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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.1 out of 5
5 Stars
30 reviews have 5 stars
4 Stars
31 reviews have 4 stars
3 Stars
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2 Stars
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All Book Reviews

  • Fantastic read. I love the type of novel that contains current day and historical periods. This book has the historical story of a slave and a current day story of a woman trying to find ancestral information for this slave girl. Very moving story.

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    2 person found this review helpful

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    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Will

    This was a really good read. The house girl and her relationship with the Mrs was a genuine caring relationsip. Very creative wuth how their story made it to current day life and the impact it hadvon others.

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • House Girl

    I liked the book but I feel there were a lot of story lines left unfinished and wish they would have been expanded on. It was an interesting plot and something different from the usual slave era stories.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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  • I enjoyed this book, and was impressed with the depth the author gave the characters from the 1800's. The descriptions of how the young girl lived and was treated, and the other slaves owned by the farmer were at times hard to take, but I believe just a brief glimpse into how these people were actually treated on a daily basis. The current day characters lacked this same depth, and at times the story seemed very disjointed and unbelievable. All in all, quite an enjoyable read. I definitely consider reading from this author again.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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  • As a lover of historical fiction, I began the book with great anticipation and in this aspect of Tara Conklin’s first novel, I was not disappointed. This dual narrative, set in the pre-Civil War South and today, deals with two women in vastly different circumstances linked by a twisted and sometimes rather weak thread. A young lawyer, Line is charged with finding a living descendant of a long disappeared run -away slave woman who is to be her law firm’s symbolic client in a controversial lawsuit dealing with slave reparation. Conklin’s story of the slave Josephine Bell and her life as a “house girl” is gripping in its plot, characterization and attention to detail. Josephine’s tragic struggles as an artist, a woman and a slave draw us to her and to the characters around her. The writer’s description of Josephine’s paintings and the stories they tell add another deft layer to an already richly detailed narrative. Unfortunately, the writing in the modern part of this story is uneven and quite unbelievable in its reliance on frequent coincidence and serendipitous meetings as a plot device. The characters seemed shallow and their motivation weak and unclear. I began skimming through these sections in order to get to the far more powerful and engrossing story of Josephine. I did enjoy the book in spite of this weakness and look forward to more from the author whose background in history and law has helped create an interesting story.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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