I got slammed at work and have been trying to do extra in prep for my vacay to Seattle, I fell way behind in this :(
Booklikes is going incredibly slow for me, scrolling through my timeline is painful. Please let me know if I missed anything important!
Anyway, Ch 17-end talk................
Galen, this woman sat around controlling people like marionettes. There are payments here to midwives who kept her informed on illegitimate births. She has them organized by parish, for heaven's sake!
For how horrible Galen's grandmother sounded, there is a little part of me that would have liked more of her story. A good solid villain with depth is my secret catnip, I feel it makes the protagonist even stronger to have such worthy opponents. She obviously wasn't set-up to be the main villain of this story but I would have liked more of her. I mean, "organized by parish", got to respect the game, lol.
"No doubt, she's spinning in her casket just hearing you contemplate such actions."
"Well, the more she spins, the more evenly she will roast."
I want to hang out with Racine. This quote was amazing.
From what I've seen, Indigo is a standalone but I feel like Raymond's brother and Ginnette are peak series baiting couple material.
They've ridden with some of the most brazen kidnappers in the country: the Gag Gang, Patty Cannon's Gang.
I'm pretty sure the Gag Gang was a new one for me, along with Patty Cannon. I had to go and read all about her and her Reverse Underground Railroad, she maybe ended up committing suicide.
"You traded the freedom of your neighbors for information on your children?" Raymond asked angrily.
Bea's voice was cold. "Yes, and until you have children of your own, do not be so quick to judge me. I may be a stupid old woman, but leaving my children behind choked my heart everyday for thirty years. I needed to know what had happened to them. Lem told me they were alive but wouldn't say where until I aided him."
Well, we learned the traitor was Bea and I had such mixed feelings about that. I loved this discussion because of the grey area, I'm not a fan of such all good and all bad characters. People are always so quick to judge others on choices they've never had to make. I think having Bea be the traitor also kept away any cheesy moments.
A well-known Road conductor, Deacon Theron Trowbridge of the Congregational Church of Denmark, Iowa, invented the hushpuppies. The deacon would heavily spice corn dodgers with strychnine and then feed them to the bloodhounds of slave catchers who tracked fugitives to his station. He was known to say that the only good bloodhound was a dead one.
I flipped when I read this, I had no idea my little innocent hushpuppies had such a horrible beginning. I did a quick research of this and from what I found, not a lot attributes this to hushpuppies origins, again a quick research. The only thing I found talking about this was http://www.mississippivalleypublishing.com/daily_gate/news/denmark-had-safe-stop-for-northbound-runaway-slaves/article_9f98a97d-71b0-5818-997f-ca51872c4dc4.html
All I know is that hushpuppies feel macabre to me now :/
Where would Hester be had there not been a Katherine Wyatt? Would she be duping and kidnapping her neighbors?
This was one of the more powerful lines of the story for me, because again, Jenkins is taking out the easy good and bad and giving us depth and context. It's easy to hate Jenine but who knows who you would be with the choices she had. I'm not saying it wipes away all her actions but understanding, if not forgiveness, is a thought that could be used more often.
Hester's eyes widened. "You sent Shoe to slavery?"
Raymond nodded without apology. "I thought it would be a nice tribute to all those he sent south. Maybe now he will recognize the value of freedom and understand how truly precious it is."
Oh my god, the sweet justice of this! One of the more satisfactory ends given to a villain.
Galen finding her mother, ok, so it was completely serendipitous but I can get behind this kind of fairy tale additive, was such a lovely ending.
Bullwhip Days is a nonfictional compilation of the remembrances of former slaves. The Wyatt reference is one of the most startling pieces of information I have come across in my research, and it left me both fascinated and disturbed. (Can you imagine selling yourself into slavery for love?
In the author's note at the end, Jenkins lets it be known that her plot of Hester's father selling himself into slavery for her mother was based on a true story. I can't even imagine. I'm also going to have to get my hands on a copy of Bullwhip Days.
Also, at the end of my copy, there was a recipe for Indigo Mud Pie. !!!! I was simultaneously excited and bummed, I wish I had known it was there so I could have made it while I was reading the story. I did jot down the recipe though, I'll definitely make it in the future :)
I've read a couple other Jenkins' books, this was my favorite. I loved all the historical references, tidbits, and weaving in that she did; I can't even tell how many hours I spent learning about people, places, and events she included. Galen was a roguish character that I probably let his charm get him off the hook, he was pushy and I wasn't a fan of how he forced Hester into finally agreeing to marry him. Hester was an amazing heroine, strong, soft, smart, and willing to give as good as she got. I enjoyed their banter in the beginning and could see how they fit together in the end.
I would say the only way this shows its age is in the sex scenes. While I liked how penetrative sex wasn't their immediately go to, the wording in sex scenes was a bit flowery for me.
The world building and secondary characters were amazing and I can't even tell you all the side characters I wish had their own stories or novellas.
This is a must read for historical romance readers, the history woven in is what we all come for and Hester and Galen were strong, sweet, and loving.