BOOK REVIEW “CHARLOTTESVILLE” by Joanne Sexton.
BLURB.An American Civil War Love Story
Being a southern belle is hard enough, but it’s even harder if your perspective is at odds to those of your parents and of the times. The Civil War swoops into the heart of the South, taking husbands, beaus, and hope. No one dreams of being a widow, or of harboring a fugitive, but Savannah never was one to follow rules.
There should be shame in falling in love with a Yankee, the very symbol of how she lost her husband and how the South has been disrupted and destroyed, but the heart is free despite being caught in a cage. Love is as cruel as it is kind. Suffering two swift losses, husband and then Jed, Savannah lives with the only thing left; hope.
Savannah hopes she can find him again, hopes he can find her, despite the carnage of war, despite the desecration of law and order. A rebel never surrenders, and neither does Savannah.
My REVIEW.🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Fresh, inviting and a good read.
The challenge any author faces when writing a romance novel set in America’s Deep South just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War is huge.
Comparisons will inevitably be made to the book that set the bar so high in this field. Yes, I’m talking about “Gone with the Wind.” Margaret Mitchell’s characters are the benchmark, and trying to erase the visions of Clarke Gable as Rhett Butler and Vivienne Leigh as the indomitable Scarlett O’Hara is difficult if not downright impossible.
Having read previous works by author Joanne Sexton I wanted to see just how she attacked this awesome challenge. I made a concerted effort to read this book as something fresh, new, and set my pre-conceived notions aside.
If you can do that, then you are free to enjoy this fresh take.
The characterizations are beautifully crafted in this book, there are no cookie cutter types here, each of the pivotal characters are fresh. I found myself invested in their lives from the outset.
Meet Savannah. Raised in the Deep South by parents who dared go against the norm, and elected to free their slaves before Lincoln had ever called for it. Her friends are aghast initially; however Savannah’s dignity and sturdy defense of her parents choices win many, if not all of them, over.
They don’t share her upbringing, but she is someone they love and admire. The conflict is well handled.
Savannah finds love and marries; just in time for him to be sent off to fight in a war, he believes is just.
The author communicates the frustrations of distance and uncertainty extremely well. Savannah’s innocence is shattered in the aftermath of his death.
When she takes in a Yankee in the form of Jed all her beliefs are challenged, and challenged harshly. The author allows us to see her inner turmoil; the guilt she carries as she begins to fall heavily for a man fighting on the other-side is handled well.
Jed is a strong male figure. Depicted well.
Ultimately, this book is a Romance. Although the conflict of the setting and the people and their aspirations are clearly and lovingly etched, it is ultimately a romance, and a fine one.
If Romance is what you are seeking in this book, then you will enjoy it. Fresh, inviting and a good read.
You will find Joanne on Twitter at @JoWritesRomnce.