Olivia's late husband was a trader to the south and she is left to face society as an outcast because of it. Thankfully her late mothers good friend takes her in when she has no where to go. She soon meets Ridley who at first she can't stand but the more she gets to know him the more she starts to care. Ridley comes to Belle Meade Plantation because he wants to learn how to work with horses and the man to learn from is Bob Green. He only plans to stay a few weeks but soon finds himself there longer and the longer he stays the more his heart starts to fall for Olivia. He has a secret though that could ruin everything he is trying to do. Can Olivia over come her her late husbands shadow and can Ridley find his way and will love blossom?
This is the first book I have read by this author and I enjoyed it. This is a longer novel and covers a lot of ground.
What I liked: This is a very well written book and it was easy to feel like I was right there at the plantation. The characters where likable and well written and developed. I also loved the cover picture, beautiful dress!
What I did not like: This book was very long and at times I felt the book could have moved faster. The book took a long time to develop but yet the ending was kind of fast and left me going that's it? I don't understand why a little more time could have been given to the ending. I also felt the climax of the book was kind of weak.
Over all I enjoyed this book but it was a little long and drawn out at times and the ending was so abrupt I felt a little disappointed. The writing was great and I love the detail and depth of the book. I hope to read more books from this author in the future.
A sweeping saga that packs an emotional punch and makes you think. What a winning combination! Loved the rich history that Alexander so carefully details -- and not just with facts but with feeling as well. I felt each character's struggle, my emotions ranging from horror to euphoria time and time again.
Both hero and heroine are sympathetic characters with complicated lives in a complicated time. The author brings a richness and depth to the story with intricate layers that buried me beneath the pages. A substantial 473 pages, To Whisper Her Name still wasn't long enough for me!
What a masterly crafted story! Tamera Alexander outdid herself on this one! Even though I had expected the story line to have a bit more action, it no way detracts from the beautifully well-researched three-dimensional characterization of the two main characters while keeping it historically accurate in the post Civil War era.
Ridley Cooper was a Union soldier who made the courgeous decison to side against the Confederacy during the Civil war. He is a man who stood by his beliefs while at the same time still showing respect to everyone around him, including the intimidating General Harding. He is caught off guard for his feelings for Olivia Aberdeen; a desititue widow whose husband has been shot as a traitor to the Confederacy.
Burdened with sorrow and with the betrayal of her late husband, Olivia arrives at the Belle Meade Plantation with the intent of becoming the Hardings' new head housekeeper. She soon finds out though that the general did not have the same idea in mind for her presence there. She soon finds herself falling for the handsome new foreman while at the same time determined never to be betrayed again by a man.
Tamera has crafted a wonderful story which takes place in a beautiful plantation of Belle Meade which is still located today in Nashville, Tennessee. I noticed that story also coincides with her A Lasting Impression story which was released last year. I believe that the two series of Belle Meade Plantation and Belmont Mansion will be intergrated since they are written in the same time period.
This is the first Tamera Alexander book I have had the pleasure to read. I found her writing has a very easy style with just enough detail to establish a rich setting and create a lighthearted and yet moving tone. Since I am very interested in Civil War, and any fiction set in the period, I had to check this out. I am glad I did.
The war has been over a year when Ridley Cooper fulfills a promise to himself. He has wanted to return to Nashville, to the scene of an eventful moment in the war for him, to learn from a man who has a unique gift with horses. Cooper arrives on the Belle Meade thoroughbred farm the very day that Olivia Aberdeen flees her abusive and shame-filled past and finds refuge with the Mistress of the plantation. Veiled in a tight cocoon of propriety to shield herself from a world that has turned on her, Olivia displays a cool formality toward a slightly tousled and casual Mr. Cooper. But when a mishap places her at his mercy, he proves himself kind and helpful, and her starch begins to loosen ever so slightly. And she soon realizes she can use every friend she has.
The Master of Belle Meade, General Harding, presents a stalwart and imposing figure, and declares Olivia his ward to marry off at his discretion. And society has shunned her for the sins of her late husband. So Ridley Cooper's unconventional and easy going nature becomes just the balm to her beleaguered soul. And it doesn't hurt that he's easy on the eyes, once he cleans up. Turns out he is also very bright and ambitious, and as he advances in her heart, he also receives promotion on the farm.
Without giving away too much of the plot, this long novel explores the various societal changes brought about by the war, from racial stereotypes to gender roles, and even regional prejudices. It is apparently part of a series set in Nashville, and touches on the beginnings of the Ku Klux Klan, though that issue was never resolved in this book.
I enjoyed the minor characters such as the head hostler, the medicine woman Rachel, and young Jimmy. The supporting cast added depth and warmth to the story. And the romance was sweet and had a few memorable moments such as the lattice scene and the pony cart.
All in all, a nice story with a rich and fascinating historical background.
Olivia is a widow of the worst kind in the city of Nashville following the Civil War that divided a great nation. Her husband, Charles Aberdeen is a traitor to the South, and Olivia is forced to live with the repercussions of his actions when the townspeople murder him and leave her completely destitute in the world. Having nowhere else to go, she packs up and heads for Belle Meade Plantation. Her mother's best friend, Elizabeth Harding welcomes her with open arms, even though the General reluctantly extends his generosity to the shamed widow.
Ridley Cooper made a difficult choice when as a son of the South, he donned the blue uniform of the Federal Army. Shunned by his family for the impossible choice he had to make, he is left with nothing after the war sweeps away everybody he loves. Determined to learn the skills of Belle Meade's horse trainer, he seeks a measure of peace for himself and desperately wants a new life out west. But the dangerous secrets he harbors threaten his plans for the future, namely, a certain widow. Will Olivia be able to accept who he is and where he is going? Or will the shadows of the past blind them both to the future that may await them?
Facing a book this size was a little daunting. But the more I read, the more I was immensely grateful that the author took the time to bestow us with such a stunning story of betrayal, faith, hope, and ultimately, love. I have read many a story of the aftermath following the Civil War. But this novel was a treasure to read, breathtakingly accurate in its depiction of historical detail. I enjoyed every second I spent with this book. The characters will draw you to the story, and the plot keeps your mind in Alexander's re-telling of the past even when you don't have the book in your hands.
A copy of this book was provided for free from Zondervan Publishers in exchange for an honest review.