Writing the Women of Rock Creek series was an honor and privilege. The three heroines–Ella, Lily, and Adelaide–taught me so much about myself, my past, the Lord, and enduring a life that threatens one’s faith. They showed me my weaknesses and shortcomings and caused me to question myself and my faith. How well would I trust the Lord if I were faced with the same sort of heartbreak, abuse, or the loss of a beloved dream? Could life become so bitter that I’d turn bitter too? Would my faith grow stronger or would it crumble along with my dreams?
Nowhere did these questions arise more vividly than in the third book, The Awakening of Miss Adelaide. Let me tell you a little about Addie’s story . . .
Although orphaned as an infant, Adelaide was an heiress and enjoyed every advantage growing up. Early on, she learned she possessed a unique gift for music and trained for the Italian opera stage. She impressed her Italian music instructor and mentor so completely that she waltzed into leading roles and gained devotees all across Europe. With a heart for those less fortunate than herself, she became a philanthropist who was adored from America to Europe.
But Miss Adelaide awakes in a 1918 nightmare.
First, the Great War knocks. Having inherited her mentor’s sprawling ranch and villa in the Maremma district of Tuscany, she finds the location and her contacts in the society world ideal for covert operations for her country.
She risks her life and security for her country and welcomes the end of global hostilities in 1918. She anticipates a continuation of her dream life–a bright return to the opera stage and a flourishing future as a land and cattle baroness.
But before the ink on the armistice dries, Adelaide’s world begins to crumble again.
The Great Influenza creeps into the Tuscan hills and over the villa’s walls, leaving death and destruction in its wake. Adelaide contracts the dreaded virus and awakens in a nightmare. With her life threatened and her rare operatic voice ruined, she finds her identity and purpose altered and chipping away at her faith.
Merciless questions plague her: What about her gift, her dream? How could a loving God give her such a gift and then take it away? Without the opera, who is she . . . what’s her purpose? Does God have a plan and purpose for her altered life? If so, what is it and why? Has every hope for love faded to nothingness like her dream?
Miss Adelaide travels across the Atlantic to Washington, D.C. in search of meaning. In the process, a former love reignites, and she wonders if her intended place is by this man’s side. Or might it be with the Silent Sentinels, suffragists in front of the White House, fighting for the rights of women like herself?
When life takes another unexpected turn, Adelaide finds herself transported across country to
Texas where she discovers her true self. And the Lord shows Himself in brand new ways.
In The Awakening of Miss Adelaide, war and peace, laughter and heartache, love and loss come together to ignite a fresh fire that reveals Adelaide Fitzgerald’s hidden needs and potentials. But what will gaining a fresh understanding of herself–and the Lord–require of the Angel of the Opera?
Getting inside Adelaide’s head forced me to ask the same questions of myself. Over my seventy-three years, I’ve known much heartache, crushing disappointment, sorrow, and loss. As I’ve come out of each nightmare with my faith intact–sometimes limping and other times thriving– I’ve thought surely the Lord wouldn’t require more of me. And then He did. Again and again.
This world is broken. Life is not as the Creator originally intended. But this Christmas season reminds me His plan for putting the world to rights unfolded exactly as He planned–in a simple virgin in a common stable. And He’s still at work. What more will He require of me . . . or you? None of us knows. Like that awestruck teenage girl of long ago, we can only trust His great love:
I am the Lord’s servant . . . May your word to me be fulfilled.” Luke 1:38
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Linda Brooks Davis was born and reared on a farm in Raymondville, a small Rio Grande Valley community in the southernmost tip of Texas. Linda earned a bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology from Abilene Christian University and a master’s degree from Houston Baptist University. She retired in 2008 after forty years as a special educator and administrator. Linda and her beloved husband Al worship and minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio and dote on six grandchildren, three of whom are triplets. Readers may contact Linda through her website, http://www.lindabrooksdavis.com.
Linda’s debut novel, best-selling The Calling of Ella McFarland (Book 1 in The Women of Rock Creek series), is set in 1905 Indian Territory prior to Oklahoma statehood. It won the 2014 Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel Award and subsequently won the ACFW Carol Award for Debut Novel 2016. The sequel novella, A Christmas to Remember, is set in 1908 Oklahoma and released in December 2016. A second novella, A Christmas Measure of Love, is set in 1910. It released in 2017 as a prequel to Linda’s second full-length novel, best-selling The Mending of Lillian Cathleen (Book 2 in the series), which is set in 1914 and released in October 2018. Book 3 in the series, The Awakening of Miss Adelaide, released in July 2019.
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