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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Receive Me Falling

by Erika Robuck

This dramatic story revolves around a plantation located on Nevis Island in the Caribbeans. Every other chapter tells the story of Meg who, with the untimely death of both her parents, inherits the plantation. The alternating chapters tell the story of the Dalls who own the plantation in the early 1830s.

After breaking off her engagement, Meg takes a leave of absence from her job and flies to Nevis where she gets her first look and at Eden, the large plantation house with its acres and acres of land. Nobody has lived on the plantation for over 150 years and the signs of neglect are everywhere. Meg decides to investigate the history of the plantation before selling it to a large hotel chain. She uncovers a diary, an original artwork that could be worth a lot of money and lots of family secrets.

The parallel story focuses on Catherine Dall the young mistress of Eden. Her mother died in giving birth to her and her father has turned into a drunk. She has a heart of gold and tries to make the slaves' lives as comfortable as possible. Her best friend is a young slave girl who is just 2 days younger than Catherine. Pressure builds as Catherine is forced to take over more and more of the running of the plantation because of her father's condition and yet, she lives in fear of the plantation overseer. The neighbor, also a wealthy plantation owner is becoming more persistent in his attention to Catherine - attention that Catherine does not welcome. Stir into this mix a couple of abolitionists who become friends with the Dalls.

The two stories unfold with new found mysteries side by side with each girl discovering long buried secrets. There are personal family truths that are revealed that devastate and cause both girls to struggle to regain equilibrium in their lives.

A few of the characters are fleshed out in this book, but the focus is more on the plot - what's happening, what are the outcomes and how do they affect the characters. Taking this approach the author allows the reader to step in and be/feel as if she was the character. It worked very well in this book

I'm always pleased when I learn new things in a book as well as being entertained and captivated for several hours. I looked up Nevis on Google Earth and saw that it is quite a small island and that it really exists.

I am always amazed at authors. The gift to put on paper a story that is engaging is beyond my comprehension. And when I read debut novels that are this good, I'm really amazed. I look forward to reading more books by Ms. Robuck.

15 comments:

Diane said...

This sounds like a fascinating historical novel. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

Literary Feline said...

As Diane said, this does sound fascinating. Like you, I constantly find myself amazed at authors and what they can do with words. I'll have to add this one to my wish list. Thanks for the great review!

Staci said...

I love it too when an author can take just a little note of history and turn it into something that we can't tear ourselves away from reading. Excellent review on this one!

Dar said...

This book sounds amazing. I haven't heard of it before so thanks for the review and bringing it to my attention. I love the look of your blog! It's just great.

Framed said...

So, would you like to trade this one to me for Harvest?

Hazra said...

This sounds great. It's a great joy to read a fantastic debut book; you get a fresh perspective.

Carrie K said...

It does sound great. Currently checking if my library has it....

Zibilee said...

This sounds like a great book, and I have already added it to my wish list. I think the cover is beautiful as well. Great review, you have managed to make me really excited about this book, even though I had never heard of it before now. Thanks!

Sheila (bookjourney) said...

I have this one.... cant wait to read it!

Crystal said...

This sounds really good - I'm going to have to check it out.

Marie said...

This sounds like great historical fiction. Terrific review- thanks! And thank you for stopping by my blog to wish me a happy blogiversary! :-)

Holly said...

Terrific review. I loved this one too!

Erika Robuck said...

Thanks so much for your thoughtful review! I appreciate you taking the time to read a new author.

Cheers!
Erika Robuck

gautami tripathy said...

Great review. I too liked the book. I have linked your review with mine. Please do check my review here. You too can link back if you wish

gautami tripathy said...

Oops!

I goofed up with the link. My correct link is here.