By Marylu Tyndall
Published by Barbour Books
Back Cover: Embark on a seafaring adventure in a brand-new series from bestselling author MaryLu Tyndall. After witnessing the death and destruction caused by the Civil War, Colonel Blake Wallace is eager to leave his once precious Southern homeland for the pristine shores of Brazil and the prospect of a new utopian community. Widow Eliza Crawford seeks passage on Wallace’s ship harboring a dirty secret—and a blossoming hope for a fresh start. But will dangers from the sea and from man keep them from the peace and love they long for?
REVIEW: Thanks to The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org for a review copy of a book that made me feel I was taking this voyage along with its passengers. The majority of this book is spent on a ship headed to Brazil I felt for them as they sacrificed so much to get to Brazil - their Promised Land.
Marylou also gave me a glimpse into the harsh realities of what people endured after the Civil War. This author has a note to readers that said, “Disillusioned by the loss and devastation of war and persecuted under the vengeful thumb of the north, nearly three million southerners migrated from the former confederate states in years following the Civil War…a great majority traveled to Canada and Mexico. Exactly how many immigrated to Brazil is unknown…Southerners were not even required to have passports. They simply boarded ships and sailed away.”
This explains why these passengers endured so much to get to Brazil. This author had me instantly connect with so many characters and their situations. One of my favorite is Eliza Crawford. She was a nurse in the war hoping for a fresh start in this foreign land. I also liked Blake. His official title is Colonel Blake Wallace; he’d chosen people to start a new community that had special skills their village needed. There was a Dr. James, Eliza a nurse, someone was a builder, etc. Each member would help build a new Southern city.
Many on this ship were looking for new beginnings not just to create a new Southern existence but to leave their past behind and start anew. For many that was easier said than done. Many had secrets hidden deep not wanting anyone to discover what they were running from. Eliza thinks to herself. “If only she had listened to her father and her uncle, she would be home now with a loving family. She wouldn’t have been forced to witness things (on the battlefield) no lady should ever see. She was forced to take care of herself in a man’s world.”
“Brazil is the new Eden!” Mr. Dodd exclaimed. “A paradise waiting to be harvested.”
Blake asks what Elisa hopes to find in Brazil, she says, “I long for peace and a place to nurse cuts and colds not amputations and bullet wounds.”
Blake replies, “…You said it all so succinctly in that one world “Peace”. Yes, Peace. Eliza. And to start a colony. Be there at the beginning of a new city, a new community, just like our forefathers, very exciting.”
Everyone was thrilled at this fresh start. It would all be worth it in the long run. I liked this action packed emotional read with diversified characters all desiring this new beginning for a variety of reasons. It wasn’t smooth sailing but their hopes weren’t dashed. They would endure what they had to in order to get to Brazil - their Promised Land.
I was captivated by this voyage. I was blown away at how she made me feel as if I were on the ship with the passengers battling the storms and pirates trying to overtake their ship. I didn’t realize all that was involved in going across the ocean in operating a ship and the dangers they’d face. I had no idea about all of the obstacles. I almost felt sea sick! Grin!
Then Eliza’s secret is revealed. I was surprised by the people’s reactions. They were treating her like she was Jonah (in the bible) and wanted to throw her overboard. They were convinced she brought bad luck and caused all their misfortune on their voyage. They were convinced that having her off the ship would change everything. Colonel Blake Williams would not hear of it. That’s not how things were dealt with. Especially with a woman he had mixed feelings about; could possibly love.
He would help them deal with their losses and pain (as he was trying to do too). “We will create a new land, a land where we can keep our freedom, our honor, our integrity, and our Southern Ways. A land where no one can tell us how to live.”
I was gripped by this drama. My heart ached for several of the characters and all they had been though. They would soon find out there was no Utopia in this world; they were human after all. I liked how Marylou mixed it up on the ship so many things to watch out for battling nature as they sailed the sea and also battled to stay healthy so they could start building their new community.
I like how this author deals with unforgiveness in this book. She helped me walk in these characters shoes. I felt their hatred and pain they harbored. I could understand their struggle with forgiveness vs revenge. The spirituality in this book is interwoven naturally. There were more than one battle these passengers dealt with and on so many levels. Loved that aspect along with author’s brilliant mix of mystery, suspense, drama and a sweet romance. This author left the me wanting more. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. Elusive Hope.
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