Publication Date: July 7, 2014
Soul Mate Publishing
Genre: Historical Fiction
After surviving war, young Mary Catherine is torn from her home and thrust into a strange new life when her family decamps for Brazil rather than live with the terms of Reconstruction. Shortly after arrival in Brazil, she is orphaned, leaving only maternal uncle Nathan to care for her. He hates Mary Catherine, blaming her for his beloved sister’s death following a childish mistake. He is also a man with an incredible secret that he will go to great lengths to protect. When the opportunity for Nathan to be rid of her arises, Mary Catherine faces either forced marriage to an unsuitable man or flight into the wilderness containing jaguars and enclaves of people with much to hide. Mary Catherine chooses escape.
Finding refuge among strangers who become her surrogate parents, she matures into a beauty who marries the scion of a wealthy Portuguese family. At last, Mary Catherine has happiness and security until civil unrest brings armed intruders with whom she has an inexplicable connection. When the thugs murder her husband for failing to meet their demands, she directs them to her uncle and his secret in order to save herself and her in-laws. With the danger passed, however, her husband’s family demands that she is arrested for complicity in her husband’s murder. Innocent and betrayed by family for a second time, Mary Catherine must now fight for survival.
Mary Catherine is rescued from the gallows by friends, but cannot remain in Brazil. She boards a ship bound for New York with little money and without a home to return to, a family to welcome her, or a nation from which to claim citizenship. Her father never took the loyalty oath required of all former Confederates in order to have their citizenship restored. Once again, she must recreate herself in order to survive.
In old age, Mary Catherine is still haunted by the long ago events for which she feels responsible. After a lifetime trying to forget, she seeks peace, understanding, and the ability to forgive through writing her story, Confederado do Norte.
Buy the eBook
Shortly after the American civil war, young Mary Catherine flees with her mother, father, and uncle to Brazil to start over with a new colony, rather than face reconstruction in the South. Shortly after arriving in Brazil she is orphaned and left with her harsh uncle as her guardian.
At the age of 14 she finds out that she is to marry a widowed man with many children. While fleeing, her dug out canoe tips over and is found by a kind couple who nurse her back to health and become her surrogate parents.
She gains employment in the richest family in the area as a servant but by the age of 17 she is wooed by the family’s son and marries. The family disapproves strongly with the marriage. Wanting to keep herself occupied, she volunteers through the church to care for the poor and also help black slaves escape to freedom. However, once again, her world is turned upside down and she must flee for her life again.
Will she survive and if so, what will become of her? You will have to read the book to find out!
I loved this book so much! Linda Bennett Penell takes a little known piece of history and makes it come alive. Mary Catherine and the other characters come alive with her poetic prose and I was thrust into the story with the first page! I felt like I was there, experiencing what Mary Catherine experienced. The landscape was captured beautifully as was the sense of time and place. This is a must read for all historical fiction lovers!
I received the ebook version for my honest review.
About Linda Bennett Penell
I have been in love with the past for as long as I can remember. Anything with a history, whether shabby or majestic, recent or ancient, instantly draws me in. I suppose it comes from being part of a large extended family that spanned several generations. Long summer afternoons on my grandmother’s porch or winter evenings gathered around her fireplace were filled with stories both entertaining and poignant. Of course being set in the American South, those stories were also peopled by some very interesting characters, some of whom have found their way into my work.
As for my venture in writing, it has allowed me to reinvent myself. We humans are truly multifaceted creatures, but unfortunately we tend to sort and categorize each other into neat, easily understood packages that rarely reveal the whole person. Perhaps you, too, want to step out of the box in which you find yourself. I encourage you to look at the possibilities and imagine. Be filled with childlike wonder in your mental wanderings. Envision what might be, not simply what is. Let us never forget, all good fiction begins when someone says to her or himself, “Let’s pretend.”
I reside in the Houston area with one sweet husband and one adorable German Shorthaired Pointer who is quite certain she’s a little girl.
Favorite quote regarding my professional passion: “History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up.” Voltaire
For more information please visit Linda Bennett Pennell’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
Thanks to Amy Bruno of HFVBT, I am giving away one print copy of Confederado Do Norte by Linda Pennell. This giveaway is open to the U.S. only and ends on March 12, 2015. Please use Rafflecopter to enter.
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Confederado Do Norte Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, February 23
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, February 24
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, February 25
Review at Book Babe
Interview & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession
Thursday, February 26
Review & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews
Friday, February 27
Review at With Her Nose Stuck In A Book
Monday, March 2
Character Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Tuesday, March 3
Review at Book Nerd
Wednesday, March 4
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past