My little burrow is a peaceful place to be. The first thing I did this morning was clean the ashes out of the wood burner and start a new fire. Later on I cleaned my home, washed the dishes, added white lights around the room, and (finally) put up picture tiles that I ordered in November from my trip out west. Most importantly I mailed my first mortgage check and set up an appointment to get my propane lines checked so the tank can be refilled. In-between that I had my devotions, wrote thank you cards, made leftovers into soup for lunch, took a nap, picked up my new vaccum at the post office, put it together, and swept my living room, finished reading a book, ate chex mix, and my roommate had company over.
January is a bit of a slower pace at work, which is utterly delightful, and I’m finally getting caught up on some things around my house. Also – for the first time in what seems like forever – I’m reviewing a book on it’s actual release date. Wonders never cease, do they?
About the Book
Cordelia Owens can weave a hopeful dream around anything and is well used to winning the hearts of everyone in Savannah with her whimsy. Even when she receives word that her sweetheart has been lost during a raid on a Yankee vessel, she clings to hope and comes up with many a romantic tale of his eventual homecoming to reassure his mother and sister.
But Phineas Dunn finds nothing redemptive in the first horrors of war. Struggling for months to make it home alive, he returns to Savannah injured and cynical, and all too sure that he is not the hero Cordelia seems determined to make him. Matters of black and white don’t seem so simple anymore to Phin, and despite her best efforts, Delia’s smiles can’t erase all the complications in his life. And when Fort Pulaski falls and the future wavers, they both must decide where the dreams of a new America will take them, and if they will go together.
Why I Choose This Book
Roseanna M. White is a masterful storyteller and has authored several of my favorites. In fact, some years her books are the only ones that hit five stars for me. So, when I saw she had a new release coming, I jumped at the chance of being part of her early release team. (Who doesn’t want to get to tell everyone else about a great new read?)
WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BOOK
Like I did with my last review, I’m going to go with the three pros and three cons style review.
- I’m always fascinated by creative people who can tell stories out loud. I know that it often goes hand-in-hand with being a writer, but despite enjoying writing, telling stories in person is not one of my fortes. The main character, Delia, enjoys writing and kept her family and friends entertained by telling them wild tales. Having a book about a writer isn’t unique, but I enjoyed the twists Miss Roseanna added to the story by making Delia so thoroughly whimsical without being shallow. So often in historical fiction, whimsical female characters are annoying and unrealistic, but Delia was the perfect balance and that was great.
- Several of the characters had fantastic arcs. And, as a character-driven reader, it was my favorite part of the story to watch them learn and grow. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to live in a time when it was commonplace and acceptable to own another human. Miss Roseanna did a good job of showing the main characters grapple with this and slowly begin to see the truth. The secondary characters also had depth that I enjoyed reading about, and although we got to be in their heads a bit, I would have enjoyed being there more.
- As always with Miss Roseanna’s writing, it felt thoroughly researched and I was sucked into the setting. As I read, I was reminded that I’m so thankful I live in a state with all four seasons so I don’t have to live through sweltering Georgian summers – so if any of y’all are having cabin fever maybe you should pick this book up. 😉
- While I liked the book, it sadly didn’t make it to my favorite’s list. Nothing was wrong with the story, it just didn’t capture me like Miss Roseanna’s tales commonly do. This, very simply, has to do with the period and setting. When I was in my mid-teens I saturated my life with historical fiction that took place during the Civil War. And, while it’s a fantastic time to read about and learn from, I don’t enjoy it as much anymore due to the large volume of books that I’ve read on the subject. So, that means if you like Miss Roseanna’s writing – or just well-written historical fiction in general – then this book would probably be a great one for you to pick up.
- The pacing of the first half of the book was too slow for my tastes. Sometimes slow pacing is just what I’m looking for, but for this story, it didn’t sit as well with me.
- There were certain plot points that I felt have been overdone, but Miss Roseanna did have enough of her own spin on them that it didn’t bother me too much.
I enjoy Miss Roseanna’s writing. Whenever she has another book come out, I’ll jump at the chance to read it, and I’ll excitedly tell y’all about it. Just because this setting wasn’t my favorite, doesn’t mean it won’t be your favorite, so you should totally check it out.
As far as content goes, the storyline explores (not in detail) how female slaves were treated unfairly by men. There’s also a man with wrong intentions towards the women in the stories, but again, nothing was shown in great detail. It takes place during a war, so there’s a couple of fighting scenes, sickness, and fear.
I’m giving Dreams of Savannah 3 out of 5 stars. The author/publisher sent me a complimentary copy of the book so I could review it, but all opinions expressed are mine alone. Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for sending me this book!
Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.