Author: Yael Politis
Title: Olivia, Mourning (Olivia #1)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Drama, Adventure,
First Published: November 27th, 2013
Where I Got It: Given to me by the author/publisher for my unbiased and honest opinion
"Newly orphaned and forced to live with her brother and the overbearing woman who will soon be his wife, Olivia Killion is determined to gain her independence by inheriting 80 acres of farmland in far off Michigan. Her father’s will bequeathed the land to whichever of his offspring would put in a crop and stake a claim to it. Olivia insists, “I’m sprung off him just as much as Avis or Tobey.”
The problem: she’s seventeen, female, and it’s 1841.
She has a friend who would make a perfect partner for this endeavor. Mourning Free knows how to run a farm, having worked many years for local farmers. More importantly, Olivia has complete trust in him and no fear of a romantic entanglement developing between them. Mourning will put in the crop for her and she will then help him buy land of his own.
The problem: Mourning is black, the orphaned son of runaway slaves, and reluctant to travel and work with a white girl. He especially fears the private agents from the south who patrol the free states, hunting fugitive slaves.
Olivia believes she and Mourning can make their partnership work and they set off together. All goes well, despite the drudgery of survival in an isolated log cabin. Incapable of acknowledging her feelings for Mourning, Olivia thinks her biggest problem is her unrequited romantic interest in their young, single neighbor. Then she is betrayed and violated and her world falls apart.
Strong-willed, vulnerable, and compassionate, Olivia is a compelling protagonist on a journey to find a way to do the right thing in a world in which so much is wrong."
Like earlier stated I was given this book by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion.
At this point I am speechless....I...huh....its a good speechless, but I'm trouble forming words at the moment....
Well, lets begin with the beginning and middle. Very calm and very well written. I'm so glad someone decided to showcase Michigan in the 1800s. Not a common place for a setting. I'm from Michigan (as you may or may not know) and when this was presented to me I had no choice but to sign on and give this a read. But yes...the beginning was sad, but Olivia was ready for the new start. The hero's call for the adventure, one might say. The middle was very well described and at one point I told Boyfriend, "I'm so glad we were not farmer's in the 1800s...I think I would have jumped into the river..." then I went on a ten minute rant about what life was like as a farmer starting out. Not fun. Not fun at all. I would have given up after the first day. However, kuddos for Olivia sticking it out! The only compliant I have is that after a while I was concern nothing was going to happen. Yes, it was still intriguing...but I started skimming. This did not last long, however.
The middle to the end. OH MY GOODNESS! I did not expect ANY of that to happen. Holy bananas. The author certainly did throw me twist and loop. Poor Olivia and poor Mourning. Jeez. I can not tell you all what happened, because it ruins the whole book. Just wow. The ending did leave off with a decent sized cliff-hanger. GAH! I must know! I must read the second book of this series!!!! I especially can't wait for the third one that seems to follow Mourning's story after the huge drama that takes place. Hmmmmm.
Another compliant that I had was Mourning at the beginning. Okay. I get it...he's son of former slaves and he's black. Tough times and he's use to whites hating on him. Even though the whites of the village accepted him as a free man of color. Some still judged him. I really, truly get it. Fine, great. But why the Hell was he treating Olivia like crap at some points? He pretty much was edgy for a while thinking Olivia was just some white girl who hated him. WHY WOULD YOU EVER THINK THAT MAN?! Daft idiot. They had known each other for years and she never once judged him because of the color of his skin. Hell, he was the first person she thought of when she decided she wanted to go to Michigan and start a farm. There were other options of men for her to pick (all of them white) and she went to him. GAH. I just wanted to smack his thick skull.
Well, this was a really good book. It truly was. Yael Politis truly captured the time period. She didn't even shy away from the major issues of the time: women's place in the world, farmer's struggle, bad people, and the slave issue/blacks place in the world. She took them all head on and made the world real. Major kuddos to her for that. It was a fun adventure, even though I was scared nothing was going to happen for a while and Mourning made me angry for a little bit. I can't wait to get my hands on the second book. There are so many unanswered questions! DARN THE CLIFFHANGER! *shakes fist* But it was done soooooo well. I recommend this to those that love Historical Fiction. You'll get a kick out of this. MMmmmmm, I shall stamp this....with 5 stars. It's more like 4.5, but I don't give decimals.
Favorite Character(s): Olivia, Mourning (after he got over his thing...), Ms Place, Tobey (for some reason I liked him), Mabel (she entertained me for some reason), Jeremy (hoping he gets a nice HEA), and the oxen.
Not-so Favorite Character(s): The two baddies (names will not be given, because its a big spoiler)