This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
Book 1 of the Olivia series
579 Amazon customer reviews. Average rating - 4.4
Books 2 and 3 of the series - The Way the World Is and Whatever Happened to Mourning Free? are available on Amazon.
"Historical fiction at its best!" D. Donovan, Senior eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
Olivia, Mourning has been accepted as a featured selection for Library Journal's curated SELF-e collections.
The Historical Novel Society selected Olivia, Mourning as one of its seven Editors' Choice historical novels and nominated it for the 2015 HNS Indie Award.
2010 YWO Book of the Year
2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, Quarter-Finalist
Forced to live with her brother and the overbearing woman who will soon be his wife, Olivia Killion is determined to gain her independence by inheriting 80 acres in far off Michigan. Her father's will bequeathed the land to whichever of his offspring would put in a crop and stake a claim to it. As Olivia insists, "I'm sprung off him just as much as Avis or Tobey."
The problem: she's seventeen, female, and it's 1841.
She has a friend who would make a perfect partner for this endeavor. Mourning Free knows how to run a farm, having worked many years for local farmers. More importantly, Olivia has complete trust in him and no fear of a romantic entanglement developing between them. Mourning will put in the crop for her and she will then help him buy land of his own.
The problem: Mourning is Black, the orphaned son of runaway slaves, and reluctant to travel and work with a White girl. He especially fears the private agents from the south who patrol the free states, hunting fugitive slaves.
Olivia believes she and Mourning can make their partnership work and they set off together. All goes well, despite the drudgery of survival in an isolated log cabin. Incapable of acknowledging her feelings for Mourning, Olivia thinks her biggest problem is her unrequited romantic interest in their young, single neighbor. until she is betrayed and violated and her world falls apart.
Strong-willed, vulnerable, and compassionate, Olivia is a compelling protagonist on a journey to find a way to do the right thing in a world in which so much is wrong.
Very entertaining book...did not want to put it down!
A defiant & headstrong woman's journey & struggle written realistically & with depth. Olivia & Mourning were characters that I believed existed. Not sure if they did but I could see them in their day to day wrestle with a tough life made harder because of racial & gender injustices, and a constant battle with nature, human & otherwise. Their strength together and apart & their quiet yet fierce respect for each other touched me deeply. But, of course, their story could not have a "happy ever after ending"...my grandmother's story was different but similar.
I was thoroughly enjoying this story. I found it to be well written with interesting characters and plenty of unanticipated action.
However, when Pocahontas was inserted into the Pilgrims story I was appalled. Pocahontas had nothing to do with the Pilgrim's story. Pocahontas did not even live near Massachusetts, she lived in Virginia. She also had died before the Pilgrims even came over to this country. She was involved with the Jamestown colony and Capt. John Smith. I learned this in grade school. I found this so wrong it ruined the book for me. I am absolutely dumbfounded at this example of poor research.
This is a wonderful, richly written book. My only regret is that it ends on a "cliff hanger" leaving me forced to buy and read to the conclusion.