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One of the best books written by author E. Denise Billups. Her writing had a haunting quality that many a time raise goosebumps across the skin. I could feel the prose as it touched my soul.
Simone was a travel writer until an assignment took her to Natchez, where Delphine began to make her presence felt. A slave in the 1860s, she wanted her story to be told, and the truth to be laid bare out there as they made their journey from slavery to freedom. But did they ever get what they struggled so hard to survive for?
Delphine’s story written by this brilliantly talented author brought a lump to my throat. Slavery and escape, pain and hope, truth and alternate realms were admixed so well that they seemed real.
There was a perfect balance in the past and present where every line was well thought of, revealing the truth in every page. The only teeny tiny niggle I had was that initially, it took me some time to understand the relationships between some of the characters, though the prose did explain it later.
There was so much I wanted to say in this review, but my emotions kept choking my words. I just felt too much. Every moment, it felt I was right there in their midst, crying silent tears as the truth ravaged me. Abuse and punishment, disease and hardships and ultimately freedom in death made me want to rant that no human should be treated this way.
Oh Denise, what you did to me? You broke me with this story even when the illumination of the fireflies gave me some amount of hope. There was so much maturity in the way the words were chosen and juxtaposed, almost gave it an ethereal quality, as if the story came from some part of the author’s soul, just to touch all of mine.
Though book 1 of trilogy, this was a complete story and something that touched my heart and mind. There was so much I wanted to write here, but as Delphine would say – tell my story, I would say – read this story!!
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She escaped servitude for a worse fate. Now she wants everyone to know what happened.
Simone Doucet is searching for a meaningful life. As a travel writer, she’s searched but hasn’t found a purpose yet. She accepts an assignment that takes her to Magnolia Sunrise, a historical bed-and-breakfast on the bluffs of Natchez, Mississippi. Soon, frightful images of a young slave girl, Delphine Randolph, haunt her every evening. Are the dreams related to the assignment? Will she find answers in Natchez?
The first night at the B&B, a ghostly visitation transports Simone to 1863, antebellum Natchez. Through spectral eyes, Simone sees Delphine’s history. Her servitude as a wet nurse to her master’s wife, rape, and forced pregnancies, her daring escape, and early demise inside a Civil War contraband camp known as the Devil’s Punchbowl. Delphine wants everyone to know what happened to her at Magnolia Sunrise and inside the Union soldier’s encampment. She won’t stop haunting Simone until she TELLS HER STORY.
But why has Delphine chosen Simone? Will this awakening bring a new purpose to Simone’s life? Or more untold mysteries to be discovered?
Publication Date: June 2021
I downloaded the digital version of the book from an online retail, and this is my journey down its pages, straight from the heart. STRICTLY HONEST and UNBIASED.
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