Reviews: Historical

domingo
Domingo’s Angel by Jenny Twist

Jenny Twist is rapidly climbing my list of favourite authors. Like the last book of hers that I read (All in the Mind), Domingo’s Angel was a thoroughly satisfying read.

One of the great things about her books is that you can’t predict what’s going to happen next and are compelled to keep reading. On top of that, the writing itself is so enjoyable you don’t want to put it down.

When Angela leaves England and travels to a remote Spanish mountain village, she meets goat herder Domingo, who thinks at first that she’s an angel. Woven in with their romance are the back stories of various villagers, recounting their struggles during the Spanish Civil War. Some of the details are heart-wrenching, as Twist paints a picture of starvation and suffering that is based on true events. Especially poignant is the story of  Rosalba, the local shopkeeper and doctor, who develops a special relationship with Angela.

The exquisite detail in Twist’s descriptions of the setting, and the emotional journeys of the characters, transported me to a place I was unfamiliar with but soon felt at home in. I became so invested in the characters that I was a little sad when the book came to an end.

This is a book that definitely deserves the five-star rating it has earned on Amazon.

Susan R. Hughes

 

http://amzn.com/B00QBOD5U6

A clash of desire and hatred, of friendship and fear, of stark ambition and desperate survival.

In 1607, three ships arrive on the coast of Virginia to establish Jamestown Colony. Their only hope of survival lies with the Powhatan tribe. John Smith knows this. He knows, too, that the Powhatans would rather see the English starve to death than yield their homeland to invaders. In the midst of this struggle, Pocahontas, the daughter of the great chief, forges an unlikely friendship with Smith. Their bond preserves a wary peace—but as each seeks to fulfill their own ambitions, their delicate truce begins to crack. Soon the colonists and Powhatans are locked in battle, and Pocahontas must choose between power and servitude—between self and sacrifice—for the sake of her people and her land.

***

I have not quite finished reading this book, but I’ve been blown away by Libbie’s ability to portray the area and accurately of the historic events. She took liberty in creating dialog, but she managed to show the life of one young Powhatan woman. Part of me cannot believe that Libby did not cross the USA to walk along the James River, hike through the woods, and sniff the brackish marshes.

The story of John Smith, Jamestown, and those early settlers has always captured my interest, and I’ve been to the reservations in the area, and spent plenty of time photographing the Jamestown area along with the many smaller rivers and creeks that flow through eastern Virginia . This is not a new story to me, but this one is told with accuracy.

Libbie Hawker nailed it! Her portrayal of of love, politics, war, greed, and survival is outstanding. This should be a must read for every teen and for most adults. It’s not a happy story. Libbie pulls the reader between routing for the Natives and the English. It will make every American rethink Thanksgiving. Yes, they gave us corn and food. They wanted us to quit burning their dugouts that took  a long time to make!  This is the clash of two cultures and the people caught in the middle. And we all know who the loser was.

It’s a beautiful account of history that really wasn’t pretty and doesn’t match the cute, animated children’s story. Thank you, Libbie, for writing this story the way it needed to be written. I know I will cry when I finish it. But I’ve stood on the reservations in the area and shed many tears. I know how the story ends, and it’s not the whitewashed way our history books portrayed it.

E. Ayers

 

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