Gone with the Wind meets The Help in the stunning prequel to Leila Meacham's bestselling family epic Roses.
"From birth, Jessica had eschewed the role to which she'd been born. Was it because she sensed that her father's indulgence was compensation for his disappointment in her? Jessica thought too much, questioned, challenged, rebelled. Sometimes Eunice thought her daughter should have been born a male."
Born into the wealthiest and most influential family in 1830s South Carolina, Jessica Wyndham was expected to look appealing, act with decorum, and marry a suitably prominent and respectable man. However, her outspoken opinions and unflagging sense of justice make her a difficult-and dangerous-firebrand, especially for slavery-dependent Carson Wyndham. Jessica's testing of her powerful father's love is only the beginning of the pain, passion, and triumph she will experience on a journey with the indomitable, land-obsessed Silas Toliver and headstrong Jeremy Warwick to a wild new land called Texas.
PRAISE FOR LEILA MEACHAM
"Discovering Leila Meacham and her spectacular talent is akin to discovering gold. With this novel she has become a national treasure." -- Huffington Post
"Rich with American history and pitch-perfect storytelling, fans and new readers alike will find themselves absorbed in the family saga that Meacham has proven-once again-talented in telling." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Bestselling author Meacham is back with a prequel to Roses that stands on its own as a sweeping historical saga, spanning the 19th century. This time Meacham delves into the backstory of the Tolivers and Warwicks before they settled in Howbutker, Tex. The son of a plantation owner in South Carolina, young Silas Toliver has big plans to join his best friend Jeremy Warwick on a wagon train to the new territory of Texas with his true love, Lettie. The only problem is that his father has died and left him with nothing, so he has no funds to pursue his dream that is, until a neighboring plantation owner, Mr. Carson Wyndham, offers him an unorthodox deal: he'll fund Toliver's trip to Texas, and set him up with a plantation there, if Toliver will marry his daughter, Jessica Wyndham. Jessica helped free a slave and could cause scandal for the family if she stays in South Carolina. After much inner turmoil, Toliver agrees. And so begins a tangled love story, and a curse that follows the Toliver family through multiple generations. Rich with American history and pitch-perfect storytelling, fans and new readers alike will find themselves absorbed in the family saga that Meacham has proven once again talented in telling.
Fell in love with the characters and how their lives entwined. Love that the story takes place partly in the Texas frontier. Great summer read along with Roses! Somerset was favorite of the two.
Exceptionally well done. One of the best book after "Gone with the wind".
What a great follow up book to Roses. Can't wait for her next book.