Review: A Dream of Daring by Gen LaGreca

A Dream of Daring
Author:  Gen LaGreca
Format:  Paperback and eBook
Publisher:  Winged Victory Press
Pages:  292
ISBN:   978-0974457963
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Historical Fiction
Stars:  4
About the Book:   
When a visionary inventor threatens the entrenched powers of antebellum Louisiana, the result is murder.

Tom Edmunton, the science-minded son of a planter, designs a prototype tractor, foreseeing an age of mechanized farming that will replace the slave system. But his big ideas about uprooting their world rile the town’s planters.

As Tom hears the call of the new age, he also feels the pull of two women. Rachel, a senator’s daughter, loves him; but will she take his side when the town rebukes him? Solo, a feisty mulatto slave, despises him, along with all masters. Rachel is free, but is her spirit chained? Solo is chained, but is her spirit free?

Tensions between Tom and the planters mount, and his invention is stolen. “Then a shocking murder sets into motion inextricably linked events and revelations that will change life as they know it for Tom, Rachel, and Solo.” (Booklist)

Set at a crossroads of history, with an old epoch tumbling and the modern age about to arrive, A Dream of Daring is an especially timely story for 2013, the 150th anniversary year of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Book Review:

In a beautifully crafted story, the author brings a tale of love, bias, racism, murder and going against the grain all set in the antebellum south of 1859 Louisiana.  While often we like to believe that we have moved forward from those days, when the fear of the different was all consuming, the epilogue presents the correlations in an easy to follow manner: neatly tying the past to the present and providing a guidepost for those who are unfamiliar with the genesis of the still held misconceptions of the past.

With main characters so wholly different in personality and ambition from their predestined societal roles, the unusual blend of mystery  and romance with the tensions provided by bucking the constricts of society’s expectations, the story has a slow but engaging effect on readers.  Multiple questions and options for actions, many of which ‘felt’ antiquated and all due to LaGreca’s skill keep you turning the page to see what advance or roadblock will happen next.  The characters feel real, the villains are often unexpected and far different from what you expect, this is a story that will provide a background into the days before the Emancipation proclamation in a way that no dry history text will do. Well researched and written with a descriptive hand that never feels as if the information is presented just as filler, this is a story that will appeal to readers of all ages.

I received an eBook from the publisher for honest review via NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. 

About the Author:
Chicago novelist Genevieve (Gen) LaGreca has a master’s degree from Columbia University. Aside from fiction, she also writes social commentary. Her articles have appeared in Forbes, The Orange County Register, Daily Caller, Real Clear Markets, Gainesville Sun, Mises Daily, and other publications.

Follow her on:  Facebook  §  @genlagreca


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