Sunday, December 7, 2014

Heart of a Dove by Abbie Williams

Published: December 5th, 2014
Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing

Set in post Civil War America, the story follows Lorie Blake, a southern orphan sold into prostitution at fifteen.  Two years have passed, leaving her with little hope of anything more. Meanwhile, three longtime friends and a boy with a heart of gold are traveling northward, planning to rebuild their lives in the north and leave behind the horrors of their time as soldiers in the Confederate Army.
Fate, however, has plans of its own, causing their lives to collide in a river town whorehouse. Forced to flee, Lorie escapes and joins them on the journey north. But danger stalks them all in the form of a vindictive whorehouse madam and an ex-Union soldier, insane and bent on exacting revenge. At last, Lorie must come to terms with her past and devastating secrets that she cannot yet bear to reveal.
Heart of a Dove is the first book in a gripping, sweeping romantic saga of pain, unbearable choices, loss and true love set against the backdrop of a scarred, post-Civil War America.


Historical fiction fans rejoice.  Heart of a Dove is an beautiful historical tale that will have you holding your breath, crying and even occasionally laughing.  Having been born and brought up in the UK, US history is not something I know an awful lot about so this lovely book was a little bit of an eye-opener for me.  This story is set just after the American Civil War and chronicles the lives of Lorie and her companions.  I was amazed and disturbed in turn by the historical facts in the book, and the fact that most of the really disturbing ones were happening to a 15 yr old girl had me cringing as I read.  Ms Williams very quickly made me feel as if I was in the whorehouse with Lorie and it was very emotional. Ms Williams has created a host of characters that, after a very short time, begin to feel like family and I enjoyed getting to know each and every one of them. Sawyer was such an enigma to start with that it felt like peeling an onion getting to know him.  Malcolm was a treasure - everyone's favourite little brother.

The book is fairly slow paced, but manages to retain a sense of urgency as Lorie and the boys run to get away from their hunters.  Yes, I know that is a contradiction, but it's true.   The great distances they have to travel on horseback, with almost no contact with other people are almost impossible to believe in our crazy busy world. One slight negative for me was that it got very, very mushy towards the end.  Now I love a good romance as much as the next girl, but I felt that things were just a little overdone and I could have done with less protestations of undying love, but I do acknowledge that is just my preference.

All in all this was a lovely book to read and I'm only sorry that we have to wait til next year to find out what is going to happen.

My apologies to Central Avenue Publishing.  I had promised to have this review up at the end of November, but I ended up going to England rather unexpectedly, and I just did not have time before I left.  So sorry.

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