Saturday, January 4, 2014

Carolina Gold by Dorothy Love

Carolina Gold
by Dorothy Love
Christian Fiction / Historical
Available December 2013
Thomas Nelson
336 pages

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About the Book
The war is over, but at Fairhaven Plantation, Charlotte's struggle has just begun.

Following her father’s death, Charlotte Fraser returns to Fairhaven, her family’s rice plantation in the South Carolina Lowcountry. With no one else to rely upon, smart, independent Charlotte is determined to resume cultivating the superior strain of rice called Carolina Gold.  But the war has left the plantation in ruins, her father’s former bondsmen are free, and workers and equipment are in short supply.

To make ends meet, Charlotte reluctantly agrees to tutor the two young daughters of her widowed neighbor and heir to Willowood Plantation, Nicholas Betancourt.  Just as her friendship with Nick deepens, he embarks upon a quest to prove his claim to Willowood and sends Charlotte on a dangerous journey that uncovers a long-held family secret, and threatens everything she holds dear.

Inspired by the life of a 19th-century woman rice farmer, Carolina Gold pays tribute to the hauntingly beautiful Lowcountry and weaves together  mystery, romance, and historical detail, bringing to life the story of one young woman’s struggle to restore her ruined world.

My Thoughts
I've not read many books set during the Reconstruction period after the American Civil War, so I've been looking forward to reading another of Dorothy Love's books set during this time. Carolina Gold takes readers to the Low Country of South Carolina where families are trying to save their rice plantations and carry on—without slave labor. Charlotte returns to her childhood home after her father's death, determined to see Fairhaven Plantation in all its glory. Running a plantation in any condition would be a challenge, but returning as a single woman to a home looted by Yankee soldiers and former slaves, Charlotte has her work cut out for her.

I thought this was a beautiful book. The author gives readers a wonderful view of life in the South after the Civil War. It obviously wasn't an easy time in history, but Love highlights some of the remarkable families who were determined to move on one way or another. I also really enjoyed the author's writing style. She has a great way with words and made the surroundings come to life. She also did a great job explaining the current events of the day.

While I thought the writing was beautiful, the story didn't really come alive for me. I kept waiting for the story to really take off, but it never really did. I didn't feel tension between characters or events ... or any other strong emotions. Instead, this was a steady story, which moved along to tell you about a period in history ... without really giving readers a story. I honestly don't know if that even makes sense. I did enjoy the book but I was more had happened. I wanted to be gripped by the story or the characters or something, but it never really happened.

If you enjoy reading about the Reconstruction Era or if you enjoy simple historical fiction, this was an enjoyable read. If you're looking for a captivating story, this probably isn't the book for you.  [3 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson and Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
A former journalist, free-lance writer and college professor, Dorothy Love explores the intersection of history and human relationships to create novels that speak to the hearts of women everywhere. She is the author of the acclaimed Hickory Ridge novels set in her native state of Tennessee. After earning a masters degree and Ph.D, she authored dozens of magazine articles before breaking into book publishing with a number of award-winning novels for preteens and young adults. The Hickory Ridge series marked her adult fiction debut. Currently she is working on several stand-alone historical novels set in the South.
When she isn’t busy writing or researching her next book, Love enjoys hiking, traveling, and hanging out with her husband Ron and their rambunctious golden retriever. The Loves make their home in the Texas hill country.

Dorothy Love Online
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1 comment:

  1. I'm currently reading this and enjoying it, although I agree with your thoughts. As long as the writing and characterization are good, I don't have to have a lot of action. I guess I just like good drama. Loved your review!

    ReplyDelete

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