Readin’, ‘Ritin’ …and Reality.
A busy weekend interfered with all of the above.
Before the weekend, however, I was able to finish another book for the Venice in February challenge. Crossing the Bridge of Sighs was a fun little romantic romp through Venice, where our heroine Claire, has gone to lick her wounds after finding her husband en flagrante with another man. Claire quickly obtains not just one, but two new men in her life, as well as being “haunted” by some very romantic historical figures who keep popping up to lend her advice. Although the plot was a bit contrived for my taste, the author seems to know modern day Venice, and there were some nice descriptions of places and customs which helped made up for it.
Also this week I finished The Rebel Wife, a very compelling novel set in the south during the Reconstruction period. Augusta Sedlaw Branson, is the daughter of a genteel southern family who has been forced into a marriage of convenience with Eli Branson, a wealthy Republican and advocate for the freed black population. This hasn’t made him popular with the embittered and vanquished Confederates of the town, and when Eli dies of a mysterious blood fever, Gus quickly discovers that he has kept many devastating secrets about their circumstances. The book details Gus’ attempts to make a safe life for herself and her young son. To do this, she must rely on the help of people who were once her slaves. The Rebel Wife was fascinating, because it was a look at an era we don’t often read about. After the end of the Civil War, the southern people were bitter and angry. They were not at all ready to change their way of life, or their feelings about slavery. The characters in The Rebel Wife capture these feelings perfectly.
As a special treat for Valentine’s Day, I’m offering my copies of these books as giveaways, along with a little Valentine’s Day surprise 🙂 If you’d like either Crossing the Bridge of Sighs, or The Rebel Wife, leave a comment below with. Winner will be chosen at random on Wednesday, February 15. (Open to readers in the United States only, please.)