PRIDE of EDEN by TAYLOR BROWN

Pride of Eden

The enthralling new novel from the acclaimed author ofΒ Fallen Land, The River of Kings,Β andΒ Gods of Howl Mountain

Little Eden is a wildlife sanctuary on the Georgia coast. Rather low rent and shabby. Much like the ruins of an entire development that failed when the interstate moved locations.

Anse Caulfield runs the place. We aren’t sure how he manages that financially but he is a character. A veteran of Vietnam, Jockey, and lover of all wild animals. Especially Henrietta, his prized cat that Anse loves fiercely. When she gets out and is killed, he is obsessed with finding more, saving more animals and righting wrongs.

Anse and Tyler, a vet, live together at the sanctuary and she worries endlessly about Anse.Β  When another former soldier and animal activist, Malay, shows up looking for work, Anse hires her. She feels the same respect for the animals and the rage at how they are treated. Along with local friend Lope, they take on the smugglers, the back alley sellers of rare cats who are soon abandoned and left to die.

But someone else wants one of the cats they saved. And for a reason, you won’t believe until you read it!

If you read The Gods of Howl Mountain, you know Brown has a gift for weaving stories and characters that is magical. For me personally, my family is from Sapelo Island and St. Simon’s Island. We grew up speaking Geechee and running wild much like the feral cattle left to roam the island. This was very personal to me. The cruelty of people to raise an animal by hand and then let men come in a fenced area to kill it is mindboggling. What kind of person does that?Β  Turns out, a lot of them.

Thank you, Mr. Brown, for another brilliant read!

NetGalley/ March 17th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

 

City of Refuge: Slavery and Petit Marronage in the Great Dismal Swamp, 1763–1856 (Race in the Atlantic World, 1700–1900 Ser.) by Marcus P. Nevius

City of Refuge: Slavery and Petit Marronage in the Great Dismal Swamp, 1763–1856 (Race in the Atlantic World, 1700–1900 Ser.) by [Nevius, Marcus P.]

A well-researched look at Great Dismal Swamp of Virginia and North Carolina.

I am not sure that people really understand the different slave classes. This work gives us as much information as can be found about this city of refuge for runaway slaves. People today would call it living off the grid. HIding in a swamp, creating their own forms of currency and working closely with slaves and white people.

The amount of information is really quite extraordinary, as these men/women tended to leave no tracks. I can’t imagine how long this work took, but I am better for having read it.

As a descendant of the man who wrote the runaway slave act, I was deeply moved by this book.

NetGalley/ University of Georgia Press; February 8th, 2020

The Slave-Trader’s Letter-Book by Jim Jordan ( University of Georgia Press)

n 1858 Savannah businessman Charles Lamar, in violation of U.S. law, organized the shipment of hundreds of Africans on the luxury yacht Wanderer to Jekyll Island, Georgia. The four hundred survivors of the Middle Passage were sold into bondage. This was the first successful documented slave landing in the United States in about four decades and shocked a nation already on the path to civil war.

In 1886 theΒ North American ReviewΒ published excerpts from thirty of Lamar’s letters from the 1850s, reportedly taken from his letter book, which describe his criminal activities. However, the authenticity of the letters was in doubt until very recently. In 2009, researcher Jim Jordan found a cache of private papers belonging to Charles Lamar’s father, stored for decades in an attic in New Jersey. Among the documents was Charles Lamar’s letter book, confirming him as the author.

This book has two parts. The first recounts the flamboyant and reckless life of Lamar himself, including Lamar’s involvement in southern secession, the slave trade, and a plot to overthrow the government of Cuba. A portrait emerges at odds with Lamar’s previous image as a savvy entrepreneur and principled rebel. Instead, we see a man who was often broke and whose volatility sabotaged him at every turn. His involvement in the slave trade was driven more by financial desperation than southern defiance. The second part presents the “Slave-Trader’s Letter-Book.” Together with annotations, these seventy long-lost letters shed light on the lead-up to the Civil War from the remarkable perspective of a troubled, and troubling, figure.

As a history buff and researcher, this title appealed to me right away. I am from the Brunswick/Jekyll Island area and my family has been there since before we were a country.

Lamar is a reckless and troubled man. Having his livelihood pretty much handed to him by his father, he proceeds to run every business he touches into the ground.

The book give the reader quite a bit of information that even I haven’t seen before. These letters are a valuable piece of history not only for Georgia but for the entire country. I would hope that this information would be widely spread in our schools.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone searching for answers about our beginnings and what almost tore our country apart.

Netgalley/University of Georgia Press Β January Release.