My initial reaction to the book after having read just the back cover and first paragraph–1. empowered female, 2. the first sentence captured me, and 3. the first paragraph did not disappoint. I’m still enjoying the empowered woman who also feels fear and uncertainty. I appreciate her way of speaking and your seeming ease in using that cadence and vocabulary.
Haley, my 17-year-old daughter, read Sharavogue over the weekend. She started it Saturday morning and couldn’t be bothered to get dressed (she stayed in her pajamas), only ate foods that allowed her to keep turning pages, and limited conversation with the rest of us to nods and shakes of the head until she was finished. Yes, she was riveted. Congratulations.
Reviews posted on Amazon.com:
|Set in Ireland, the Caribbean and England in a time of upheaval and social unrest, the research is impeccable. The novel’s young female protagonist Elvy is a heroine who captures us from the outset: “From the beginning, all I had ever wanted was to live my destiny.” And what a life she sets out on! This is more than a coming-of-age story set in a dystopian past, it is a fully rendered telling of peasant life in Ireland, slavery in Montserrat, and finally, the court of self appointed “Lord’s Protector” Oliver Cromwell. What sets Sharavogue apart from other historical fiction is the authentic sense of place and voice that author Nancy Blanton has been able to conjure. No doubt her research took years to lead to the conception of this compelling story. Each voice is a unique one, each setting fully realized and beautifully described. The writing is exquisite, the story impossible to forget, the characters rich and fully rounded.
|I enjoyed the tumultuous ride with Elvy, a strong-spirited young Irish patriot who flees mortal danger at home only to find herself snatched into indentured servitude on a distant island plantation. The story’s language beautifully depicts the period and the predicaments she faced. The author paid particular attention to the complexity of the relationships that evolved among the slaves, servants and landowners of the plantation.
Nancy Blanton has captured the Cromwellian era with an exciting and fast-paced story containing all the elements of the heroic quest. Elvy is a fascinating and captivating young woman who never loses sight of her goal. She is headstrong and naïve, but has a strong love for her family and her country. I was with her every step of her journey, and I must say that I also learned a lot about the historical era. Blanton has accomplished what I think all writers of good historical fiction should. She has accurately portrayed a time in history with a real flare, serendipitously teaching her readers as she keeps them utterly captivated with her characters. Her descriptions of places and events is so vivid that it is easy to imagine being on the sugar plantation or sailing across the ocean.
This particular era was new to me and I found it impossible to put down. From the opening line to the last, Ms. Blanton captures the imagination and fascination with beautifully written narrative, and a story about adventure, love, acceptance, and heroism. Her ability to join history with beautiful descriptions and equally imaginative prose left me wanting more and eagerly awaiting her next novel. With Sharavogue as her first historical novel she is sure to be a writer for the ages. Even if historical fiction hasn’t interested you in the past, this wonderful story captures the heart and soul of a young girl searching for her own destiny.
When I saw the cover… I hoped to meet a strong female character inside and was not disappointed! Fifteen year-old Elvy is running for her very life in the first chapter for crossing paths with the brutal Oliver Cromwell as he and his English army cut a swath of death and destruction over Ireland. Her flight takes her to the West Indies and a life of servitude on a sugar plantation called Sharavogue, but Elvy’s spirit and determination to take revenge on Cromwell and return to her beloved Ireland never dim no matter what befalls her. She is as headstrong and spirited as the country she longs to see again.
This is a wonderful read from cover to cover, I learned a lot about Irish history during the 1650s as well as life on a sugar plantation in the West Indies, from the perspective of indentured servants and slaves, their religious rituals, daily lives and struggles to survive brutal plantation overseers, plagues and displaced Carib Indians who made raids on the plantations, killing and burning then disappearing into the night. This book has all the power and adventure of Diana Gabaldon’s series, Outlander, so if you enjoy her books check this out!