To Whisper her Name is set in the direct aftermath of the civil war as the South desperately tries to rebuild itself. But as its people soon learn, life will never be the same and people must adapt or move on. Ridley Cooper is such a man. Although born A Son of the South, Ridley chose to fight for the North, knowing what it will cost him. But a chance encounter on a mountain top will change his life forever.
Olivia Aberdeen is a woman who has learned how to bare her scars, both on the inside as well at the outside, with every dignity of a daughter of the South is expected to do. Widowed from an abusive, traitorous husband, she is forced to seek refuge at the biggest horse farm in the South. Not much of a problem, except that Olivia has a terrifying fear of horses. I really like Olivia. From the beginning you could see she had so much potential.
Ridley I struggled with this character. On the one hand he is a very likable character that does have great qualities, but on the other hand, I had concerns about his relationship with Olivia. He does deliberately deceives Olivia knowing how much she values honesty. After she questions him about his past, he never admits that he fought for the north, but he also encourages her feelings for him, spending time with her, at one point kissing her, all the while knowing that he is going to be leaving and make his way West.
Although I could appreciate his struggle with knowing that if he comes clean with who he is and what side he fought for in the war, the dreams he has will probably be destroyed, however the question stands, where is the honesty line? Is it if no one ask, dont volunteer information? Or do you need to be upfront with everything no matter the cost? I think that that is a question that everyone needs to seek God about.
Uncle Bob is probably the most memorable character for me. A former slave, he is now the head horse trainer at Belle Mead. His relationship with God and his fellow human beings was truly remarkable. God love and wisdom just flowed from him.
There was some good potential for some conflict with a couple of bad guys, unfortunately the author chose not to pursue it. Although it would have tied up a couple of loose ends for me.
All in all this was another excellent book. I couldnt put it down. I would also highly recommend that you read the Dear Reader after the last page of this book. Belle Mead is a real place and the Harding family were read people.
I really enjoyed this post-Civil War novel set at the beautiful Belle Meade Plantation near Nashville, Tennessee. The action started on page one and moved along quickly throughout the whole story. There was always something new and exciting happening, and I felt like I was figuratively sitting on the edge of my seat as I read each new scene.
The history was wonderful and seemed very true-to-life and believable. I loved all the characters and even the secondary characters were multi-dimensional and seemed like real people.
I highly recommend To Whisper Her Name to everyone who enjoys historical novels of this era. It is a very satisfying read.
Pardon my gushing, but I loved this novel set in Post Civil War Tennessee. Ridley Adam Cooper and Olivia Aberdeen captured my attention from the start and the rest of the characters did not disappoint! The author's ability to draw me in and keep me reading was superb, especially for a slow moving, detailed novel. Many times while reading, I imagined myself to be at Belle Meade in the middle of the story. Can't wait for the next book in this series.
Others have given a good description of the book, so I will not bore you with my attempt. If you appreciate detailed historical fiction with a multitude of characters dealing with hardships and emotional angst, I think you will find this novel by Tamera Alexander splendid.
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, and 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.
The setting for this novel is an absolutely breathtaking plantation just outside of Nashville, Tennessee. The time is spring 1866, shortly after the Civil War. However, as we know from history, the states were far from united at this point with bitterness and hatred abounding on both sides of the conflict. Belle Meade is the name of the plantation and it surely is a "beautiful meadow" as aptly described by the author.
Ridley Cooper is still dealing with guilt from the war. He is from South Carolina, but fought for the Union. His father disowned him and cursed him on his deathbed with Ridley there to witness it. His two brothers fought for the Confederacy and both died in the war. Ridley knows he wouldn't have chosen a different side, but he is still haunted by the cost to him and his family. He arrives at Belle Meade with a plan to quickly learn the horse training business, and then head out to the Colorado Territory to improve land he has bought. He only plans to stay for a couple of months, and then move on. To get a job here he must keep his military service for the Union a secret as the owner of Belle Meade was a general for the Confederacy and is very much against anything "northern". Ridley soon learns there is a lot more to horses than he thought. He also begins to understand his wooing of his skittish horse is a lot like wooing a certain skittish woman, Mrs. Olivia Aberdeen. He must earn her trust, but how can he do so when he is hiding part of his identity?
Olivia Aberdeen is a young widow, who married a truly deceitful and abusive man. He cheated southerners who were trying to rebuild their homes and as a result met a very public and violent end. Most of the townspeople think Olivia knew what her husband was doing so they revile her as well. She has no money, no home and no plans to support herself after her brother-in-law kicks her out of her home. She writes to her mother's best friend, trying to obtain the position of housekeeper. She is accepted and leaves for Belle Meade. Olivia has always been deathly afraid of horses as she had an accident when she was young involving a horse, so she is very nervous arriving at a horse farm. She would be happy to never marry again, but knows that she is too young and will be married off as soon as her period of mourning is over. She meets Ridley and finds him attractive, but keeps her distance.
The story drags and not a lot happens. I've read all of this author's other books and found them to be really good and entertaining, but this one I struggled with. The detailed descriptions of the scenery and horses are wonderful, but I thought the romance dragged on too slowly. I also really enjoyed the character of Uncle Bob_what a wise man! I'll be looking for her next book and plan to read it. Hopefully, it will be on par with her previous books.