Elinor: A Riveting Story (Daughters of the Lost Colony) by Shannon McNear – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

A Journey Full of Hope…
Elinor by Shanno McNearEscape into a riveting story based on the mystery of the Lost Colony of Roanoke.

Author Shannon McNear portrays history with vivid authenticity.

In 1587, Elinor White Dare sailed from England heavy with her first child but full of hopes. Her father, a renowned artist and experienced traveler, has convinced her and her bricklayer husband Ananias to make the journey to the New World. Land, they are promised, more goodly and beautiful than they can ever imagine. But nothing goes as planned from landing at the wrong location, to facing starvation, to the endless wait for help to arrive. And, beyond her comprehension, Elinor finds herself utterly alone. . . .
The colony at Roanoke disappeared into the shadows of history. But, what if one survived to leave a lasting legacy?

His Review:

Freedom of religion is one reason to come to “the New World.” Elinor and her husband braved the wild Atlantic Ocean to start a new life across the sea. England has been at war with both Spain and France and has learned to take what they want by force. However, the New World is already populated with indigenous people. How does one make a new country? The usual European way was by the force of arms.

Elinor by Shannon McNear - authorThe population of the New World has struggled for centuries with war between themselves. The primary problem with the newcomers were the radical new weapons they possessed. Therefore, it was easier to try to befriend the colonists and assimilate them into the native culture. The pilgrims thought that the natives were “heathens” and had no real god. Knowing the “True God,” they needed to indoctrinate the natives.

Planting, growing livestock, and building housing were the initial goals of the young colonists. The natives already had long houses that were shared by the entire tribe. The colonists set about making bricks and building stockades as well as individual houses for the inhabitants. They depended upon the generosity of the natives to help them get through the first winter. There was simply too much work and too little time to accumulate enough stores for the long winter.

Soon the natives realize that the interlopers would not contribute but rather attempt to take everything they needed by force. Another problem was the diseases that the colonists had brought to the new land, which ran rampant through the tribes and killed as many as 40% of the population. It soon became apparent that the interlopers needed to go. People who were hunting and gathering when caught alone were quickly dispatched.

Shannon McNear has written a very charming story of the “lost” first colonists to the new world. The moral dilemma faced by the principals in the story is very thought provoking. Every population throughout the history of humanity has faced such questions. This saga illuminates the struggles then and the continuing struggles that are going on today around the world. I highly recommend this story to anyone who is a student of history. 5 stars – C.E. Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Book Details:

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction, Religious Historical Fiction, Historical Christian Romance
Publisher: Barbour Fiction
ISBN: ‎ 1643529544
ASIN: B09GJVTKTD
Print Length: 323 pages
Publication Date: December 1, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link(s): Elinor [Amazon] 
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Shannon McNear - authorThe Author: Shannon McNear loves losing herself in local history. A Midwestern farm girl who lived in Charleston, South Carolina, for more than two decades before being transplanted to North Dakota, she’s a military wife, mother of 8, and a member of ACFW and FHL. When not cooking, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the northern prairies.

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams-Christmas hat

The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue – An #Audiobook Review – #medicalfiction #readingirelandmonth21 – #TBT

‘…Influenza delle stelle – the influence of the stars. Medieval Italians thought the illness proved that the heavens were governing their fates.’

The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue - audiobookMy second contribution to the #begorrahthon. 

Book Blurb:

In an Ireland doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city center, where expectant mothers who have come down with the terrible new flu are quarantined together. Into Julia’s regimented world step two outsiders – Doctor Kathleen Lynn, a rumoured Rebel on the run from the police, and a young volunteer helper, Bridie Sweeney.

In the darkness and intensity of this tiny ward, over three days, these women change each other’s lives in unexpected ways. They lose patients to this baffling pandemic, but they also shepherd new life into a fearful world. With tireless tenderness and humanity, carers and mothers alike somehow do their impossible work. 

In The Pull of the Stars, Emma Donoghue once again finds the light in the darkness in this new classic of hope and survival against all odds.

My Review:

Just in time for our current pandemic state, along comes the author with her emotional tome set during 1918 Dublin. As if the world wasn’t still fighting a war, the viral fed Influenza of 1918 was killing more than those involved in the conflict.

The Pull of the Stars by Emma DonoghueNurse Julia Powers is an experienced, savvy nurse, where the maternity ward has been sectioned off and quarantined those with the flu symptoms. Desperate for help, Nurse Julia is joined by Bridie Sweeney, a local resident of the religious institution where she grew up, but having no education or experience in health services. She is also visited from the regular maternity ward by Dr. Kathleen Lynn, a Sinn Fein rebel, successfully avoiding so far being caught.

A strong parallel to the current epidemic with short supplies, escalating numbers, staffing, efforts to train and manage the population with proper sanitary procedures, but that is largely where the similarities end as there were no vaccines until the 30s when many of the home grown remedies were discarded.

No, this is a whole nother story, deeply rooted in the capacity of the nurse to love and care for her patients while her hands in a male dominated medical world are largely tied to doctors who quickly segregate care by the patient’s economic level. Waiting for even the capacity to apply fever or pain mediums, helpless to watch as her patients steadily lose ground in the interim. Amazing her quick thinking so often exhibited with her knowledge of hands on, education, and sharing.

The entire timeline covers no more than several days but packs so many disturbing details in the cringe-worthy descriptions, it has your teeth shuddering. As a woman having borne children, not difficult to remember the difference between front and back labor pain, but the practice of actually splitting the pubic bone (symphysiotomy or pubiotomy) had me terrified at the mental image.

As the stories of each in her ward are examined, it’s easy to become engaged in their welfare and root for their successful birthing experience and triumph over the flu symptoms. Nurse Julia has seen it all and her one light in the catastrophic scenario is her friendship with Bridie and the growing respect for Dr. Lynn (who in real life performed an amazing job both medically and socially in her fight for the treatment of women).

It’s a heartbreaking story, enveloping the reader in the dark and dreary times; the daily struggles of living another day in Ireland during the worst of poverty, famine, ignorance, religious, social, and sexual abuses. I was blind-sided by the short and unexpected romantic tryst near the conclusion, but the narrative is as educational as sensitive and disturbing.

Book Details:

Genre: Medical Fiction, LGBT Historical Fiction, World War I Historical Fiction
Publisher:  Hackette Audio
ASIN: B089X4V3HR
Listening Length: 9 hrs 6 mins
Narrator: Emma Lowe
Publication Date: July 21, 2020
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Pull of the Stars [Amazon]

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five of Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Emma Donoghue - authorThe Author: Born in Dublin in 1969, Emma Donoghue is a writer of contemporary and historical fiction whose novels include the international bestseller “Room” (her screen adaptation was nominated for four Oscars), “Frog Music”, “Slammerkin,” “The Sealed Letter,” “Landing,” “Life Mask,” “Hood,” and “Stirfry.” Her story collections are “Astray”, “The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits,” “Kissing the Witch,” and “Touchy Subjects.” She also writes literary history, and plays for stage and radio. She lives in London, Ontario, with her partner and their two children.

The Narrator: Emma Lowe is a Watty Award winning author, who writes urban fantasy novels for both adults and young adults. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, Emma attends university where she studies a Bachelor of Art in Creative Writing.

With a strong passion for the written word, Emma has also been published in Girlfriend magazine for her novel, Newborn (Helena Series) and other upcoming projects.

Aside from writing, Emma enjoys reading fantasy and horror novels, watching “one episode” from her favourite TV series, and admits to having a “small” obsession with cats. Though she has an extremely busy schedule, Emma plans to expand on the evergrowing world that is Helena Series, including its spin off origin series. On top of that, Emma is working on C.A.T Academy along with several other secret projects.

Emma’s first published book, Newborn, follows the tale of a young woman named Helena who witnesses a supernatural murder and is sucked into an underground world full of mythical creatures, a complex love hectogon, and a mystical prophecy that entails a brewing undead war on the horizon.

©2021 V Williams

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