Title: The Whistle Walk (Ironwood Plantation Family #1)
Author: Stephenia H McGee
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publishing Date: Feb 13, 2015
Length: 361 Pages
About the Book:
A Mississippi Plantation: Civil War pits country men against one another and tears a nation asunder. Life and death are held in the balance where everyone is a slave to something.
One is born free, yet lives as a soul in bondage…
Lydia Harper never intended to purchase a slave. But when she witnesses a woman being beaten in the street, all her pretenses begin to unravel. A bride to a man she barely knows and bound by her secrets, Lydia will risk everything to save a stranger. Amid the War Between the States, the mistress of Ironwood faces the battles in her own heart and discovers strength in a way she never imagined.
The other is born to serve, yet holds the spirit of freedom…
Ruth, standing on the threshold of desperation, has lost everything she holds dear. After being pulled from the dirt, she is no longer a field hand but the personal maid to the lady of Ironwood. Ruth soon realizes adversity pays no mind to the color of skin. When propriety slips, she discovers they have more in common than she dreamed possible. In a time when fear brings the South to its knees, two women will forge a friendship in the fires of redemption and thrust Ironwood into a new future – where the battle for freedom has merely begun.
Oh my wow! Talk about a book that swallowed me whole–hook, line, and sinker! Thankfully Heir of Hope is sitting next on my TBR pile so I can jump right back into the world again to check on all the characters. I am not ready to let them go!
One of the most amazing things about this story was how vividly Stephenia McGee was able to create the setting and develop the characters so that you couldn’t help but feel as if you were standing right in the midst of it all. My heart-rate fluctuated right along with Lydia and Ruth each step of the way! This was one of those books that you don’t merely read, but experience. And that my friends, is the mark of a great book!
I appreciated that while the characters may have stepped outside of the stereotypical mold for the time period, they were still realistic and believable. Real, permanent change can’t truly happen until people are able to look outside of themselves and consider others with love and compassion. One of the most thought-provoking quotes for me was:
“Strange how she always thought being equal would make them like her. She’d never considered giving up her place to be like them.”
Lydia realized that part of making life easier for the people in her home, was to be willing to carry part of their burdens. Kindness was not enough, and true friendship was not possible unless she was willing to humble herself. Her journey to this realization was a remarkable thing to witness.
I don’t think I could say enough wonderful things about this book! If you haven’t read it yet I highly recommend you give it a read! I’m off to read the next in the series so I’m sure you’ll hear my thoughts on that one as well very soon 🙂
Content Warning: childhood sex abuse/rape