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THE INNKEEPER’S SISTER: A Southern Romance and Historic Mystery Novel ~Linda Goodnight

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

THE INNKEEPER’S SISTER is certainly a wonderful beach read and I tucked it into my gear for a long weekend of wave watching and page turning.  I am not a great fan of Southern Romance and yet Goodnight’s characters are quite real and not so sticky sweet and the historic mystery was a nice glimpse into the reconstruction period after the Civil War.  (It did not omit that slavery was an issue – thank goodness for that)

About the Author:

“NY Times and USA Bestseller, Linda Goodnight writes novels to touch the heart as well as to entertain. Her emotional stories of hope have won the RITA, the Carol, the Reviewer’s Choice, and numerous other industry awards. A small town girl, Linda remains close to her roots, making her home in rural Oklahoma. She and husband have a blended family of eight, including two teenagers recently adopted from Ukraine. Many of her books are about family and children and rightly so, as she draws her deeply emotional stories from her surroundings, her great love of family, and from personal experiences as a nurse and teacher.” (TLC book tours page)

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THE INNKEEPER’s SISTER is also about recovery after a child has been abducted and how life goes on years later.  Two sisters have purchased an old orchard and have refurbished with skill the house into a stunning bed and breakfast.  This gives them purpose and vision and keeps Julie moving ahead and making new plans.  For Valerie it is not so important to her and she understands the value of the endeavor, but she longed to be a professional dancer and now she cannot move ahead in that direction.  She has started using alcohol to cope with her secrets and continue to hide.

Grayson Blake is a developer and he and his brother find old landmarks to refurbish and turn into 5 star restaurants.   He has come to Honey Ridge and Old Peach Orchard to revitalize an old Mill and develop a new destination restaurant.  The new construction is halted because a pile of bones has been discovered in the basement of the mill near the water wheel.   Grayson stays at the bed and breakfast and reconnects with a high school friend.  Together they find old sheet music that is actually a code that leads to some answers about the mystery and the history of the farm.

The Civil War elements of the story expose the new possibilities for the former slaves and share the details of the farm’s own love story and the role of the house as a hospital for soldiers.  Very interesting.

Over the years of reviewing books, I have read another of Linda Goodnight’s stories and thought it was quite good.  There is a caring quality to the stories and some down to earth good solutions to problems.  Time does not heal all wounds but it is certainly part of the recovery process.

I think many folks will enjoy this story and the gentle touch of the author.

The Rain Sparrow
Where We Fall


Monday, April 29th, 2013

THE BEQUEST OF BIG DADDY is a very fun read and a very fast read and I was so happy to have it to pick up and put down while waiting at all my appointments.   I had just finished THE KITCHEN HOUSE  which is all about the Southern Plantation from the slave’s perspective and has become quite popular. Whereas THE BEQUEST OF BIG DADDY is definitely a view of the South from the Caucasian viewpoint pre- Civil war, through reconstruction and to present day family reunions.

Jo-Ann Costa the author of the BEQUEST saga, now hails from California, but belongs to a family tree of the largest “good ol’ Alabama family reunion group that meets today; over 400 members present at each gathering.  With a twinkle in her eye and connected to her pen, Costa creates memorable stereotypical characters that take us from the loss of the gracious Georgia Plantation through the Civil War, Reconstruction, and into the present experience of tight knit family loyalties and traditions being played out repeatedly even today.

At the beginning, a very angry daughter produces a lie and a son  for the protection of the Plantation and wealth, these two individuals are shipped off to a “safer” family home in Alabama to ride out the War.  The new Big Daddy is allowed to wander and grow undisciplined and unloved.   Throw in several very fearful experiences include loneliness and the path is laid out for the development of the role and the wealth which will come as the child learns about power, control and manhood.

I thought the book shared some deeper southern tales about the convicts who were used to keep the south working, producing and not appearing to have slaves.  Of course, most of the convicts were freed slaves arrested on trumpeted up charges and still working the farms and mills.   Also the role of the southern “old school” politicians is spelled out in smaller relief so that one is enabled to an understanding of  how that same control and power model is being played out in Congress and Legislatures currently.  Those values are almost DNA embedded now; it will take heaps of education and time to begin changing that mode of behavior and the belief systems which fuel it.

After spending 3 years of my life as a neighbor of the Billy Graham Crusades and that religious fervor, I would say that the Reverend is the Big Daddy of another mode of southern power and control which has not lost it’s dynamics over time either.

Oh what can be born of fear and hate, even when we call it love and strength?

It took me about 6 hours to read this book and I want to share it with my book group.  I think some of the power of this book is because it is easy and fast to read and I think it would make a great companion for High School and College students for their American History course work. (Or is that still required?)  I think everyone will enjoy reading THE BEQUEST OF BIG DADDY.

tlclogoThank you once again to TLC online book tours for sharing this book with me.  I did receive an advanced reading copy from Koehler Books.

“The Bequest of Big Daddy, An epic adventure of Civil War and Reconstruction South. First runner up Award for Historical Fiction”

Related Reading:  This is a list of reviews I have written and I think are related to the topic in this book. I invite the reader to explore the RECOMMENDED READING tab at the top frame of this blog, because there are hundreds of books listed there and links which you might also enjoy.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Sacks

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