Delilah Monroe beams with pride as she watches her three daughters, the singing group Delilah’s Daughters, receive a standing ovation at the annual Gospelfest in their hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. It has been three years since her beloved husband, Rocky passed, but she and her daughters know he is always watching over them. They always feel his presence even more at Gospelfest as they continue his belief in their musical gifts – both as individuals and as a group. Roxanne the oldest, lives to sing and her melodious voice reflects this love. Veronica, the middle daughter, is a born entertainer who loves the center stage. Alisha, the youngest daughter, has a talent for composing and arranging songs. Their family bond, faith, and keeping their egos in check, help to make staying together as a group a priority. When Veronica signs an individual contract with a mega recording studio, it turns outs to be just the beginning of opening a Pandora’s Box of secrets, betrayals, and dashed dreams. How will Delilah and her daughters confront the challenges and opportunities presented to each of them? How will they balance individual happiness against the demands of faith and family?
DELILAH’S DAUGHTERS is classic Benson with its emphasis on the strength of family and faith, endearing characters, and prose warming your heart and soul like a favorite melody. The characters are well-developed, and each has their own distinct personality. I enjoyed getting to know each of them and their journeys as life threw them curveballs, while accepting the consequences of their actions. When offered a contract with possibilities of being the next superstar, Veronica accepts with the naivety this is best for her, her sisters and mother, and her husband. Quickly finding out the demands of the contract means complete allegiance to the studio, and that her husband is working behind her back to ensure she stays isolated from her family, Veronica knows she needs to take off her rose-colored glasses before all that she values is lost. It is a sermon that settles her mind and through much soul-searching knows the key is following the road God wants her to stay on and avoid the road shoulders. As every journey begins with the first step, Veronica knows she will have to take the initiative in reconciling with her family and have the hard discussions with her husband. The strength she now shows helps her family heal and her marriage is now stronger. Alisha was the least upset when her sister signed the contract and saw this as an opportunity to more aggressively pursue her dreams as a song writer and is excited when learning her mentor will be an award-winning songwriter she admires. But her mother is devastated to learn who the mentor is as this was a piece of her past she hoped to take to her grave. The truth upsets Alisha’s world regarding her parentage and her journey to forgiveness allows her mother to let go of the past and embrace the present and future blessing. The cast of secondary characters allows for exploring the theme of family ties, both old and new, and the moment that connect our hearts and faith, which works well in our contemporary times of blended families.
The majority of the book takes place in Birmingham, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia, though physically not that far from each other, the storyline effectively captures the mood and timbre of both cities.
It is a tribute to Benson’s storytelling abilities that she has taken a plot that is not new, puts her own stamp on it and makes it a standout in the plethora of entertainment-themed storylines. I also appreciated a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the less glamorous side of the music business.
DELILAH’S DAUGHTERS is a heartwarming, inspiring tale that makes you believe dreams do come true. This is the perfect book to make you smile and sigh as you read the last page.
Reviewed for RomanceInColor.com