Dreams of Savannah by Roseanna M White
Cordelia Owens can weave a hopeful dream around anything and is well used to winning the hearts of everyone in Savannah with her whimsy. Even when she receives word that her sweetheart has been lost during a raid on a Yankee vessel, she clings to hope and comes up with many a romantic tale of his eventual homecoming to reassure his mother and sister.
But Phineas Dunn finds nothing redemptive in the first horrors of war. Struggling for months to make it home alive, he returns to Savannah injured and cynical, and all too sure that he is not the hero Cordelia seems determined to make him. Matters of black and white don’t seem so simple anymore to Phin, and despite her best efforts, Delia’s smiles can’t erase all the complications in his life. And when Fort Pulaski falls and the future wavers, they both must decide where the dreams of a new America will take them, and if they will go together.
Dreams of Savannah is a completely different time and place than the other books I’ve read by this author, but it is a stunning story nonetheless.
Before I begin on my review, I have to say, though, one thing that captivated me about this book right from the start is it’s beautiful cover! I just love it, and it goes so well with this story.
This is Delia’s story. One might expect her to be a spoiled, southern belle. After all, that is rather what is expected of her, expected of any young lady from a genteel southern household and family, back in the days of the civil war, when the Confederacy was trying to take over the South.
But, Delia is not your typical heroine. In spite of her mother’s desires and aspirations for her life, she wants nothing more than to be able to sit and write stories to her heart’s content. Well, that and to be reunited with her love, Phin, who is off fighting in the war.
Delia, along with her maid Salina, keep having unusual dreams. Delia is convinced these are a way for her to know that Phin is still alive, even if he might not be doing well.
With Phin away, Delia’s parents keep pressuring her to ‘make a good match’, and by this they mean they want her to forget about the promise she made to Phin and become betrothed to Julius James, a man she really can’t stand.
This story is a delight, and has lots of unexpected twists and turns. I kept reading with bated breath….not daring to put the book down, and yet, hardly daring to keep reading.
In addition to Delia’s main storyline, there is also the issue woven in of racism, of slavery in all its gory awfulness. Seeing these characters in the midst of all of it, the deep hurts, the feelings of superiority, and much more, well, it really did make me aware in a new way how thankful I am to not be living in those days. And yes, I am aware we deal with racism in some ways in our time period today, but it is not to the same extent as it was back then. It makes me realize more than ever how precious each and every life is in God’s eyes.
Roseanna White has written a beautiful story that brings to life the days of the Civil War as never before. Lovers of historical fiction will be especially drawn to this one.
Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255