The Last Letter from Juliet cover


The Last Letter from Juliet by Melanie Hudson

After the loss of her husband, Katherine’s life is at a standstill. An invitation to visit her uncle for Christmas to solve an apostrophe conflict will force her from her solitude of grief. When he’s called away unexpectedly, Katherine immerses herself into a journal belonging to Juliet Caron, the previous owner of her holiday cottage.

Juliet, a Spitfire girl, served as a pilot during World War II. Prevented from flying in actual battle because of her gender, however, she and her two companions transport aircraft across the war zone. Her pre-arranged marriage with her best-friends brother tailspins after a chance encounter with an intriguing stranger. Confronted with wartime danger, Juliet will face the ultimate conflict in matters of the heart.

Juliet’s tale is the catalyst Katherine needs to propel her stagnate life once more into motion. With ‘coddiwompling’ her new motto, the perfect rainbow to Katherine’s gray skies emerges.

Enough cannot be said about this beautiful story. At its heart is a tale of enduring love. The chapters alternate between viewpoints. As Katherine reads the story of Juliet’s life, Hudson does a marvelous job transporting the reader back in time. A clear delineation of perspective speaks to Hudson’s craft of storytelling. If you are seeking a novel about love and nostalgia, this is a must-read!

**Click the link to learn about the real Spitfire women of WWII**

The Spitfire Women of WWII

Book Reviews


The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson by Nancy Peacock


*Based on others’ comments, I preface this review by stating: do not view the 1860s through rose-colored glasses. The violence depicted by the author was an everyday reality. Though hard to read at times, there are no explicit details. It is a simple statement of fact. That being said, I would recommend this for mature audiences only.*

The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson by Nancy Peacock follows the journey of a man’s rise from slavery to Comanche warrior. Left for dead, Persimmon Wilson travels across state lines to rescue the woman he loves from the clutches of a horrid man, a man he’d rather see dead than alive. With the Civil War at his heels, Persy traverses a hostile frontier accompanied by two unlikely companions. As tragedy swirls around him, he loses the will to live and submits to his fate. The Comanche warriors, however, interpret his indifference as courage and welcome him as one of their own, training him in their way of life. In the end, Persimmon Wilson realizes death will not be cheated, and love doesn’t always win.

The vivid imagery elicited by Peacock’s prose never sugar-coats the truth of human degradation. She proves not all endings are happy, depicting human nature at its worst. Her characters are multi-dimensional and paint a harsh reality of survival across an untamed wilderness. Despite Persy’s escape from slavery, he’s thrust into an Indian world riddled with the same level (if not more) of violence. The only difference now, he’s executing the punishment. This psychological aspect deserves literary analysis.

Peacock provides the proper amount of tension with one exception. The story’s seamless flow stumbles with Persy’s life among the Comanches. At this point, too much repetitive action lulls the story’s tension when it should be at its highest. On a positive note, her utilization of period dialect gives credence and authenticity to the read. However, those offended by specific language should seek a gentler version of historical fiction. The author doesn’t hold punches. But then again, neither does reality.

Book Reviews


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THE PETERLOO AFFAIR: A TALE OF THE ST. PETER’S FIELD MASSACRE by Lucinda Elliot portrays this historical event through the eyes of a young girl as she and her family navigate the hardships of the period.  Joan, desperate to escape the tedious life of textile production, dreams of becoming a doctor with her best friend Marcie.  Her herbal skills prove sufficient for healing sick villagers.  However, gender rules of a woman’s role in early 1800 Lancashire hang like a dark cloud upon her dream.  Young love, too, threatens the girls’ future beyond their current lifestyle.  Corn Laws imposed by Parliament have left most scavenging for food, leaving little to feed the multitude.  Starvation is a real possibility.  A protest march with neighboring villages against Parliament leads to the Peterloo Massacre of 1819, where 18 are killed and more than 400 innocent people are injured according to historical accounts.

Elliot brings to light a piece of history long forgotten.  However, reading through the dialogue proved to be a challenge.  I struggled, often re-reading the conversations between the characters to fully understand their meanings.  The number of egregious grammatical and punctuation errors did not help. The beauty of the story is touching and still comes across despite the strain upon my brain to unravel the dialogue.  The characters are not lacking in depth or purpose.  Joan is thoughtful, compassionate, and head-strong.  Her interactions with fellow villagers and her family ring true.  Absolutely love her.  The villagers’ struggle and hardships are felt throughout the reading, and the author has portrayed their unjust treatment by Parliament with ease.  This story is exceptional!  I believe it would be a best-seller were it not for the laborious wading through difficult dialogue.

With adequate revision, this novel has the potential for a 5-star rating.

Book Reviews