Book Review: ‘Across the River’ (Historical Fiction Novella) 5 ‘wow’ stars!

#100BooksChallenge book #10! This is a FREE DOWNLOAD on Amazon as I write this, the first book of a three part series and wow! It was so enjoyable, as soon as I finished I downloaded parts two and three.

About the Book

Part black. Part Irish. Part Lumbee Indian.

Wholly determined to protect her family.

Naomi Jackson made a mistake. Born in the tumultuous years following the American Revolution, she embraced change, excitement, and adventure. So when the Devil Bill Williams swaggered into town, she launched into his arms, determined that her love for him could overcome all obstacles.

It couldn’t.

Now she has two young children, a life of misery, and a hopeless, desperate desire to escape.

Then David Oxendine arrives for a Christmas visit – and things will never be the same.

* * *

Across the River – an 1800s Black / Native American Novella is the first in a series of novellas about Naomi Jackson’s heartfelt, challenging life. These stories are based loosely on author Lisa Shea’s real-life ancestor, Naomi Jackson, who was born in 1784 in Guilford County, North Carolina. Naomi’s father had been taken from Northern Ireland as a child, while her mother was mixed-blood black, Lumbee, and Irish. Each novella has a cliff-hanger ending, much like Naomi’s life.

All proceeds from the Naomi Jackson series benefits local battered women’s shelters.

An important note for readers of my various series. Normally my content is quite “clean” with little to no swearing, violence, or physical intimacy. With this being based on the immense hardships my ancestor struggled through, I wanted to be authentic to the issues she rose above. This book therefore includes period-appropriate harsh language as well as several scenes of conflict. I gave a great deal of thought to including these and feel they are necessary to fully convey the trials she overcame. I apologize to those who feel uncomfortable reading that style of material.

Please feel free to contact me at my website if you have any questions or comments – I thrive on your feedback.

Five ‘wow’ stars!

This was a very quick read, around two hours a novella length story, that packs a real punch for the length. I found the author’s storytelling and writing style to be very engaging, it kept me turning pages. If there’s one thing I love, it’s a well crafted fearless female, stuck in a hard situation but determined to get out. Especially if there’s children involved. Naomi Jackson to me was exactly that as I read, and given the historical setting she’s in this made it even more powerful and interesting to read her story. I found Naomi Jackson really like-able from the start, I felt for her and the sacrifices she made to ensure simple things her children had. I also admire the way she had to be so smart with Bill (her partner). He may have ‘felt he was in control’ really Naomi was – manipulation, so she could do what she needed to do.

Across the River touches on an aspect of history not often spoken about, not only were people of colour used as slaves by whites, so were white Irish people. Of course, I knew this myself, this is often why people of colour and Irish people ‘bond’, because they both were mistreated by whites historically. I liked this, it’s not shown enough or even recalled in history that this demographic of people suffered too.

This for me was a very gripping story, I just knew I’d enjoy it and the author didn’t fail to deliver! As soon as I finished the book I downloaded the other two with a feeling of, ‘wow what happens next?’ Normally I don’t like cliff-hangers but if done well, and the book managed to grip me enough without a conclusion at the end then I don’t mind! It’s a hands down 5 star read from me. I recommend this series starter Across The River, if you love historical fiction, love reading strong females, or love to read about different historical experiences. Give Across the River a Try.

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