MARCH BOOK CLUB
BEGINS MARCH 21 - end of month
BOOK BLURB: Orphaned in the cholera epidemic of 1833, Adria Starr was cared for by a slave named Louis, a man who stayed in Springfield, Kentucky, when anyone with means had fled. A man who passed up the opportunity to escape his bondage and instead tended to the sick and buried the dead. A man who, twelve years later, is being sold by his owners despite his heroic actions.
Now nineteen, Adria has never forgotten what Louis did for her. She's determined to find a way to buy Louis's freedom. But in 1840s Kentucky, she'll face an uphill battle. Based partly on a true story, Ann H. Gabhart's latest historical novel is a tour de force. The vividly rendered town of Springfield and its citizens immerse readers in a story of courage, betrayal, and honor that will stick with them long after they turn the last page.
If I could pluck any character from this book for a friend it would be two, Aunt Tilda for her stories,unconditional love, and guidance, and Louis for his belief that God is guiding our path in all matters. Louis taught me how to truly pray believin’ in this story and to find out in the Author’s note that he was a real live human being and his story really happened made me want to jump up and down with joy. I’m upset that he had to experience live as a slave but his faith in God to lead him rewarded him in the end. Everyone’s lives he touched were made better. I for one think he was a true angel.
Adria had many challenges as a child, young adult, and as a woman. Thanks to Aunt Tilda and Louis they guided her to Ruth. Between the three of them they looked out for her and helped her turn into a strong independent woman able to make good decisions in life each in their own way. Ann I would love to read a sequel to this story as Adria continues her journey in Boston and of course more about Ruth and her new family. Hint, hint.
I too was awed by Louis’s story and what he did for so many never thinking about himself showed his true character, and was so relieved when the townspeople pulled together to help him when he needed it.
I have an idea for a sequel, Adriann, but so far haven't convinced my publishing company that it's a book enough readers want to read. But maybe someday. The real life story at the center of my fictional story was such an inspiring thing to happen at that time in history for a little town like Springfield.
My Monday night group asked if there would be a sequel. With Adria going away and Ruth starting a new family. Louis being a freed man. There were many places to go.
One of the ladies in my Monday night group googled LOUIS and like you had mentioned in your book he was a real person. What my book club member found out was that this happened AGAIN to this small town and once again Louis stepped up to the plate. I couldn't even imagine that happening twice in one persons life time.
Fun to know that information about Matilda.
True. I didn't include the information about the other cholera epidemic in 1854 since it was after the time of my story. That time Louis is supposed to have buried 33 victims of cholera. He had to be a strong man. And young in 1833 since he died in 1861 at age 55.
In 2004 the town of Springfield recognized his heroic deeds during the Black Heritage Week. That may be when they erected a small monument to Louis in the graveyard where he buried the cholera victims.
What about taking a poll of your readers for a sequel and presenting the results which I am sure would be in favor to your publisher?
I too googled Louis after reading this beautiful story the first time and was so glad to read that he was honored.
The real life actions of Louis inspired me to fashion this story around him. I had to believe he had to be a man of faith in order to do what he did. Matilda was also a real life character, but I couldn't find anything historical about her. So she is a complete product of my imagination. But I really liked the character she became. I appreciate the Adria quote you share about the angels she imagined.
Cholera was a dreadful disease that killed thousands of people all across the nation and the world in those early 1800 years. It's something that we might find hard to imagine in these days when we sometimes expect doctors to be able to cure almost everything.
Those are some good questions, Nora, and I'm thrilled that you picked my book for the book club. Can't wait to read everyone's comments. I know they'll be kind. :)
I loved this book. It has been one of my all time favorites.
It's one of my favorites too! I LOVE learning about history this way through memorable characters I instantly cared about. Grin!
Thank you, Virginia and Nora. I always have a grin too when I hear about someone taking my characters to their hearts.