Sunday, December 8, 2013

Carolina Gold by Dorothy Love


Carolina Gold by Dorothy Love   

From booksneeze.com:

Book Description

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.
Leona's Review:

Carolina Gold by Dorothy Love takes us back to the time era after the Civil War of the United States.  The book begins in Charleston, South Carolina, 3 March 1868.

Charlotte Fraser has lost her father and is about the meet with his lawyer.  She is 23 years of age and alone as both of her parents are gone, her mother when Charlotte was 12 years old. Their plantation grew rice before the war and Charlotte if trying to grow the crop again.

Carolina Gold concentrates on a young woman trying to survive without help, a home that has been partially destroyed and money that is very tight for Charlotte as well as her neighbors who also lost so much during this trying time. It does not spend a lot of time on the war period but after the war and the problems they have. There are also some good times that are refreshing, the beach for example.

Charlotte tutors the children of Nicholas Betancourt, who has lost his wife; the children and Charlotte become very close. I really liked the character of Daniel and was so glad he was added to the book. In fact, all the characters played an important role. Every woman needs a good friend such as Augusta.

Charlotte's father told her "you must have patience and faith." (page 150)

"Circumstances has given me little choice" says Charlotte. (page 266)

Real life situations such as "swatting flies", "humidity and wiping the face with a handkerchief" and  "bleeding patients". Some politics and just enough to add to the time period.  Books and education were some of the main topics and played an important role.

Many occasions in the book which add to the story and always seem to advance the projects such as reading, drawing, sickness, crops ruined and searching for what and why her father was telling her before he died.

I liked this book and give it a 5 star. There was a lot of history and I personally thought feelings for the characters.  The clothes of the period, carriages, needlework, church, sickness, New Orleans, the South, books, the beach and when and how to do the crops. No bad language and a love story that is of the time era such as courtships.

I would have liked to see a recipe for Augusta's tea cakes, they sounded good.
The front of the book has a map (always appreciated) and the back has a Reading Group Guide. (page 323) Question # 3: How did the war change the roles of Southern women? How were these changes shown in the book?
The book is "Dedicated to the memory of Elizabeth Waties Allston Pringle (1845-1921), whose remarkable life and work inspired this novel" There is also a picture of her on the dedication page.
Author's Note on page 320.
Acknowledgements on page 325.
About the Author on page 328.
I received a complimentary copy of Carolina Gold from booksneeze.com to read and review. The opinions are my own.
Dorothy Love may be reached at: www.dorothylovebooks.com
Leona Olson



1 comment:

Becca said...

I love books like this that take place a long time ago. There's just something special about getting lost in another time period! :)