In antebellum Charleston, a Catholic priest grapples with doubt, his family's secret African ancestry, and his love for a slaveholder's wife.
Joseph Lazare and his two sisters grow up believing their black hair and olive skin come from a Spanish grandmother-until the summer they learn she was an enslaved African. While his sisters make very different choices, Joseph struggles to transcend the flesh by becoming a celibate priest.
Then young Father Joseph meets Tessa Conley, a devout Irish immigrant who shares his passions for music and botany. Joseph must conceal his true feelings as Tessa marries another man-a plantation owner who treats her like property.
Acting on their love will ruin Joseph and Tessa in this world and damn them in the next. Can two broken people heal each other and find heaven on earth-or will there be hell to pay?
Necessary Sins is the first book in the epic Lazare Family Saga quartet. If you like character-rich dramas, vivid period detail, and heart-wrenching choices, then you'll be swept away by this page-turning series, perfect for fans of The Thorn Birds and Outlander.
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About the Author
Elizabeth Bell has been writing stories since the second grade. At the age of fourteen, she chose a pen name and vowed to become a published author. That same year, she began the Lazare Family Saga. It took her a couple decades to get it right. New generations kept demanding attention, and the saga became four epic historical novels. After earning her MFA in Creative Writing at George Mason University, Elizabeth realized she would have to return her two hundred library books. Instead, she cleverly found a job in the university library. She works there to this day. Elizabeth was a Finalist for the James Jones First Novel Fellowship and won Second Place in the Maggie Awards for Excellence. Elizabeth loves chatting with fellow readers, writers, and history buffs. Visit her at elizabethbellauthor.com
"From the ashes of rebellion to heart-rending forbidden love, NECESSARY SINS is a work of art. Bell's voice is a refreshing addition to the genre, and the breadth of her research is impressive. A strong start to a promising series." -- Jessica Cale, bestselling author of TYBURN
"A taut, compelling family drama with a fresh and intriguing setting. NECESSARY SINS will be a welcome read for fans of historical fiction." -- Olivia Hawker, internationally bestselling author of THE RAGGED EDGE OF NIGHT
"A gripping family saga with complex characters, NECESSARY SINS is lushly detailed and beautifully written. I look forward to following the fortunes of this antebellum family in future volumes." -- Susan Higginbotham, author of THE FIRST LADY AND THE REBEL
"In antebellum South Carolina young Joseph Lazare discovers a secret that would ruin his family. Driven to atone, he becomes a priest, only to fall in love with a married woman. In this carefully researched historical novel Bell examines the way race, religion and class weave a web that Joseph may never escape. A thoughtful, vividly imagined and engrossing historical novel, highly recommended." -- Sara Donati, internationally bestselling author of THE GILDED HOUR