21 January 2014

Carolina Gold by Dorothy Love

★★★★★
Goodreads | Amazon
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.

Dorothy Love’s Carolina Gold caught my attention, since the story is told from the perspective of a Southern female rice planter. Born and raised in what would be considered the North, throughout my years of education the focus tended to be on the Northern perspective of life during the Restoration, post-Civil War, and I never truly learned how the Southerners dealt with the experiences and challenges of the time. Without focusing too much on the politics of the characters, Love does a great job of exploring the different roles and interactions of Southern society at the time and I greatly appreciated the change in perspective. Though the story started off a bit slowly, I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone with an interest in the post-Civil War era, looking to experience it from a new perspective. As always, I greatly appreciate BookSneeze for providing me with yet another free copy of a novel and the opportunity to review it honestly.

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