“Pursuing Gold” by Cynthia L. Simmons

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About Pursuing Gold:  With his father dead and his business partner incapacitated, Peter Chandler inherits the leadership of a bank in economic crisis. With only a newly-minted college degree and little experience, Peter joins his partner’s daughter, Mary Beth Roper, in a struggle to keep C&R Bank afloat while the Civil War rages around Chattanooga. Political pressure for unsecured loans of gold to the government stirs up trouble as tempers and prices rise. Their problems multiply when Mary Beth discovers counterfeit money with Peter’s forged signature. Can they find the forger before the bank fails? The two friends must pursue gold on behalf of their business, as they learn to pursue their heavenly Father to find hope and peace.

Cynthia L. Simmons

Simmons has sketched a tale of deceit, loss, and love in the midst of the chaos of the Civil War.  I’ve never before thought about how banks survived during wartime before the FDIC was backing them, but Simmons examines that reality in great detail in this new story.

I’ve always wondered about the details of how our country converted from metal coinage to paper money, and that idea is discussed a bit in the book.  I enjoyed reading about the Peter’s struggle to grow from his book education to becoming a wise business owner, especially during such a turbulent time. 

Simmons’ writing style is a bit more abrupt than I’m used to; there were many transitions between settings and characters, and while it may not be more than other stories, the distinct labeling made it feel like many.  Those transitions often came on the heels of a revelation or announcement for the main character of that section, and those big ideas were followed with little information about how that character felt.  I think that including those emotions, whether directly or indirectly, fills out the story; however, after a few chapters, I adjusted to Simmons’ style and enjoyed the story greatly.

While I felt I could point out the guilty culprit with some certainty throughout the story, I was never sure how the crime was being accomplished.  In the end, Simmons surprised me completely.  I wasn’t completely wrong about the guilty party, but the motivation came completely out of left field.  It’s a great thing when the author can keep me guessing until the very moment that the ending is revealed!

Simmons chose a very unique angle when creating this story. If you’re a fan of historical fiction, you should definitely give Pursuing Gold a try.

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Cynthia L Simmons and her husband, Ray, have five children and reside in Atlanta. She has taught for over thirty years as a homeschool mother and Bible teacher. She’s a columnist for Leading Hearts Magazine and she directs Atlanta Christian Writing Conference. Cyndi has a heart for encouraging women in today’s crazy, upside-down world. She loves history and peppers her speaking and teaching with fascinating vignettes from the past. Her first book, “Struggles and Triumphs,” was nominated for 2008 Georgia Author of the Year. She co-founded Homeschool Answers and hosts Heart of the Matter Radio.

Find out more about Cynthia at http://clsimmons.com.

I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity.  The opinions expressed here are my own.

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