Wednesday, April 8, 2015
The Creole Princess (Gulf Coast Chronicles, Book Two) by award-winning author Beth White
It is 1776, and all along the eastern seaboard the American struggle for independence rages. But in the British-held southern port of Mobile, Alabama, the conflict brewing is much quieter--though no less deadly.
Lyse Lanier may be largely French in heritage, but she spends most of her time in the company of the ebullient daughter of the British commander of Mobile. When a charming young Spanish merchant docks in town, Lyse is immediately struck by his easy wit and flair for the dramatic. But is he truly who he makes himself out to be? Spies abound, and Spain has yet to choose a side in the American conflict. Is Lyse simply an easy mark for Rafael Gonzalez to exploit? Or are his overtures of love as genuine as Spanish gold?
With spectacular detail that brings the cultural gumbo of the Colonial Gulf Coast alive, Beth White invites you to step into a world of intrigue and espionage from a little-known slice of the American Revolutionary War.
My thoughts: For someone who enjoys history to get their hands on a piece of historical fiction written by a "history nerd," you have indeed a pleasurable read. I read the first in the series, Pelican Brides, and The Creole Princess picks up a couple of generations later with the historical time frame that of the American Revolution.
Little known history of the Gulf Coast is brought to life as the story unfolds where the cities Mobile, New Orleans, and Pensacola have pivotal roles in the shaping of America's rich colonial history. Peopled by French, English, and Spanish each holding political views primarily those of their own countries, the characters develop into persons whose political alliances drift toward and align with the American Revolution.
Previous generations who settled in the Mobile area had intermarried with slaves and Indians and their children and grandchildren have the mixed blood that some simply don't tolerate well in free society. This impacts the life of female protagonist, Lyse, and of her family. While the strong class distinction of the Southern colonies and the institution of slavery were not present in this story, it was, never-the-less, a very real barrier.
The fictional characters interacting with real people from history (of course, I realize it is fictionalized) is good. I enjoyed learning more of American Revolutionary history as it took place along the Gulf Coast and it's impact on provisions and funding of the armies.
A good read and I'm looking forward to Beth White's third book in the Gulf Coast Chronicles.
Beth White is the award-winning author of The Pelican Bride. A native Mississippian, she teaches music at an inner-city high school in historic Mobile, Alabama. Her novels have won the American Christian Fiction Writers' Carol Award, the RT Book Club Reviewers' Choice Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award. Learn more at www.bethwhite.net.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided complimentary copy by the publisher to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.