13 April 2013

Review of Carrie Fancett Pagels' debut novella Return to Shirley Plantation by Noela Nancarrow

Return to Shirley Plantation


Cry of Freedom – Volume 1
By Carrie Fancett Pagels
Helping Hands Press, 2013

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 stars~*****

A Tale of Tragedy and Triumph

It is 1862 and the Civil war is raging. The Carter family and others at Shirley Plantation in Virginia are already fearful knowing the armies are moving in their direction. It is a time of great unrest and angst with reports reaching them of numerous fierce battles and a voluminous number of deaths. The troubling knowledge that loved ones are fighting in this brutal conflict and may never come home is an added cause of distress for this family.

Angelina Rose, a seamstress who was a former slave and is one-eighth African, is staying at the Old House on the plantation with her sister’s orphaned children who were not yet freed. When one day she hears the sound of marching men and looks out the window, she is chilled to see the expansive lawns covered with hundreds of Union soldiers pitching tents and laying bedrolls. The army had taken over Shirley Plantation as a field hospital and the sounds of unearthly moans and groans of rows and rows of injured soldiers filled her ears.  What will all this mean to this beautiful young woman? Could she possibly get safe passage back with the Union soldiers for her and the children? And will she be safe in the meantime having to help take care of these soldiers?

Matthew Scott was the owner of the Theatrical Troupe in Ohio and was elated that his company had just been booked for the next three months, when he was effectively taken and conscripted by the Confederate army as he exited the building. He finds himself on the battlefield and experiencing what he could only describe as hell. He falls when wounded with the thundering noises of war reverberating around him as he passes out. Matthew is then found and taken by the Union army with other wounded to Shirley Plantation.

While Angelina tends to the needs and wounds of the soldier’s, Matthew and Angelina are drawn to one another. However, she is a woman with secrets and is masquerading as a widow in mourning and guarding closely the secret of her heritage. Will Matthew and the army be a means of freedom for her and the children? And will he understand when he discovers her deception?
Matthew, having been forced to fight for the Confederates, and with his father being a Copperhead, is still at risk along with Angelina. Can they ever find freedom and safety?

This is a fascinating and intricately woven story. It is hugely satisfying to see the pieces fit together with the mysteries and circumstances surrounding both Matthew and Angelina.

Return to Shirley Plantation is steeped in history and written with such authenticity, it truly is a step back in time to a place that is synonymous with much tragedy, but also one that represents many stories of faith, romance, hope and triumph in the face of the horrors of war. This story also conveys the pivotal message of listening to and obeying God.
As Carrie Fancett Pagels' debut novel, this is a commanding and brilliant story! Well done Carrie!
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GIVEAWAY: A Kindle copy of this novella for one commenter. Leave your email address if you'd like to be entered in the giveaway.

55 comments:

  1. good writing, good review, two thumbs up - well done Carrie & Noela!

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    1. Thank you so much MURRAY!! Giving thumbs up to Carrie as well for her amazing novel! :)

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    2. Thanks Murray and Noela! I think Noela is off to bed--sleep well!

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  2. I sure hope to win this when it comes out in print. I loved the movies about this war. "North and South". If you've not seen it you need to. They are on DVD's now. Maxie Anderson

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    1. Won't it be exciting to see Carrie's story and the others in print MAXIE! It's so funny that you've mentioned North and South... only a few moments ago, I was just saying to hubby how much I want to see them!! He's just gone on an errand now and is going to check them out at the store. Hoping he brings them home with him!! :)

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    2. MAXIE, I wonder if the publisher would allow me to print out a copy for you? I will ask him. I loved that series and the book and the movie.

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  3. '
    Sorry Noela, I forgot to tell you this is a good job on this review.
    Maxie Anderson

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    1. Why thank you MAXIE, that's most kind of you!! Do you like my 'southern charm'?? ;)

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    2. Wow, way southern, like southern hemisphere lol! ;)

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    3. LOL CARRIE, I guess I'm a real Southerner after all! :)

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  4. Loved your post. Purchased a few days ago for Kindle. So excited to read this. Blessings, Susan Fryman

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    1. Thanks SUSAN!! So glad to hear you've purchased it, now you can put your feet up and enjoy it my friend! :)

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    2. SUSAN, it was so neat seeing you last night at TBCN!!!

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  5. Great review of a great book. So happy for Carrie, she really does deserve to be published. I see several more published books in her future. Have a great weekend and God bless.

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    1. DEBBIE, thank you for your very kind comment!! This is just the start of many for our talented CARRIE for sure!! :) Thanks and God bless you too!

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    2. I pray those novels I have out on submission get picked up plus the new ones I haven't submitted yet, DEBBIE!

      Thanks NOELA!!!

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  6. Great review, Noela. I look forward to the day you're going to write a novel. :)

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    1. Haha is that so MARIAN, tell me... what should this novel be about? Because I'll need some inspiration! I think there'd definitely have to be a dutch girl in there to add some spunk to the story! ;)

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    2. A Dutchy and an Aussie on adventure in the wilderness. ;)

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    3. Oh I love the idea of a Dutch woman and an Australian gal on adventure!

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    4. And Noela is going to write it... :)

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  7. Beautifully written review, but then you KNOW how I feel about your reviews, NOELA! Ummmm...I think this southern belle needs to go on a wilderness adventure with an Aussie, and a Dutchy. :o

    CARRIE did a wonderful job on this story and we're all very proud of her! I wouldn't look at pink scrolling bubbles all week for just anyone! ;) :P

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    1. This is my first time DIANA looking at pink bubbles for so long... I'll let you know if my dreams are in colour, specifically the colour pink, tonight! ;)
      As you say, CARRIE sure did a wonderful job and definitely worth the pink bubbles! :)

      Thank you Diana for your kind words, you made me smile too!! ;)
      Sooo, a wilderness adventure with a Dutchy, an Aussie, a Southern belle... and a pirate?? Man, this is going to take some imagination lol! :)

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    2. If anyone can do it, you can. I have faith in you! :)

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    3. DIANA, let me see what I can do with this colonial. I have a Scotsman as the hero. I have a pirate. Wouldn't be too hard to do an Dutchy but hmmm, I don't think Australia was even settled until about a century later or so!

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    4. I think Carrie is going to steal Noela's story. ;) LOL

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    5. Oh nooo CARRIE... are you going to steal the idea's for my 2014 Bestseller??! ;) Tell you what, I'll let you have the rights to it if I can be your heroine... I'm pretty sure I have some Scottish heritage there somewhere to be a Scotswoman! Lol!

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  8. Noela, thanks so much for your wonderful review and your kind encouragement! The OWG gals are all so happy you agreed to join us from "Down Under" and we pray we are a blessing to you too!

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    1. You're so welcome CARRIE! And Carrie, trust me when I say that all of you are more of a blessing to me than I could even hope to express!!! Love you all!! :)

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  9. Hi Carrie--

    Had to stop in and say Huzzah for "Cry of Freedom-Return to Shirley Plantation"! Angelina's story makes for a thrilling and complex theme; you've really created a heart-rending obstacle to her freedom. She's made a selfless decision out of love. It's not hard to choose between bad and good, but when she's torn between two loves it's much more difficult. She truly has to overcome.

    I'm looking forward to also holding it as an actual book (love the cover with Shirley Plantation!)--but as a keeper! Thank Murray for me, and I would be interested in purchasing a signed copy too, if you can get one :) Thanks, Carrie--you're steadfast. <>

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    1. PAT!!! Hey, thanks for coming by!!! This reads like a review! Great to see you here! I need an Angelina doll, Pat! Hmm, I have a commission for you!

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  10. Great review Noela! Book is on my TBR list.
    ldwrncpn@comcast.net

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    1. Thanks LORI and I hope you get a chance to enjoy it soon!! Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. Oh LORI, I really hope you will read it and love Angelina's and Matthew's story! Thanks for coming by!

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  11. Wonderful review! I know the book is great by reading several reviews! Great accomplishment!
    susanlulu@yahoo.com

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    1. Thank you SUSAN! I agree with you, it is a really great accomplishment... and not only to write such a clever story but to have her debut perform so well also!! :)

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    2. SUSAN, did you get a copy last night at TBCN? Great to see you here! Thanks for your kind comments! Thanks, Noela!!!

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  12. This review makes me really want to read Return to Shirley Plantation! It sounds like a fascinating story.
    Congratulations to Carrie for the publication of her first book.

    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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    1. Ohh that's so great to hear, thanks PAM!! You're right it is a fascinating story, and made even more so with the history behind it!

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    2. PAM, thanks so very much! Very glad to finally have something out there that people can read. I am a history geek, Noela!

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  13. Great review. So looking forward to reading this story! Will be sitting down with it this weekend!!

    bettimace(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks BETZ, and enjoy your weekend with CARRIE'S book!! :)

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    2. BETTI, I am so glad you got your copy and I pray that you will love it!!! Blessings!

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  14. Thank you for your review. I'm positive that I will find this book enjoyable & fascinating too.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Thanks, and you're welcome! I'm positive you'll find it very enjoyable too MARY! :) I wish you all the best with the drawing!!

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    2. MARY, I pray that you do! Many blessings!

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  15. Wishing you good luck as you venture into the world of authorship, Carrie.
    (Going to defer entering, though ... it sounds great, BUT I'm trying to keep my TBR list at its current unmanagable level ...)

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    1. That's the story of all our lives ANDREW - having unmanageable TBR lists! ;) Hope you find room there at some stage for it because it's worth it! Very nice of you to stop by to wish Carrie well! :)

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    2. I do understand, ANDREW! But I hope you will read RtSP when your pile shortens!!! Blessings!

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  16. NOELA AND CARRIE!!! Cannot believe I am just NOW getting over here!! Busy weekend with the grandbaby overnight. I'm pooped!!

    LOVE the review and LOVED the book!! Will be writing my own review soon, Carrie, and will let you know when I post it, okay?

    Soooooooooo EXCITING!!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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    1. JULIE!!! I bet your grandbaby was LOVING to have grandma taking care!!! SO THRILLED that you loved the book!!! Am anticipating your review/endorsement esp. since I have been sitting at 12 reviews (PTL al FIVE stars!!!) but no new ones for a few days!!!

      Yes, EXCITING!!!!! Hugs!!! Carrie

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    2. Thanks JULIE!! I'm sooo looking forward to babysitting overnight too, I'm sure it'll be exhausting but heaps of fun and then there's all those EXTRA cuddles you get, lol!!
      I'm also looking forward to reading your take on CARRIE'S book!! :) Very exciting Carrie!!!!

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  17. sure would like to win thank you for the chance Karen at khsmith97217@yahoo.com

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    1. Well you are now in with a chance KAREN to win a copy of CARRIE'S great story! All the best and God bless you!!

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