Book Review: Keturah by Lisa Tawn Bergren


Author: Lisa Tawn Bergren

Series: The Sugar Baron’s Daughters

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

Published: February 6, 2018

In 1772 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father’s estates and know they have one option: Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage.

Although it flies against all the conventions for women of the time, they’re determined to make their own way in the world. But once they arrive in the Caribbean, proper gender roles are the least of their concerns. On the infamous island of Nevis, the sisters discover the legacy of the legendary sugar barons has vastly declined–and that’s just the start of
what their eyes are opened to in this unfamiliar world.

Keturah never intends to put herself at the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation. She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives.

Set on keeping her family together and saving her father’s once-great plantation, can Keturah ever surrender her stubbornness and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love awaiting her?



Get swept away in a story that is beautiful from the outside in and touches on subjects that are just as poignant now as they were in the late 1700s. Keturah is so much than an island-set novel of history and romance–it’s a story of faith, justice, strength, and equality in a place whose beauty defies the horrors of the past.

I’ve been a fan of Lisa Tawn Bergren’s novels since I read her European tour series years ago. To say I was thrilled to learn she had a new series coming from Bethany House would be an understatement, and this first entry into the Sugar Baron’s Daughters trilogy fulfilled my expectations. Filled with strong women, thought-provoking truths, an engaging plot, and a unique setting, Keturah is a book to be savored.

Bergren balances the scales between historical accuracy and modern thoughts with the three Banning sisters. While filling the restrictions of eighteenth century women, Keturah is an elder sibling so very identifiable with her need to protect her younger siblings and take a challenging situation in hand. I thoroughly enjoyed delving into this leading lady’s heart, soul, and mind as she traversed Nevis and leading her family’s sugar plantation.

The beautiful landscape and a character to identify with do not belie, though, the dark past of the eighteenth century, including slavery, domestic abuse, and social injustice. As historical fiction illustrates so well, Keturah is an example of how literature can take the horrors of times gone by and turn the messaging into an agent of change. Books like Keturah are why I love reading, especially Christian (historical) fiction–to examine how strong, capable people handled situations I will never be a part of and yet can experience through their stories and and how those heroes and heroines grew in their faith.

Through skilled writing and talented storytelling, Bergren delivers a story that opens a door to an engaging series I am certain will long live on my bookshelves. Keturah is a book to buy as soon as possible–if it’s not already in your to-be-read pile.

RATING: 4.5 stars

Enter to win a copy of Keturah. Five winners will be chosen! Click the image below to enter to win. The winners will be announced March 13 on the Litfuse blog!


Lisa Tawn BergrenLisa Tawn Bergren is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than 40 books, with over 3 million copies sold. Her most recent works includes the YA series Remnants (Season of Wonder, Season of Fire, Season of Glory), the River of Time Series (WaterfallCascade, Torrent, Bourne & Tributary, Deluge), God Gave Us Sleep, a devotional called Upside-Down Prayers for Parents and the Grand Tour Series (Glamorous Illusions, Grave Consequences, and Glittering Promises).

Lisa’s time is split between managing home base, writing, and working on ducks with her husband, Tim ( Tim’s a worship leader and duck-sculptor. They have three kids–Olivia, Emma, and Jack.


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