Some great historical tidbits

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In Tanya E. Williams’s All That Was, two women separated by nearly a century grapple with devastating losses.

Emily Reed is a young attorney assigned an archival project at a Seattle church embroiled in a legal tussle in the year 2015. On the eve of her start date, she learns that her parents, who were tragically killed in a car accident ten years prior, were married in the church. The chapel and the secrets stored within its sacred space force her to face her long-repressed grief.

Elizabet Thomas’s, a Seattle socialite and philanthropist, never recovered from her husband’s death. She believed she would be reunited with him in the afterlife, and she has been wandering the church in search of his soul since she died in 1935. Elizabet and Emily’s stories become intertwined when Emily comes across Elizabeth’s diary.

All That Was has the makings of a great story. It’s a quick read with some interesting historical details. There was a great deal of repetition, rehashing, and telling rather than showing, which is why I am rating it three out of five stars. I would have loved if the author explored the points of view and backstories of Emily’s guardians, Madame Lou and Pastor Mike. Those characters existed simply to guide Emily and Elizabet on their journeys, which I thought was a missed opportunity.

Thank you to Bookish First for an ARC of All That Was in exchange for an honest review.