August 19, 2019

#BookReview: Only Charlotte by Rosemary Poole-Carter

Synopsis: Lenore James, a woman of independent means who has outlived three husbands, is determined to disentangle her brother Gilbert from the beguiling Charlotte Eden. 

Chafing against misogyny and racism in the post-Civil War South, Lenore learns that Charlotte’s husband is enmeshed in the re-enslavement schemes of a powerful judge, and she worries that Gilbert’s adoration of Charlotte will lead him into disaster. 

Inspired by a production of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, Lenore adopts the role of Paulina for herself to discover how far Charlotte’s husband bears the blame for his wife’s fate and whether or not he is capable of atonement. 

In her process of unraveling the intricacies of the lives of others, Lenore finds that Gilbert’s love for Charlotte is, indeed, his saving grace while Lenore’s passion for creative expression is her own.
About the Author: Rosemary Poole-Carter explores aspects of an uneasy past in her novels Only Charlotte, Women of Magdalene, What Remains, and Juliette Ascending, all set in the post-Civil War South. Her plays include The Familiar, a ghost story, and The Little Death, a Southern gothic drama. Fascinated by history, mystery, and the performing and visual arts, she is a member of the Historical Novel Society, Mystery Writers of America, and the Dramatists Guild of America. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, she was a long-time resident of Houston, where she practiced her devotion to reading and writing with students of the Lone Star College System. She now lives and writes by the Eno River in Durham, North Carolina.

Rating: ★★
My Review: I am sad to say that there was nothing excising about this one.  The cover was sub par and the story itself was a snooze fest.  The story opening was nothing that grabbed me and the pacing was very slow.  The writing style itself was fine and the characters were all well done. My main issue with this one was the story itself.  There was nothing really going for this mystery book and that made me very sad as I was very excited to read it.  

Overall, with this one I wished that this one could have been edited for the content story so it could have been more exciting and faster paced.  

"Yes, Gilbert is a charmer, and Charlotte is quite intriguing, but the voice of Lenore called out to me from the first page, and I became ever more deeply entranced by her character as the story demonstrates how an intelligent and insightful woman of 19th century New Orleans might deal with the constraints of the culture of that era. Her resourcefulness, her compassion (so like her brother Gilbert’s), and her courage are inspirational even in our time."   Katherine Parr, actress, singer, and author of No Coin for the Ferryman
“A compelling and beautifully written story to keep you reading half the night . . . Set in 19 th   century corrupt, poverty-ridden, yet genteel New Orleans after the Civil War,   Only Charlotte   has a cadence all its own. Rosemary Poole-Carter is a greatly gifted author who has created an unforgettable mystery where kindness and evil are inexorably entwined."  Stephanie Cowell, author of Marrying Mozart and Claude & Camille: a novel of Monet

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