Wednesday, 8 October 2014

The Blackwater Saga Part One

 Nex up on the batter's plate is another offering from Pamellia Smith. We are doing something new with this one and Pamellia is revieweing an entire series. I will be spreading the reviews out over the week. The series is called the Blackwater Saga and here is what Pamellia though of the series overall.
I think Mr. McDowell liked this story. I think he felt for the men that were dominated by the women. I think he enjoyed writing about the old south. He was a story teller, perhaps the best story teller of our time. He was lost to us by his death much too early.
I give this Saga a solid 5 stars.
Reccomended to anyone wanting to read a good story.
This first book of the saga that covers the flood (duh) and the after effects of the flood. How it changed the community, the government and most importantly the Caskey family including their servants. The immediate clean up, picking out what has to go and what is gone stay and the re-building.
The author's writing style brought me into this story in a holistic way. I could feel the fear the residents of Perdido had when it came to the Perdido river's current and especially the junction where the Perdido and Blackwater Rivers met. A real vortex that I could see and feel. When Mr. McDowell described the heat, I felt very does that happen? It happens with a good writer who knows how to bring his readers into a story.
When I finished reading this first book I was over-joyed that I had only scratched the surface of the whole saga and immediately started on the next book in the series.

Mary-Love Caskey starts this book out with the oddest prayer, over a meal, most of us have never heard, “O Lord, protect us from flood, fire, maddened dogs and runaway Negroes.”I'm not certain why I find this so humorous, but I do. McDowell uses this prayer to help us understand something about the childhood of Mary-Love. Being the first generation in her family following the war between the states had to be a tough life. I can only imagine how her mother's life changed and how sad it was for her. I believe this is the main reason Mary-Love is as “hard” as she is...yet she does have some deep love as we see later on in the book.
Elinor has now given her only child, Miriam, to Mary-Love and her daughter, Sister. Elinor wanted freedom from Mary-Love, her mother-in-law, and giving her daughter away bought her that freedom. We learn more about this trade as the story progresses, right up until the very end of the saga.
Sister is tired of her mother's domineering personality . McDowell finds a way for her to escape...will Sister be willing to sacrifice the life-style she has always known. There is a lot of sacrificing in this saga.
Because of the horrible flood almost everyone in Perdido believes a levee will protect them. So an engineer is hired and the levee is built. Oscar Caskey, Mary-Love's son and Elinor's husband, is active in the local government as well as managing the Caskey lumbar business. I believe he and Elinor had a marriage with much love.
Through various actions and interactions McDowell shows strength of Mary-Love's personality. Mary-Love has always been successful with her little power games, but she has problems with Elinor responses that often confuse her.
The author brings up the time issue of the conception of Elinor and Oscar's second child. This was never really investigated by the author and I think it was just one of those many things that Oscar learned to accept about Elinor. He loved her, knew she was different and accepted her just the way she was.
I enjoyed the way McDowell starts to peak our interest in ghosts and how they may be existing in Oscar and Elinor's new home. Frances, their newest daughter, is concerned about the ghosts, but she learns to handle this situation like so many other situations she is involved in.
Stay tuned for the next two books in the series.

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