Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Lasting Impression - Tamera Alexander

Several months ago I had the pleasure of reading "From a Distance" by Tamera Alexander.  It was a well-written book with a strong plot.  Because she was published by Bethany House, I had every confidence that this new-to-me author held promise.
Let me emphatically say that after reading "A Lasting Impression" I can see that my confidence was not misplaced.
The book is set in Nashville, Tennessee in 1866 just after the Civil War, with some of the main characters having fought in the war themselves. The author did an excellent job of portraying the South's struggle to regain its footing after the war.  I got the distinct feeling that there were several historically accurate events depicted in the book, but that the author had respectfully changed the names of the people.
In writing this review, I noticed the fine type on the cover just under the title says "A Belmont Mansion Novel."  My pulse quickened and I immediately flipped to the inside of the book to confirm what I hoped to be true, and -- YES! -- this is the first in a series of books based in Nashville on the Belmont estate.

In the Author's Note, Tamera says that this book took her two years to research and write.  Since the book is packed with history, emotion, and a very creative plot I don't doubt that at all.  After reading this, you can't help but do a little research of your own to learn more about Adelicia Acklen.  I have included a photo of Adelicia Franklin Acklen Cheatham and a photo of Belmont here.  After all, this belle of the south was one of the wealthiest people of her era.  Throughout her life she experienced great loss (the death of all four children from her first marriage, the death of child twins from her second marriage, and the loss of two husbands), great wealth, and exhibited strength of character through it all.  She is considered courageous because when she learned that the Union soldiers were planning to burn bales of cotton at her Louisiana estate, she traveled from Tennessee to Louisiana and conducted the sale of that cotton to a client in Liverpool, England for the total sum of $970,000.00.  I cannot imagine a more interesting person to write a novel around.
My last note on this review is that the book is a longer-length novel, and I encourage the reader to settle in with a blanket and a cup of coffee to enjoy it -- over several days.  You can buy this on Amazon.com for $9.22 + shipping.  It's worth it!

1 comment:

  1. This book is so rich, both in the wealth of Mrs. Adelicia Acklen and the richness of the Belmont Mansion itself. You are brought right into the story by the author. You grieve with Sutton as he expresses his pain at losing his father and then possibly losing his family home. Your nerves are just as jangled as Claire's are when she begins her adventure at the Belmont Mansion. You can just feel the protocol that must be obeyed no matter what and yet you can see the human side of all involved. I loved Adelicia Acklen, at first hard and then becoming softer, but never forgetting her place in society. She was an amazing woman. Ms. Alexander has done the history books justice with this book. It was a joy to read and I look forward to the next book in the "Belmont Mansion" series. This is one of those rare books that you are sorry to see end but at the same time you want to start all over again at page 1 so you can relive the experience.