Monday, March 2, 2015

Confederado Do Norte by Linda Bennett Pennell

Please join Linda Bennett Pennell as she tours with HF Virtual Book Tours for Confederado Do Norte from February 23-March 4.

02_Confederado Do Norte_CoverPublication Date: July 7, 2014
Soul Mate Publishing
eBook; 310p
ASIN: B00LMN5OMI

Genre: Historical Fiction

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After surviving war, young Mary Catherine is torn from her home and thrust into a strange new life when her family decamps for Brazil rather than live with the terms of Reconstruction. Shortly after arrival in Brazil, she is orphaned, leaving only maternal uncle Nathan to care for her. He hates Mary Catherine, blaming her for his beloved sister’s death following a childish mistake. He is also a man with an incredible secret that he will go to great lengths to protect. When the opportunity for Nathan to be rid of her arises, Mary Catherine faces either forced marriage to an unsuitable man or flight into the wilderness containing jaguars and enclaves of people with much to hide. Mary Catherine chooses escape.

Finding refuge among strangers who become her surrogate parents, she matures into a beauty who marries the scion of a wealthy Portuguese family. At last, Mary Catherine has happiness and security until civil unrest brings armed intruders with whom she has an inexplicable connection. When the thugs murder her husband for failing to meet their demands, she directs them to her uncle and his secret in order to save herself and her in-laws. With the danger passed, however, her husband’s family demands that she is arrested for complicity in her husband’s murder. Innocent and betrayed by family for a second time, Mary Catherine must now fight for survival.

Mary Catherine is rescued from the gallows by friends, but cannot remain in Brazil. She boards a ship bound for New York with little money and without a home to return to, a family to welcome her, or a nation from which to claim citizenship. Her father never took the loyalty oath required of all former Confederates in order to have their citizenship restored. Once again, she must recreate herself in order to survive.

In old age, Mary Catherine is still haunted by the long ago events for which she feels responsible. After a lifetime trying to forget, she seeks peace, understanding, and the ability to forgive through writing her story, Confederado do Norte.
My Review
Four Stars
Copy received from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for an honest review
"Confederado Do Norte" by Linda Bennett Pennell instantly caught my attention because of the title.  I though it was original yet familiar.  The story line was original but familiar as well.  Pennell discusses a part of American history were people in the south would rather leave the US than live under the leadership of the Yankees.  I have to say, I found this completely shocking and fascinating at the same time. Pennell couples this time period with a great heroine, Mary Catherine. 

Mary Catherine is a young girl, only 14,when she is is orphaned in living in Brasil. Her uncle arranges a marriage for her to a widower.  Mary escapes and finds herself in desperate need of help.  Fortunately she is rescued by a family that adopt her and take her on.  When she falls in love with their son the family is not happy.  Just when we think that Mary is going to get her happily ever after she finds herself in need of help and all alone.  

Overall, this was a beautiful story. I loved Mary and my heart ached for her.  Mary is a fighter and although she has some moments of happiness they are over pretty quickly.  Mary's kindness and her perseverance were admirable. The time periods that this author covered with interesting.  When the story begins Mary is living in the Reconstruction era through the beginning of WW II. I loved the first persona narrative because it made me feel connected to the heroine and it was impossible not to cheer for her in the face of adversity.  

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About the Author

I have been in love with the past for as long as I can remember. Anything with a history, whether shabby or majestic,03_Linda Bennett Pennell_Author recent or ancient, instantly draws me in. I suppose it comes from being part of a large extended family that spanned several generations. Long summer afternoons on my grandmother's porch or winter evenings gathered around her fireplace were filled with stories both entertaining and poignant. Of course being set in the American South, those stories were also peopled by some very interesting characters, some of whom have found their way into my work.

As for my venture in writing, it has allowed me to reinvent myself. We humans are truly multifaceted creatures, but unfortunately we tend to sort and categorize each other into neat, easily understood packages that rarely reveal the whole person. Perhaps you, too, want to step out of the box in which you find yourself. I encourage you to look at the possibilities and imagine. Be filled with childlike wonder in your mental wanderings. Envision what might be, not simply what is. Let us never forget, all good fiction begins when someone says to her or himself, "Let's pretend."

I reside in the Houston area with one sweet husband and one adorable German Shorthaired Pointer who is quite certain she’s a little girl.

Favorite quote regarding my professional passion: "History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up." Voltaire

For more information please visit Linda Bennett Pennell's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Confederado Do Norte Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 23
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, February 24
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, February 25
Review at Book Babe
Interview & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession

Thursday, February 26
Review & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Friday, February 27
Review at With Her Nose Stuck In A Book

Monday, March 2
Character Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, March 3
Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, March 4
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

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