newspapers in America and what it took to run a press more than 100 years ago, what little I do know matched what was in this novel.

The story itself is fairly compelling. Here’s the synopsis:

“Adriane Darcy was practically raised in her father’s newspaper offices. She can’t imagine life without the clatter of the press and the push to be first to write the news that matters. Their Tribune is the leading paper in Louisville in 1855. Then Blake Garrett, a brash young editor from the North with a controversial new style of reporting, takes over failing competitor the Herald, and the battle for readers gets fierce.

“When Adriane and Blake meet at a benefit tea, their surprising mutual attraction is hard to ignore. Still, Blake is the enemy, and Adriane is engaged to the son of a powerful businessman who holds the keys to the Tribune’s future. Blake will stop at almost nothing to get the story—and the girl. Can he do both before it’s too late?”

There’s more to this story than what this synopsis holds. Women are being found murdered down by the riverfront, and the police aren’t doing much about it because the women are Irish. Back in that time period in Louisville (and elsewhere), there were lots of people with the mindset that those not born in the U.S. (Irish and Germans, in this book) were lesser people than themselves. The “Know Nothing” party gets a lot of press, at the time. The “powerful businessman” mentioned in the synopsis is that party’s candidate for senator. All of this political turmoil and mystery about the murders provides the backdrop for this Christian romance novel.

I enjoyed the main character, Adriane. She was intelligent, while also uncertain with what she wanted in life, considering the expectations of a lady during the time period. Her back story was rich, and she endured some neglect from her stepmother when she was young. That back story helped us to understand her in a way that made you both sympathetic toward her and root for her later on.

I was a little confused about Blake. He needed to be fleshed out a bit more, I think. He was your typical good guy, wanting to protect his woman, but I feel there should have been something more there.

I thought Ann. H. Gabhart did a good job of foreshadowing when it came to the bad guy in the story, though maybe too good of a job. I guessed less than halfway through who the murderer was. I prefer to not guess quite that soon.

There were a few weird phrasings in the book that jolted me out of the story. I like reading historical novels, so dealing with different phrasings and wording doesn’t normally phase me that much. There were a couple in here that did, though, like when Adriane said in one scene, “Turn loose of me this instant.” Maybe that’s how they would have said it there, but it sort of felt like the author was trying to be different.

This was a Christian romance. I dislike books that are overtly, overly religious. I am a Christian, but I don’t care for it thrown in my face. The only part that did, sort of, do that was at the very end, and while it was a little too thickly laid on, in my opinion, it fits all right in with the story.

Overall, a good read, though not one I’ll probably ever reread.

Find Words Spoken True at: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

I'm a lover of writing and books. I graduated from South Dakota State with a master's degree in communications in 2011, the same year I was first published. I'm a wife and mom, and I work in content and digital marketing in South Dakota.

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