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Review: To Whisper Her Name, A Belle Meade Plantation Novel by Tamera Alexander

This is the 1st book for me to review for an Austin, Texas PR group named PR By The Book.
Thank you to PR By The Book and Zondervan for my free review copy in exchange for an honest review.
After the Civil War ended the people of the south were bitter. Their bitterness smoldered on for generations.
I know this because of my own ancestry. My dad who was born in 1922 had a grandfather named John Cooksey that was born just after the Civil War. John Cooksey's father was E.M. Cooksey who fought in the 8th and 36th Infantry in Mississippi. After the war they came to central Texas and made a fresh start. A story has been passed down through the generations that when the Carpetbagger's came to their area of Texas, these men would "disappear". We can put 2 and 2 together and assume the Carpetbagger's were killed.

When To Whisper Her Name begins Olivia Aberdeen is the ostracized widow of Charles Winthrop Aberdeen. Mr. Aberdeen was a hated carpetbagger, he swindled and stole from the people who'd already been through the horror of war. Mr. Aberdeen was a hated enemy. Olivia escapes to the home of her mother's best friend and her husband---Elizabeth and General William Giles Harding. General Harding has a thoroughbred stud farm near Nashville, Tennessee. The name of the farm is Belle Meade. Olivia had been promised to have a job as head housekeeper. On arriving at Bell Meade she is told different. Elizabeth welcomes Olivia, but the rest of the family is cool towards her.
On the day of Olivia's arrival she meets Ridley Adam Cooper. He is a man intent to learn all there is to know about horses. Mr. Cooper through uncomfortable circumstances had already met a Mr. Bob Greene that is a trainer of these magnificent horses. Mr. Cooper knows Mr. Greene is the man that can teach him. When Olivia and Mr. Cooper meet, she pretends aloofness, yet for both of them they know something is "there". Both Olivia and Mr. Cooper have a past they wish to remain quiet about. Both will need to learn,
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. God, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:37-38. NIV.

I loved this story!
The main reason I love it is it's a story that is not over the top with silly romance, instead the story develops a maturity over time just as the main characters Olivia and Mr. Copper do.
Olivia and Mr. Cooper need time to heal from wounds. So often in life when we meet someone we begin a relationship quickly without regard to whether it's the "right" time. Sometimes slow and steady is the "right" course of action.
Even though Olivia was dependent on General Harding and his wife Elizabeth, she was willing and eager to work. I admire Olivia for this character trait. Through other hardened circumstances she gained the respect of others who at first pre-judged her. She is an admirable character that is easy to like and cheer for.
To Whisper Her Name gave me an inkling of what life was like after the war. Many previous black slaves continued to stay on at Belle Meade. The plantation had a reputation and income that could continue to keep its servants. Even though slavery had ended, many in the south did not see slaves as being free, they wanted to continue with the old ways. One of the old ways was through the stolen ability to be educated.

Published October 23, 2012 by Zondervan 
480 pages
Fiction/Romance/Post Civil War/Horse Farm/Old South
Link @ publisher:

Link @ Amazon:
Paperback $9.98
Kindle $4.99


Carole said…
Hi there, the November edition of Books You Loved is now live. Here is the link Books You Loved November Edition Please do pop by and link in a post about a book you loved. Maybe this one? Cheers