Widow to an abusive husband and traitor to the South, Olivia Aberdeen has no option but to trespass on the hospitality of the Hardings of Belle Meade until she is married off again to secure financial gain for her guardians. Ridley Cooper, a South Carolina man, fought for the Union and is on his way out to homestead in Colorado, but before he goes he wants to learn how to handle horses like the horse whisperer Robert Green - head hostler of Belle Meade plantation - does. The two end up working together, he as foreman and she in charge of ordering goods for the entire farming operation, but no one but Bob Green knows of Ridley's allegiances, least of all Olivia, who hopes to remarry a well-respected Southern man when the time comes.
I love long books - and this one is nearly 500 pages - as there is so much time to develop characters, plot, setting, etcetera. Perhaps the story moves more slowly, but it feels so much richer. There is time to establish the characters' personalities and struggles, time to grow gradually so that it's realistic, not just BAM they have an epitome and change. There is time to win the reader over, even if the characters are not likeable in the beginning.
Honestly, I am frustrated with Ridley's arrogance and impatience when he first begins training with Uncle Bob. The chip on his shoulder turns me off, and his impatience hits close to home. However, while he never loses his boldness, the arrogant edge is smoothed off, and impatience no longer cripples him. I might still question his tact, but we're none of us perfect, not even at the end of a romance novel. Olivia has nearly the opposite problem - free thinking, hopes, dreams, preferences - it has all been beaten out of her so many times that she struggles to step outside absolute propriety or even voice an opinion slightly contrary to that of others. Like the horses she so fears, she shies away people again and again until they have finally earned her trust. As she is given more responsibilities and opportunities to fight her fears, she blossoms into a confident young woman who is able to make her own choices.
Compared to other books, not a lot of excitement or danger happens, but it does not need so much either. The point of the plot is not a dangerous mission or thrilling adventure; it is journey toward healing and growing into a child of Christ - more into the person they are beneath the hurts and shame. The descriptions of Belle Meade firmly establish the setting, as it is clear the author has been there and done her research. This is my favorite of Alexander's books.
About a year and a half ago, through an offer to participate in a blog tour, I was introduced to Tamera Alexander's writing, and I'm so, so glad I was!
To Whisper Her Name is another awesome southern historical novel. Once again, Tamera does a fantastic job of mixing historical events, locations, and characters with fiction and crafting a beautiful story that grips you from the very first page and holds you to the very end. I could almost see, hear, and feel the people, the horses, and the grounds of Belle Meade Plantation as Olivia and Ridley dealt with their pasts and dared to dream of the future. The characters, from Confederate General William Giles Harding, to Uncle Bob, Jedediah, and the other freed slaves at Belle Meade, came alive on the pages and ga
ve a very authentic feel to the story. The research Tamera has done is evident and helps to transport you to the setting rich in actual history.
If you've had the pleasure of reading Tamera's first Belmont Mansion novel -- A Lasting Impression -- you will recognize the mention of Adelicia Acklen. These two books are set in the same time period, just miles apart from each other near Nashville, Tennessee.
If you enjoy great post-Civil-war era fiction, or if you're a fan of well-written Christian fiction in general, check out To Whisper Her Name. It's a little longer than many novels on the market now, but it is worth every page.
This book was not only well written but it was such a great story too. I felt like I was able to get to know each character without being rushed through the story. This will definitely be one that I read again :)
This was a wonderful, deep story full of secrets, fears and romance. The author did a great job with the back stories of the characters and the reasons why each held secrets from the other. The book held my interest from the start and didn't let go. Set in post civil war at Belle Meade Plantation, in Nashville, Tennessee, this is a historical novel. I enjoyed reading the author's note at the end of the book that described the real history behind her story.
You cannot go wrong reading any book written by Tamara Alexander. This book is no exception. For me the setting was the best part. I gave this book 5/5 stars. If you like Christian historical fiction books this is the perfect story for you! Books written by this author are so full of description and details that you put the story down feeling like you might actually know the people in the book. The story follows multiple characters and each one is likable if not lovable. I would recommend this book and actually any book by this author. I guarantee you will enjoy this book!
I would like to thank the publisher for the copy of this book I enjoyed reading. I gave an honest review based on my opinion of what I read.