This is one of those genres that’s tricky for me. I don’t like there to be so much historical research embedded in the story that I feel like I’m reading a textbook, but I also hated it when the research is so sloppy that the people say or do things that simply would not have been appropriate “back in the day”. When a book really takes me into the past, though, and helps me live in its world … well, then it’s a thing of beauty. This list is short because I’m insanely picky, but here are the indie authors that have nailed the genre just the way I like it.
Susannah Mills is trying to put the pieces of her shattered life back together after she and her father flee their erstwhile neighbors in rebellious Massachusetts.When the American War of Independence visits the safe haven they have found in Nova Scotia, she must rely on her inner strength and help from new friends to keep her skin in one piece.
Runaways hidden in the barn, slave catchers housed in the hotel, and Emily squeezed between two very different loyalties.
After a tantrum, Emily Preston is shipped from her plantation home to her inn-keeping uncle in Detroit. There she meets Malachi, son of freed slaves, who challenges many ideas she grew up believing. But when Emily stumbles upon two runaways hidden in her uncle’s barn, she finds that old ways die hard. And Mr. Burrows, the charming Southern slave catcher, is only yards away, lodged in the hotel.
Love. War. Both equally destructive to Emily’s ambitions.
Though she left Charleston a spoiled daughter of the South, Emily returns from her stay in the North a changed young woman. Her assumptions about slavery have been shattered, and her secret dream of attending university has blossomed into fierce ambition. As the passions sweeping North and South toward war threaten to envelop the city she loves, Emily must battle her father’s traditional expectations in her own bid for freedom. Meanwhile, the real fight may lie within her heart, which stubbornly refuses to accept that a choice for independence must be a choice against love.
Charleston lies in ruins and so, it seems, does Emily’s future. She has sacrificed everything for a chance to attend university—her family, her home, even her relationship with Thaddeus Black. But without her father’s blessing, how will she afford tuition? With hostilities raging between North and South, how will she gain acceptance at a school in the Union? She’s lost so much already. What will the war claim next? In the midst of such uncertainty, Emily finds that hope can rise from ashes, determination grows with adversity, and love can take root in even the most stubborn of hearts.