The war is over, the North has won, the slaves are free, and now the plantation owners have to do what they can to rebuild what they've lost. Charlotte is in a tougher spot than the rest because her father is gone and she has to do this without benefit of a male relative to help her. She tries to hire some of the former slaves to help her out, but they are reluctant to return to the work they did before they were freed. With all this stacked against against her, she knows she has a long road ahead of her, but she wants to bring back the Carolina Gold rice that her father grew and that the area was famous for.
A chance meeting of Anne-Louise and Marie-Claire brings Charlotte into the attention of their father, Nicholas Bettencourt. He begs her to take on the education of his daughters, even though she's not a trained teacher. He even pays her to teach his daughters. When he has to go to Louisiana for a bit to find the paperwork connected to his plantation, Wildwood, Charlotte ends up with the care of Anne-Louise and Marie-Claire. She even ends up taking them with her to her summer home on Pawley's Island, where the weather is not so hot. When weeks go by without hearing from Nicholas, Charlotte goes to Louisiana to find him.
I have enjoyed other Dorothy Love books and chose to read it based on what I've read before. If I'd read the synopsis before choosing the book to read, I think I wouldn't have chosen it. I am not as fond of Civil War era novels as I am later nineteenth century books. The Civil War is such a hard part of our nation's history and even today there are hard feelings to be found over it. I found that the story dragged in parts and had I purchased this book for reading, I would have walked away from it. I don't find this to be up to Dorothy's normal quality. It could be the subject matter, since this isn't my favorite era, as described above, but I felt that the plot was forced and the denouement was a bit too rushed. That's it for the harsh criticism. Dorothy did a great job of developing her characters and bringing them to life.
The book was provided to me by Thomas Nelson for my honest review. No remuneration was offered or received in exchange for my opinions.