Book 1 of SHENANDOAH SISTERS. Two young Southern girls, one the daughter of a plantation owner and one the daughter of a slave, barely survive the onset of the Civil War and the loss of both their families. When these tragic circumstances bring them together, they join forces to discover if they can make a life for themselves. As their preconceptions give way to experience, they gradually learn to value their contrasting and complementing strengths and skills as they face the formidable task of keeping body and soul together in the aftermath of this devastating war. But is it possible the Lord they have come to know has something bigger in mind for the plantation than either of them can imagine?
In this first book in the Shenandoah Sisters series, Phillips, a prolific author and longtime CBA bookseller, offers a light historical novel with the flavor of young adult fiction. Mary Ann "Mayme" Jukes is a young African-American slave girl living in Shenandoah County, in North Carolina, in the 1860s. When marauding outlaw Confederate soldiers kill her family, she escapes to Rosewood, another plantation owned by the white family of Kathleen "Katie" Clairborne. Here, Mayme finds more devastation; 15-year-old Katie is the only person left alive. The girls become friends and together vow to run the plantation and keep the adults' deaths a secret until Katie comes of legal age to own the debt-ridden property. The book is mostly a collection of short, sketchy scenes, presumably setting up events for the next book in the series. Phillips's prose is simple and workmanlike, adeptly moving the events along. The reader is left with a few questions (the plantation is devastated, yet the girls have plenty of livestock and groceries), and the spiritual thread is fairly basic (God tells Mayme directly what to do, and they speak to each other in italics). The epilogue leaves the reader hanging until the promised second installment. Young evangelical Christian women looking for escapist historical fiction will find this passable, if not particularly memorable, entertainment.
Thoroughly enjoyable read!
“Angels Watching Over”
“Angels Watching Over” is an
extremely worthwhile novel to read. It is set on a plantation in
North Carolina during and just
after the Civil War. The story is
told at a very personal level(1st
person-singular), by a fifteen year
old slave girl, Mayme ,who experiences much horror. However, Mayme, very dutifully
does what would be expected
of her, thus carrying on. After
meeting Katie, the daughter of
a nearby plantation owner, the
two encounter many dilemmas,
but finally Mayme has an amazing
revelation from God and the small
group face the future all together.
An enchanting, inspiring story!!
Also from the eyes of any reader.