The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.

My Antebellum Phase

This week I seemed to be in an “Antebellum Phase” and read two novels from that time period.  The first, The Rebel Wife (B) by Taylor M. Polites has the reader caught up in the politics that affected both white and black people after the Civil War.  Augusta Branson’s husband of ten years has just died.  Soon she will learn that the fortune that she thought she had is gone.  Her husband was involved in many activities before and during their marriage that are a complete surprise to Gus.  She pretty much lived in a well do to environment focusing on her needs.  She didn’t love her husband and was forced into marrying him by her mother and Uncle.  That very Uncle, Judge, has been anything but fair and honest.  As Gus tries to save herself and her household from disease and poverty, she learns about her own strength and determination.

The Healing (B) by Jonathan Odell was the second book I read.  Granada was born a slave but shares the birthday of the master’s daughter Becky.  Becky dies at age 12 from cholera.  In order to comfort and save the mind of the mistress, Granada is given to her.  She is raised under the guidance of Aunt Sylvie the house slave and local healer.  Sylvie passes on her healing powers to Granada.   She is split between the world of slavery and the life of a white girl. As Granada narrates her story we learn how both impact her future.

The Civil War in historical fiction appeals to me the most.  I wouldn’t consider either of these books to be favorites but each well depicts the time frame.  Polites, in The Rebel Wife, did extensive research and incorporated reliable and accurate information in his novel. I learned a lot about the politics of antebellum and the life of the freed slave post emancipation.  The Healing was fun to read and satisfied my historical fiction craving.  I’d recommend both but not maybe in the same week.  I, now, seem to be stuck in the late 1800s 🙂



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