Thursday, May 26, 2016

PROMISED TO THE CROWN (DAUGHTERS OF NEW FRANCE - BOOK 1) by Aimie K. Runyan

  • Title: Promised to the Crown
  • Series: Daughters of New France (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington
  • Release: April 26, 2016
  • Genre: Historical, Women's Fiction, Cultural Heritage

Synopsis:

Bound for a new continent, and a new beginning. In her illuminating debut novel, Aimie K. Runyan masterfully blends fact and fiction to explore the founding of New France through the experiences of three young women who, in 1667, answer Louis XIV’s call and journey to the Canadian colony. They are known as the filles du roi, or “King’s Daughters”—young women who leave prosperous France for an uncertain future across the Atlantic. Their duty is to marry and bring forth a new generation of loyal citizens. Each prospective bride has her reason for leaving—poverty, family rejection, a broken engagement. Despite their different backgrounds, Rose, Nicole, and Elisabeth all believe that marriage to a stranger is their best, perhaps only, chance of happiness. Once in Quebec, Elisabeth quickly accepts baker Gilbert Beaumont, who wants a business partner as well as a wife. Nicole, a farmer’s daughter from Rouen, marries a charming officer who promises comfort and security. Scarred by her traumatic past, Rose decides to take holy vows rather than marry. Yet no matter how carefully she chooses, each will be tested by hardship and heartbreaking loss—and sustained by the strength found in their uncommon friendship, and the precarious freedom offered by their new home.

MY OPINION:

I have always been fascinated by the Filles du Roi (aka - the Daughters of the King). In the 18th century, King Louis of France, gathered young woman of good standing, and under his protection sent them to New France for the sole purpose of marrying and begetting children to populate the new world. Many of the young women came from convents, or were orphans, or were from noble families who had come upon hard times. After the perilous journey to Quebec, these women had their pick of men to marry. This novel is about several young women and their experience beginning in France until they arrived in Canada, and after their marriages. 

It is very much a tail of hardship, of adapting to, and earning a living in a harsh new world, of love and hope and dreams. Not all marriages worked well. This is very much a tale of courage and adversity. What is wonderful is that the story will continue with a future book 2 and 3. As a Canadian and having visited Quebec and even having done a bit of research into the King's Daughters, I found the novel very well written and accurate. As all character drive novels, the plot is a little slower but steady. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and am eagerly awaiting the future books in this fabulous trilogy. Highly recommended - especially for Canadian Book Clubs.

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog, http://greathistoricals.blogspot.ca, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit http://www.historyandwomen.com.

GODPRETTY IN THE TOBACCO FIELD by Kim Michele Richardson


Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington
  • Release: April 26, 2016
  • Genre: Historical, Literature, Coming of Age, Family Life

  • Synopsis:

Nameless, Kentucky, in 1969 is a hardscrabble community where jobs are few and poverty is a simple fact--just like the hot Appalachian breeze or the pests that can wipe out a tobacco field in days. RubyLyn Bishop is luckier than some. Her God-fearing uncle, Gunnar, has a short fuse and high expectations, but he's given her a good home ever since she was orphaned at the age of five. Yet now, a month shy of her sixteenth birthday, RubyLyn itches for more. Maybe it's something to do with the paper fortunetellers RubyLyn has been making for townsfolk, each covered with beautifully wrought, prophetic drawings. Or perhaps it's because of Rainey Ford, an African-American neighbor who works alongside her in the tobacco field, and with whom she has a kinship, despite her uncle's worrisome shadow and the town's disapproval. RubyLyn's predictions are just wishful thinking, not magic at all, but through them she's imagining life as it could be, away from the prejudice and hardship that ripple through Nameless. Atmospheric, poignant, and searingly honest, GodPretty in the Tobacco Field follows RubyLyn through the course of one blazing summer, as heartbreaking revelations and life-changing decisions propel her toward a future her fortunetellers never predicted.


MY OPINION:


This novel has been receiving rave reviews and it is no surprise why. Everything about it is fascinating, from the setting to the complex and ever-evolving characters, to the beauatiful prose and emotional atmosphere. A heart-wrencher, a tear-jerker, a emotional roller coaster, this book kept me enthralled from the first to the very last page. It is a coming of age tale about a young girl/woman who lives in extreme poverty and horribly harsh conditions in Kentucky during the late 1960's. Throughout it all, her dreams and perseverance prevail--to teach us all a lesson about overcoming adversity. I highly recommend this book, especially for book clubs! Utterly lovely! 

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog, http://greathistoricals.blogspot.ca, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit http://www.historyandwomen.com.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

THE FRENCH LESSON by Hallie Rubenhold

1789:  Henrietta Lightfoot, a young Englishwoman, trips on her silk gown as she runs for her life along the bloodstained streets of revolutionary Paris. She finds refuge in the opulent home of Grace Dalrymple Elliott, the city’s most celebrated courtesan. But heads are rolling, neighbours fear neighbours, and masters whisper before servants. As the sound of the guillotine echoes outside, within the gilded salons of high society Henrietta becomes a pawn in a vicious game of female power. How will she survive in a world where no one can be trusted?
Henrietta: An Englishwoman alone amidst the French Revolution.
Grace: Former mistress to the highest rulers in France.
Agnes: The current mistress, who will stop at nothing to keep her place in the palace.
A deadly triangle of rivalry and power play. Who will win, who will lose, and who will keep their head?

Opinion:

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It is the story of Henrietta Lightfoot and she narrates her abut her life when she lived in Paris during the French Revolution. The three women of the story were intriguing and how their lives are affected by each other and outside circumstances was beautifully rendered, full of surprises. All the characters seemed larger than life, sympathetic, and often full of surprises. It was touching to live through the terror through their eyes and feel the panic and fear first hand. A fabulous job by the author in this regard.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and at the time of reading, I was unaware that there was a previous book. Thankfully, I was able to fully enjoy and fall into this story without having read book one. 

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog, http://greathistoricals.blogspot.ca, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit http://www.historyandwomen.com.




THE HOUSE OF DANIEL by Harry Turtledove

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books
  • Release: April 19, 2016

Synopsis:

Since the Big Bubble popped in 1929, life in the United States hasn't been the same. Hotshot wizards will tell you nothing's really changed, but then again, hotshot wizards aren't looking for honest work in Enid, Oklahoma. No paying jobs at the mill, because zombies will work for nothing. The diner on Main Street is seeing hard times as well, because a lot fewer folks can afford to fly carpets in from miles away.
Jack Spivey's just another down-and-out trying to stay alive, doing a little of this and a little of that. Sometimes that means making a few bucks playing ball with the Enid Eagles, against teams from as many as two counties away. And somethimes it means roughing up rival thugs for Big Stu, the guy who calls the shots in Enid.
But one day Jack knocks on the door of the person he's supposed to "deal with"--and realizes that he's not going to do any such thing to the young lady who answers. This means he needs to get out of the reach of Big Stu, who didn't get to where he is by letting defiance go unpunished.
Then the House of Daniel comes to town--a brash band of barnstormers who'll take on any team, and whose antics never fail to entertain. Against the odds Jack secures a berth with them. Now they're off to tour an America that's as shot through with magic as it is dead broke. Jack will never be the same--nor will baseball.

If you like fiction that's fun, a little quirky, pure escapism, and that still has one foot in reality, then this is the novel for you. Part historical, part science fiction, it is a story about baseball during the Great Depression. It sparkles with the addition of strange characters like wizards and werewolves, zombies and vampires! Rest assured, these characters play very small parts and in no way detract from the historical aspects of the story. The main character is Jack Spivey. Like many during this era, he is out of work, but manages to survive with odd jobs here and there. He ends up playing semi-pro baseball with a team that call themselves The House of Daniel. Spivey is the narrator and he tells his story in a bold, humorous, and witty manner. I liked his voice and it kept me entertained. This is a fun novel for those who love baseball and zombies, or for light science fiction aficionados. A light and easy read to escape from the realities of life for an hour or two! 

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog, http://greathistoricals.blogspot.ca, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit http://www.historyandwomen.com.

THE CALIFORNIA WIFE by Kristen Harnisch

  • Paperback: 422 pages
  • Publisher: She Writes Press
  • Released: May 10, 2016

Synopsis:

In the sweeping, poignant sequel to The Vintner’s Daughter, the Lemieux family’s ambition to establish an American winemaking dynasty takes Sara and Philippe from pastoral Napa to the Paris World’s Fair and into the colorful heart of early 20th-century San Francisco.

It is 1897, and Sara and Philippe Lemieux, newly married and full of hope for the future, are determined to make Eagle’s Run, their Napa vineyard, into a world-renowned winemaking operation. But the swift arrival of the 20th century brings a host of obstacles they never dreamed of: price wars and the twin threats of phylloxera and Prohibition endanger the success of their business, and the fiercely independent Sara is reluctant to leave the fields behind for the new and strange role of wife and mother. An invitation to the World’s Fair in 1900 comes just in time to revive the vineyard’s prospects, and amid the jewel-colored wonders of Belle Époque Paris, Sara and Philippe’s passion is rekindled as well. But then family tragedy strikes, and, upon their return to California, a secret from Philippe’s past threatens to derail their hard-won happiness in one stroke. Sara gains an ally when Marie Chevreau, her dear friend, arrives in San Francisco as the first female surgery student to be admitted to prestigious Cooper Medical College. Through Marie, Sara gets a glimpse of the glittering world of San Francisco’s high society, and she also forges friendships with local women’s rights advocates, inciting new tensions in her marriage. Philippe issues Sara an ultimatum: will she abandon the struggle for freedom to protect her family’s winemaking business, or will she ignore Philippe and campaign for a woman’s right to vote and earn a fair wage? Fate has other plans in store in the spring of 1906, which brings with it a challenge unlike any other that the Lemieux family or their fellow Northern Californians have ever faced. Will the shadow of history overwhelm Sara and Philippe’s future, despite their love for each other? InThe California Wife, Kristen Harnisch delivers a rich, romantic tale of wine, love, new beginnings, and a family’s determination to fight for what really matters―sure to captivate fans of The Vintner’s Daughter and new readers alike.

REVIEW:

The California Wife is the sequel to The Vintner’s Daughter leaves off. You can read the review here. With Sara's estate and vineyards in France destroyed, she and , yaraavineyardsh - . With Sara's vineyardsh with Sara and Philippe journey to California in an attempt to build up his Napa Valley vineyards and make enough profit to rebuild their vineyards in France. Several conflicts arise in the form of Prohibition and Philippe's dastardly brother.  

Just as the first book, this second one continues the family saga. The main characters continue to intrigue as they face a whole new slew of challenges. I found the settings beautiful and dreamy and the author's knowledge of the wine making industry confident. I loved both these books and eagerly look forward to reading more from this author. Highly recommended!

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog, http://greathistoricals.blogspot.ca, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit http://www.historyandwomen.com.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

THE GIRL FROM THE PARADISE BALLROOM by Alison Love

The first meeting between Antonio and Olivia at the Paradise Ballroom is brief, but electric. Years later, on the dawn of World War II, when struggling Italian singer Antonio meets the wife of his wealthy new patron, he recognizes her instantly: it is Olivia, the captivating dance hostess he once encountered in the seedy Paradise Ballroom. Olivia fears Antonio will betray the secrets of her past, but little by little they are drawn together, outsiders in a glittering world to which they do not belong. At last, with conflict looming across Europe, the attraction between them becomes impossible to resist--but when Italy declares war on England, the impact threatens to separate them forever. The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom is a story of forbidden love and family loyalties amid the most devastating war in human history.

REVIEW:

It is the eve of World War II. While at the Paradise Ballroom, Olivia meets a handsome young Italian man named Antonio. Almost immediately he learns her secret, but keeps it to himself. Besides, he has secrets of his own - he is married and male members of Antonio's family have pledged their loyalty to Mussolini's Fascist Party. Their lives entwine which provides much conflict for an intriguing plot. This is a family saga with several romances weaved into the plot. I especially enjoyed the setting and era, which was shortly before World War II. Each character affects other characters, and they were all well drawn and believable. This was a memorable story with plenty of emotion throughout. A nice book to cozy up with and very recommended!

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog, http://greathistoricals.blogspot.ca, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit http://www.historyandwomen.com.

THE DARK LADY'S MASK by Mary Sharratt

Shakespeare in Love meets Shakespeare’s Sister in this novel of England’s first professional woman poet and her collaboration and love affair with William Shakespeare.

London, 1593. Aemilia Bassano Lanier is beautiful and accomplished, but her societal conformity ends there. She frequently cross-dresses to escape her loveless marriage and to gain freedoms only men enjoy, but a chance encounter with a ragged, little-known poet named Shakespeare changes everything.Aemilia grabs at the chance to pursue her long-held dream of writing and the two outsiders strike up a literary bargain. They leave plague-ridden London for Italy, where they begin secretly writing comedies together and where Will falls in love with the beautiful country — and with Aemilia, his Dark Lady. Their Italian idyll, though, cannot last and their collaborative affair comes to a devastating end. Will gains fame and fortune for their plays back in London and years later publishes the sonnets mocking his former muse. Not one to stand by in humiliation, Aemilia takes up her own pen in her defense and in defense of all women. The Dark Lady’s Mask gives voice to a real Renaissance woman in every sense of the word.

Review:

The Dark Lady’s Mask is intriguing, especially because it is based on a true historical person who knew Shakespeare. Aemilia was a writer herself, a poet who could read Greek and Latin. Most fascinating of all is that she often wore male clothing and was well traveled. In Mary Sharratt's novel, the premise is that she was not only Shakespeare's lover, but also his muse. Although no one will ever know the secrets of their relationship. this book was a great imagining of a possible love story between the two writers. Mary Sharratt writes lovely, easy to enjoy, luscious prose which truly brought this period to life as I read along. I truly enjoyed the novel and highly recommend it to anyone who loves historical biographies or who are followers of the great Shakespeare!

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog, http://greathistoricals.blogspot.ca, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit http://www.historyandwomen.com.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

CALL TO JUNO - Elisabeth Storrs

“An elegant, impeccably researched exploration of early Rome...Elisabeth Storrs weaves a wonderful tale!” —Kate Quinn, author of The Empress of Rome saga
Four unforgettable characters are tested during a war between Rome and Etruscan Veii.
Caecilia has long been torn between her birthplace of Rome and her adopted city of Veii. Yet faced with mounting danger to her husband, children, and Etruscan freedoms, will her call to destroy Rome succeed?
Pinna has clawed her way from prostitute to the concubine of the Roman general Camillus. Deeply in love, can she exert her own power to survive the threat of exposure by those who know her sordid past?
Semni, a servant, seeks forgiveness for a past betrayal. Will she redeem herself so she can marry the man she loves?
Marcus, a Roman tribune, is tormented by unrequited love for another soldier. Can he find strength to choose between his cousin Caecilia and his fidelity to Rome?
Who will overcome the treachery of mortals and gods?
Call to Juno is the third book in the Tales of Ancient Rome saga, which includes The Wedding Shroud and The Golden Dice.

REVIEW

For those who have been following this trilogy, you're in for another treat with this, the third book in the series. And for those who haven't, you don't have to read the first two books to enjoy this one, but I urge you to read The Wedding Shroud, the first book, and follow along from beginning to end. Yup, the books are that good! 

There are many reasons why I fell in love with this series. One of the main reasons is because of its Ancient Etruscan and Roman settings. The author, Elisabeth Storrs has done an incredible amount of research into these ancient Italian cultures, which lends much credibility and authenticity to her novels. 

Etruscan vs Roman - two very different cultures - clash and are at war. At the heart of this turmoil is our protaganist, a native of Rome, but accepted into the highest ranks of the Etruscans. This is a book that has plenty of fascinating characters - eery soothsayers, slaves, cunning prostitutes, and mighty military men to name a few. Betrayal, intrigue, and the brutality of war provide the fodder for the characters to evolve and react to their circumstances in sometimes unpredictable ways. 

This books has it all! Beautiful prose, lush descriptions, a wonderfully evil villain, and a heroine and hero to fall in love with. Definitely recommended. One of my favorite trilogies!      

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog, http://greathistoricals.blogspot.ca, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit http://www.historyandwomen.com.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

DAUGHTERS OF THE SILK ROAD - Debbie Rix

‘She crossed over to the shelf where her father kept the dragon vase. He had placed it there when they first arrived in Venice. She took it down carefully, feeling it cool and comforting under her shaking fingers.’ 

Venice 1441: Maria and her brother Daniele arrive in the birthplace of their father, Niccolo dei Conti. An Italian merchant who has travelled far and wide, Niccolo has brought spices from India, lengths of silk and damask from the lands east of India and porcelain; a vase of pure white, its surface decorated with a cobalt blue dragon, the Chinese symbol of good fortune. Maria settles in her new home, watching the magnificent and bustling city come to life each morning from her bedroom window. But while her father is away travelling, she soon finds herself and Daniele in terrible danger. She must protect her brother at whatever cost, and shemust guard the delicate vase. 

London 2015: Single mother Miranda is struggling to make ends meet and build a new life for her and daughter Georgie. When Miranda meets the charming but mysterious Charles, she is intrigued. Could he be her second chance at love? And why is he so fascinated by the old vase sitting on her hall table… 

REVIEW

This enchanting story revolves around a precious Ming vase acquired in the 15th century by a shipping merchant to give as a gift to the Doge of Venice. Circumstances and some bad luck prevent the vase from leaving the family. Through the centuries the vase was handed down through the generations of the same family, bringing good fortune to its current owner. In the year 2015, the vase is owned by Miranda, a struggling single mother, who is unaware of the vase's true, precious value. She meets and succumbs to the charms of a man named Charles and readily gives her heart to him. But he is not all that he seems.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I especially loved the 15th century setting; it was beautifully written and very emotive. I was no less impressed with the portions of the story that dealt with Miranda. In fact, it definitely tugged at several of my emotions, anger being one of them. And rightly so. When a story can draw so many emotions from a reader, you can be certain that it is an excellent tale! Intrigue, betrayal, and abiding friendship are strong themes. I look forward to reading more by this author! A lovely read. Highly recommended.    

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog, http://greathistoricals.blogspot.ca, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit http://www.historyandwomen.com.

Monday, May 16, 2016

DORA - Julia Schoonenberg

When Dora's settled family life disintegrates following her brother's death in the trenches of World War 1, she is forced to shoulder the responsibility of a demanding mother and an uncertain future. Resourceful and resilient, Dora makes a life for herself but when faced with misfortune and betrayal must decide what price she is willing to pay for the independence she has striven to achieve.

REVIEW
This novel is set in England during the period between World War I and World War II. When Dora's brother, Edwin, is killed in action, her family soon begins to deteriorate. Her mother is devastated at the loss of her favourite child and her crusty personality deteriorates into deep grief and depression. Soon the marriage falls apart and after some machinations by Dora's mother, her father remarries and departs for a new life Canada. When Dora's remaining brother leaves home, Dora is left alone to support her mother. She works in a fashion shop. As life continues, Dora encounters two men and must choose between them. 

This is a tale of love and loss, of choices and betrayals, of lies and truth. What I really enjoyed about this book is how relationships between the characters developed, either deteriorating  or resolving themselves. Although the plot is not fast paced, the story itself was intriguing enough to have captured my interest. There were several subplots swirling about with different characters that added interest and variety. 

The prose is highly legible, easy to understand and read. It flowed nicely, making for a great little escape into a well told tale. The characters were believable and very real. The ending was a bit predictable, but very satisfying. 

For those who love character driven novels, or for book clubs, this is an excellent choice. It makes one ponder on life's decisions and how easy it is to err. 

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog, http://greathistoricals.blogspot.ca, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit http://www.historyandwomen.com.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

RARE OBJECTS by Kathleen Tessaro

In Depression-era Boston, a city divided by privilege and poverty, two unlikely friends are bound by a dangerous secret in this mesmerizing work of historical fiction from the New York Timesbestselling author of The Perfume Collector. Maeve Fanning is a first generation Irish immigrant, born and raised among the poor, industrious Italian families of Boston’s North End by her widowed mother. Clever, capable, and as headstrong as her red hair suggests, she’s determined to better herself despite the overwhelming hardships of the Great Depression. However, Maeve also has a dangerous fondness for strange men and bootleg gin—a rebellious appetite that soon finds her spiraling downward, leading a double life. When the strain proves too much, Maeve becomes an unwilling patient in a psychiatric hospital, where she strikes up a friendship with an enigmatic young woman, who, like Maeve, is unable or unwilling to control her un-lady-like desire for freedom. Once out, Maeve faces starting over again. Armed with a bottle of bleach and a few white lies, she lands a job at an eccentric antiques shop catering to Boston’s wealthiest and most peculiar collectors. Run by an elusive English archeologist, the shop is a haven of the obscure and incredible, providing rare artifacts as well as unique access to the world of America’s social elite. While delivering a purchase to the wealthy Van der Laar family, Maeve is introduced to beautiful socialite Diana Van der Laar—only to discover she’s the young woman from the hospital. Reunited with the charming but increasingly unstable Diana and pursued by her attractive brother James, Mae becomes more and more entwined with the Van der Laar family—a connection that pulls her into a world of moral ambiguity and deceit, and ultimately betrayal. Bewitched by their wealth and desperate to leave her past behind, Maeve is forced to unearth her true values and discover how far she’ll to go to reinvent herself.
REVIEW

Larger than life characters make this story resonate. Nice prose that flows easily at a good clip made this an easy enjoyable book to read. The main characters find themselves in believable dilemmas where they sometimes make very human mistakes. Plenty of conflict is what made this book so readable while an interesting era and setting added great ambiance and social background. I would definitely read another book by this author. A rich story filled with plenty of conflict and interesting turns. 

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Visit my blog, http://greathistoricals.blogspot.ca, where the great historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit http://www.historyandwomen.com.

LAZARETTO by Diane McKinney-Whetstone

This stunning new novel from Diane McKinney - Whetstone, nationally bestselling author of Tumbling, begins in the chaotic backstreets of post–Civil War Philadelphia as a young black woman gives birth to a child fathered by her wealthy white employer. In a city riven by racial tension, the father’s transgression is unforgivable. He has already arranged to take the baby, so it falls to Sylvia, the midwife’s teenage apprentice, to tell Meda that her child is dead—a lie that will define the course of both women’s lives. A devastated Meda dedicates herself to working in an orphanage and becomes a surrogate mother to two white boys; while Sylvia, fueled by her guilt, throws herself into her nursing studies and finds a post at the Lazaretto, the country’s first quarantine hospital, situated near the Delaware River, just south of Philadelphia. The Lazaretto is a crucible of life and death; sick passengers and corpses are quarantined here, but this is also the place where immigrants take their first steps toward the American dream. The live-in staff are mostly black Philadelphians, and when two of them arrange to marry, the city’s black community prepares for a party on its grounds. But the celebration is plunged into chaos when gunshots ring out across the river. As Sylvia races to save the victim, the fates of Meda’s beloved orphans also converge on the Lazaretto. Long ago, one “brother” committed an unthinkable act to protect the other, sparking a chain of events that now puts the Lazaretto on lockdown. Here conflicts escalate, lies collapse, and secrets begin to surface; like dead men rising, past sins cannot be contained.
REVIEW
In the aftermath of the American civil war, on the night of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, two women whose paths cross briefly, are inadvertently linked for years. At the start of the story, a young black woman named Meda is toiling to give birth. The midwife's assistant Sylvia is shocked when the baby's father, takes the baby away and orders her to tell Meda the was stillborn. The secret will haunt Sylvia for the rest of her life. As a means to ease her grief, Meda bonds with two boys, Linc and Bram who reside at a nearby orphanage.
Told through these women's points of view, I was treated to a lush story of dark secrets, hardship, and abounding love. The larger than life characters drew me into the story, each adding a different aspect to this multi-layered story. Lovely prose, wonderfully vivid descriptions, and a darn good yarn made me flip the pages at a furious pace. A definite 5 star read! A great book for book clubs too!
Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog, http://greathistoricals.blogspot.ca, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit http://www.historyandwomen.com.