Redfish Oak ISBN: 9780997598650 On-Target Words (Kindle Edition) copyright and written by George Putnam and Jewel Grutman.
The authors have set forth a historical novel covering the often viscous post- Civil War Era particularly in the south. Four hundred year old St. Augustine, FL is the setting. Young, beautiful and well educated Nan Carew is living temporally in town with her father Lance, a distinguished lawyer, while their mansion is being renovated. Nan, along with another lovely young woman, Abigail Kearney, teaches black children and is attempting to educate them to converse more with whites. Nan befriends a young black boy, Lija Taylor, who is in her class and also Boy Hunting, a young Kiowa Indian brought into the area with a number of other Kiowa and Cheyenne by Captain Pratt as an experiment to train Indians in white man’s ways, who is also being taught by the two young women and their mentor. When Abigail is killed under mysterious circumstances, former Confederate General Wood, a dedicated black/Indian hater, now St. Augustine’s Sheriff, arrests Lije’s father. Nan, a headstrong and most determined individual decides to fight the unleashed open hatred of blacks and Indians exhibited by Wood and others and the story escalates into a suspenseful thriller peopled by these and other interestingly characterized villains and heroes.
Discussion: A captivating tale provided by unusual authors and containing characters a reader can love and hate while learning of a most vicious prejudicial era simultaneously with a sizeable number of historical facts well documented by the list of authoritative individuals and references included.
5* Suspenseful thriller with authentic historical bases.
RIPPLE EFFECT Because of the War ISBN: 9781532398278 assumed published, copyright and written by Jenny Ferns.
Briefly, the story presents a quite in-depth picture of the horrific period encountered by Londoners especially, and other English residents through the ‘ripple effect’ of WW II – the bombings, the splitting of families with child evacuations to ‘safer’ areas where they were housed with unknown foster parents, extreme food shortages/rationing, petrol control and constant uncertainty with respect to life itself and that of loved ones. It extends further exploring the devastating post war period with its resulting bouts of extended depression, alcoholism, narcotic addition, and the debilitating results of PTSD. The tale is presented in five distinct parts. The first is in pre-WW II London and introduces sisters Veronica, a stable university graduate counselor in a Child Guidance Clinic; her more ‘flighty’ younger sister Rachel; Veronica’s flat-sharing mate and steadfast friend Heather; Suzie, Rachel’s out-of-wedlock daughter; Richard, senior RAF pilot who marries Veronica. Part II depicts war time civilian as well as military (air) activity. III is set in a small village after the war. IV follows a move of return to city life. Part V provides a section entitled Changes and depicts the results of changes finally initiated in an attempt to combat the hugely destructive influences the war had inflicted on countless family lives as exemplified here by providing one family’s horrendously distressing trials.
Discussion: the author has described one of the more devastating periods in modern history and has approached it in a quite sensitive manner from her personal experience as an Englishwoman and mother and later a clinical psychologist who in private practice had specialized in trauma, PTSD, addiction and family dynamics. The characters presented quite nicely reflect the activities one should expect from the flaws enclosed within each of them and the final outcome is totally credible. A caveat should be included for readers who might find certain references unacceptable. However, they must be reminded that this is a story set in a time when such references were quite routine.
5* Devastating effects of WW II on a London family; caveat required.