Reverberation, The Novel, is a story of love and friendship, greed and survival set amid the changing social, religious and philosophical mores of early nineteenth-century America.
August 18, 1828. A wealthy farmer, Jacob Hicks, dies. His friend, Squire Richard Holt, testifies that, on his deathbed, the deceased disinherited his four daughters and named his son, Maris, as his sole beneficiary. In a naive attempt to invalidate the questionable will by eliminating the witness, two disgruntled family members independently fire at the squire. One shot finds its mark.
James Daunt, one of the shooters, is seen and accused of the murder. As a posse closes in on him, he is rescued by Sally Morley, an unconventional young woman. She spirits him away to a liberal, utopian community led by Thaddeus Goodenough, a controversial, Bible-quoting preacher who advocates common property and free love. Although James is married to Jacob’s pretty daughter, Margaret, he is attracted to the idiosyncratic Sally. Their relationship grows as he is assimilated into Pleasant Valley Farm. However, the threat of capture and death by hanging is ever present, and with the widespread publication of his description and the offer of a reward, he realizes no refuge is safe for him. James is forced to flee, leaving Sally to deal with her past as well as with the consequences of their passionate love affair.
Esther Hicks Latch, Jacob’s oldest daughter, is the second shooter. She falls during her flight from the scene and is seriously injured. Her physical and mental health deteriorates as the fallout from the murder of Richard Holt reverberates around the shooters and ensnares those who are close to them. Esther’s husband, Elias, becomes obsessed with capturing James. Her brother, Maris, faces a legal challenge to the verbal will and acts to ensure his inheritance against the efforts of his siblings to overturn the testimony in court. While trying to save James’ soul, the Reverend Goodenough is compelled to evaluate his own truths.
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REVIEWS: Reverberation, the Novel
(Additional reviews posted on Amazon www.amazon.com/dp/B005YCZBXK)
I really enjoyed this novel and found it so interesting and so well written. It was a pleasure in all ways!
I had no idea there were such provocative people living so long ago! I know the
author created these particular protagonists, but it sounds like the structures
within which they lived existed.
It made me want to find out more about the real places and themes that are
evoked in this book: idealistic communes, asylums, run away slaves, women’s
rights in the 18th century, free love, religious dilemmas.
I really enjoyed this story so much, the characters are compelling, especially
Sally/sister Sarah, and I love the ethical, moral and religious themes that
were brought up by the story. Very complicated and messy, like in real life. I
so enjoyed all of it.
If you are interested in historical novels, and in reading about unusual but
believable characters, this is the book for you.
5.0 out of 5 stars
What a great book, filled with humane and an interesting take of Antebellum America November 4, 2012
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As I began reading this book, I thought it would be a descriptive story of the 1800’s. But what I found was a beautifully written story, filled with complex and very human stories of people surviving in America those days. I just couldn’t stop reading Reverberation and the world of 1820’s, as Esther Hicks took us into her world of greed and pain. And inasmuch as she seemed a villain, it was obvious that women those days had few rights and concocting this fascinating murder plot was an evil act prompted by a reality of having been born without the same rights as men. And then, James Daunt, his cousins and the trials and tribulations of his life, are no different than what many of us may experience today. The difference is that V.B. Holmes’ capacity to capture the hardships and realities of the time make us see how privileged we are these days in so many respects. Best of all, it’s one of those books you want to put down, but just can’t…..
(Additional reviews at Amazon www.amazon.com/dp/B005YCZBXK)