Tag Archives: Historical Fiction

The Maid’s Story – 1960s

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The Help cover

Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan is a white socialite in the early 60s struggling to find a career in journalism while living in the deep South. All of her friends are married and having children. And, they all have black maids. Even Skeeter’s family has a black maid. Some folks treat their maids like family. Others treat them worse than the hired help that they are.

Aibileen Clark is a black maid. She’s a God loving, church going woman. Most of the time she keeps to herself and stays out of the limelight. She is currently working for Mrs. Elizabeth Leefolt, one of Skeeter’s best friends. Mrs. Leefolt isn’t the type of person that should be having children. They are more of a nuisance than a joy to her. And, Aibileen is doing her best to raise Elizabeth’s children to love themselves and be kind to others.

Minny Jackson is a black maid in the household of another of Skeeter’s friends, Mrs. Hilly Holbrook. Minny has a sassy mouth and has a hard time keeping a job. She needs the money with five children and a husband working two jobs. Hilly is a mean, spiteful woman who is the head of the Junior League of Jackson, Mississippi. She treats Minny as though she is a disease.

Skeeter finds herself at odds with Hilly and the idea of outdoor bathrooms for the colored help. The inhumane treatment that she witnesses spark an idea to write the stories of the maids as told by the maids. Aibileen is the only one to agree at first. As things deteriorate in the South with the federal government pushing for desegregation, her editor urges her to get the book to her as soon as possible with at least a dozen stories.

Stockett’s first novel, The Help, is about the book itself being written. It is both funny and sad. The stories are about true love and friendship as well as hate and racism. There is a lot we all can learn from these stories. Social injustice to any group is unacceptable. These ladies worked long hours under almost slave-like conditions just to feed themselves and their families.

5 out of 5 stars.

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The Repressed Rebel

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The Mechanics

Sarge is in charge. Henry Sargent has been named the new head of the Boston Brahmin by J.P. Morgan who recently suffered a stroke. The president has brought in UN peace keeping forces due to the uprisings against the Citizen Corps. New conflicts arise both nationally and personally.

Akart’s fifth novel in The Boston Brahmin series, The Mechanics: A Post-Apocalyptic Fiction Series, is every bit as action packed as the first four. And, what a heart-stopping ending! Oh, my! This may very well be the best book of the group.

This book, as well as the others, is a must read for anyone who wants a glimpse of what could very well be our immediate future. While Akart is not a prognosticator, his novels are eerily realistic in today’s political climate.

5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from the author for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Growing Up Post Civil War

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On Agate Hill Cover

The story of Molly Petree is brought to life through Molly’s journal, letters, newspaper clippings, and court records found in an old home called Agate Hill. Molly’s tale begins at age thirteen, set in North Carolina during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era and continues into the early twentieth century. An orphan because of the war, Molly must learn how to survive in the harsh South.

Smith’s 10th novel, On Agate Hill, is thoroughly engaging. Molly is taken in by her uncle who, on the verge of death, marries his scheming, gold digging housekeeper. Selena all but kicks Molly out. Fortunately, a friend of Molly’s father becomes her benefactor and sends her away to Gatewood Academy. From there we follow Molly on a roller coaster ride of love, betrayal, treachery, and a spectacular murder trial.

I read this book on a whim and could not put it down. Not one for historical fiction, especially based in this time period, I was pleasantly surprised how easily I was drawn into the story of Molly Petree. 5 out of 5 stars.

Is Our Future Being Foretold?

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Martial Law Cover

The second half of our double shot with Bobby Akart focuses on the next book in The Boston Brahmin series.

The power grids on both sides of the contiguous 48 are knocked offline by a cyber-attack orchestrated by John Morgan of The Boston Brahmin using the Zero Day Gamers’ hacking abilities. All of the lower 48 except the great state of Texas has lost electricity and it could take years to fully restore. The President is on vacation in Hawaii where he will maintain his office and declare Martial Law.

Akart does not disappoint in the third installment of The Boston Brahmin series, Martial Law. This fast paced political/apocalyptic thriller will keep you on edge from beginning to end. We follow the Loyal Nine as they make their way to Boston through the breakdown of society that occurs within the first four days after the blackout began. We see them start to question the role The Boston Brahmin is playing in the events as they unfold.

The setting is two months before the presidential election. With the USA in chaos will the sitting president rise to the occasion or will others take this opportunity to decide America’s fate? The situation is all too real in the realm of possibilities based on what is currently happening in the world today.

I am chomping at the bit for the next book in this series. 5 out of 5 stars.