A gripping, emotional historical romance awaits readers in Reconstructing Jackson by Holly Bush.
It is two years since the end of the Civil War. Americans on both sides struggle with reconstructing the Union.
Reed Jackson, a southern lawyer and former Confederate solider, returns home in a wheelchair. When his father deems him unfit to take over the family plantation, an angry and bitter Reed moves to Fenton, Missouri to start over.
Belle Richards is a dirt poor farm girl who has been nothing but mistreated by her father and older brother, Jed. At least her brother Frank treats her kindly.
Reed is immediately drawn to Belle, but rescuing her was not in his plans. Wheelchair bound, he can't protect her from the violence. Dark times plague them, challenging their young love at every turn. Can Belle help Reed turn away from his anger and bitterness? Is their love strong enough to survive the difficult days ahead?
Reconstructing Jackson is a superb novel. I read it in under eight hours; so compelled by the characters I continued reading despite chores beckoning to me. Bush captured the difficulties of the Reconstruction Era brilliantly: the anger some Southerners felt over the Emancipation Proclamation, the difficulties for African-Americans joining a society as free people when not everyone supported that freedom, and the dangers not only for African-Americans, but also those whites who sought to help them.
Into this dangerous period in America's history, we find two characters who have been pushed to their limits. Belle is tortured by her drunken father and abusive brother, but she is working toward improving her life. Reed's anger and bitterness threatens to eat him alive. Circumstances draw these two together and they attempt to make the best with what they are dealt. That's why it is so satisfying when the reader witnesses how they come to care for each other so.
Memorable characters, an intriguing plot, and an outstanding conclusion make Reconstructing Jackson a fascinating novel.
I received an electronic copy of this book from the author via Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.
This is the 1st book I've read for the following challenge: