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2.08.2017

Book Report - The Daughter of Union County

I recently read The Daughter of Union County by Francine Thomas Howard.
When his wife, Lady Bertha, suffers yet another miscarriage on the same night his former slave and mistress, Salome, gives birth to a healthy light skinned daughter; Lord Henry Hardin makes the split-second decision to pass his newborn daughter, Margaret, off as his legitimate heir. The household is sworn to secrecy, but as Margaret grows and enjoys a life of privilege she is continually haunted by rumors she doesn't understand. Lord Hardin, is nothing though, if not a devoted father to Margaret and her two younger and dark skinned brothers who grow-up on the estate with her, but knows them only as the sons of their servant, Salome. As time passes and no longer under her late father's protection, Margaret must make the decision to trust a family she has never known or risk being ruined by those attempting to profit from her hidden past.

For the most part, I enjoyed The Daughter of Union County. The characters were interesting and it kept my attention well. I was constantly surprised by how long it was though. Every time I thought the story was wrapping up, I'd realize there was still hundreds of pages still left in the book. The story covers a really long span of time, but like I said, continuously interesting throughout.

Obviously, a story about race set in the late 1800's, there was some uncomfortable language used throughout. It almost felt a little too excessive, but perhaps I'm just especially sensitive to this issue. I understand novels written during those times using certain words we now find offensive, but I wonder sometimes the best approach for modern writers telling a story set in those times. I don't know exactly where the line is, but felt this author was right on the cusp and maybe even crossed it. I understood how terribly racist a few of the characters were in the story, and didn't really need the constant reminder each time they opened their mouth.

Other than that, it was a pretty good read. It was another free book from Amazon, and definitely one of the better ones I've received.

What are you reading these days?

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