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To Whisper Her Name (A Belle Meade Plantation Novel) Paperback – October 16, 2012
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Olivia Aberdeen, destitute widow of a man shot as a traitor to the South, is shunned by proper society and gratefully accepts an invitation from Elizabeth Harding, mistress of Belle Meade Plantation. Expecting to be the Hardings' head housekeeper, Olivia is disillusioned when she learns the real reason Elizabeth's husband, Confederate General William Giles Harding, agreed to her coming. Not finding the safe haven she expects, Olivia is caught off guard by her feelings for Ridley Adam Cooper, a man who seems anything but a Southern gentleman.
Branded a traitor by some, Ridley Cooper, a Southern son who chose to fight for the Union, is a man desperate to end the war still raging inside him. Determined to learn "the gift" that Belle Meade's head horse trainer and former slave, Bob Green, possesses, Ridley harbors secrets that threaten both their lives.
As Ridley seeks to make peace within himself for fighting against the South he loved, Olivia is determined to never be betrayed again.
"To Whisper Her Name has everything a fine historical novel needs: characters we truly care about, struggles that really matter, splashes of humor to engage us, and period details that bring the past to vibrant life. Ridley and Olivia both arrive with heartaches and disappointments tucked in their traveling bags. Watching them unpack those memories and make room for the Lord's cleansing touch is pure reading pleasure."
--Liz Curtis Higgs, New York Times bestselling author
"Rich in history, romance, and human drama, To Whisper Her Name is a book to be savored, like a sumptuous Southern banquet. Tamera Alexander's skills as a master storyteller have never been more evident."
--Robin Lee Hatcher, bestselling author of Cross My Heart and Who I Am with You
"To Whisper Her Name will grab you and not let go. It's a beautiful, powerful story with unforgettable characters who face the unthinkable with honor while a captivating romance blooms where seeds should never have been scattered."
--Cindy Woodsmall, New York Times and CBA bestselling author
- This inspirational historical romance is a standalone novel, though it can be enjoyed as the first book in Tamera Alexander's Belle Meade series
- Book length: approximately 125K words
- Includes discussion questions for book clubs, a recipe, and a note from the author
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From the Publisher
The Real Belle Meade Plantation
Impeccable historical research woven with heart-gripping fiction from USA Today bestselling author Tamera Alexander, based on the real Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, Tennessee.
~ Liz Curtis Higgs, NYT best-selling author of Mine Is the Night
"Deeply satisfying, both to my heart and my soul."
~ Christy Jordan, Southern Plate
"Beautiful. Powerful. Stirring. Written on my heart for all time."
~ Cindy Woodsmall, NYT best-selling author of Sisters of the Quilt series
"Alexander writes a beautiful story of love, friendship and finding purpose. The passion the characters have for one another and their dreams will keep readers engaged to the very last word."
From the Author
- Publisher : Zondervan (October 16, 2012)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 480 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0310291062
- ISBN-13 : 978-0310291060
- Item Weight : 1.1 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.25 x 8.63 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #365,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Tensions are high in this novel, especially between the hero and heroine, but also with the Ku Klux Klan spreading terror. The sizzling chemistry was tastefully written. I always enjoy watching characters fall in love and overcome obstacles. In Christian fiction, I savor how God is intertwined in the story and how the characters grow in their faith. I appreciate how Alexander wove this naturally throughout the story.
Another touching part of this love story is the love and respect that Maggie and Cullen each felt for Maggie’s father. Cullen’s determination to live up to his promises is an endearing trait.
I really enjoyed this novel.
Olivia and Ridley caught and kept my attention immediately, because they are well-rounded characters. She's a mix of Southern propriety and independence, trepidation and determination. He's a Southern son who fought for the Union in order to stand against slavery. Still dealing with the trauma of being a prisoner at Andersonville, he can nevertheless be stubborn, high-handed, and anything but a victim. When Olivia and Ridley are constantly thrown together, sparks fly like you wouldn't believe. Eventually though, they settle into a warm relationship full of banter that's fun to watch. You know each one is what the other needs, so you root tirelessly for them to be together, despite conventions of the time period dictating Olivia must marry for convenience and money.
Olivia and Ridley's relationship makes for a multifaceted plot full of the little incidents and scenes that make up the lives of real people. When Olivia's feet get horribly blistered from walking around Belle Meade in unsuitable shoes, Ridley washes them and gets her to a healer. When Ridley finally tells Olivia his secrets, she's understandably frustrated and confused, but eventually sets aside her past prejudices to accept who he is and what he stands for. The two cement their relationship in unique ways, such as through a dance at a servants' party and systematic desensitization of Olivia's equine phobia.
As noted, the secondary characters and plots are great as well. Olivia's position as teacher in a freedmen's school was one of my favorites; I wanted to see more of that. I also would've liked to see a little more about how Ridley came to fight for the Union, how he coped at Andersonville, and how he dealt with post-traumatic stress. Again, I love that he was never a victim, but I feel slight shading in these areas would have given him a softer side.
The book seems too long and drawn out in places, and at times, it feels the characters are doing too much and experiencing too many stakes. For instance, even though I loved Olivia's determination to teach, I wondered if she needed to deal with it on top of overcoming what Charles put her through. However, I can safely recommend this book, especially if you like a sweeping Civil War novel or are partial to horse stories.
Top reviews from other countries
All the way through the tale you are expecting Ridley's secret to come out and are fearful of the consequences. It's heart-breaking that such a war ever happened but that it turned brother against brother , father against son was awful. Ridley had and still has his reasons for his actions and they are commendable for without men like him those dark attitudes would still be prevalent. To some he would be a traitor to more he would be a hero. The author really makes you feel each characters turmoil and you can't help but sympathise and empathise with their Dilemmas, even The General gains your respect. Uncle Bob is the father figure you have ever dreamed of having with his gentle and encouraging ways. Thoroughly entertaining though the underlying serious subject of slavery war and destruction is not lost either