Wednesday, August 23, 2023

#BookReview: The Stockwell Letters by @jbfriedland @BookSparks

Synopsis: From USA Today best-selling and multi-award-winning author Jacqueline Friedland comes a gripping work of fiction based on the true story of female abolitionist Ann Phillips and her connection to Anthony Burns, a young man who briefly escaped American slavery and rocked the nation with his astoundingly heroic story.

A passionate advocate of abolition from her earliest years, Ann’s activism was derailed just before her twenty-fourth birthday, when she fell sick with a mysterious illness. In order to protect her fragile health, her husband, the famous abolitionist Wendell Phillips, forbade her from joining any further anti-slavery outings. Even so, when fugitive slave Anthony Burns is apprehended in Boston, Ann is determined to help him, no matter what it costs her.

With a particular focus on the predicament of nineteenth-century women who wanted to effect change despite the restrictions society imposed on them, The Stockwell Letters — takes a deep dive into the harrowing conditions of the antebellum South and the obstacles faced by abolitionists who fought tirelessly to eradicate slavery. A fast-paced, arresting recounting of America’s not-so-distant history— the story will stay with readers long after the final page.

This title will be released on August 29, 2023.


Rating: 4 Stars
My Review: If you love historical fiction then this one is for you.  This one gave all the feels and is one that you do not want to miss.  Set right before the start of the Civil War this story will draw you in page by page. 


For The Stockwell Letters

“Impressive, page-turning, shocking, and heartfelt—Jacqueline Friedland’s foray into historical fiction is unputdownable. No stone is left unturned in 
The Stockwell Letters, as Friedland takes us on a deep dive into one of the gravest chapters of American history: slavery. Filled with rich characters, defining moments, and heroic plot twists, Friedland delivers a gift and a powerful message to historical fiction lovers.”
—Lisa Barr, New York Times best-selling author of Woman On Fire

 “In 1854, Boston's most prominent men fought to make positive change, but it was the women standing quietly behind them who came together across lines of race and class to achieve the goals their husbands could not. In this powerful story of hope, dedication, and perseverance, Jackie Friedland takes an unflinching look at the devastating era of American history prior to the Civil War. This is a novel that you won't want to miss.”
—Kathleen Grissom, 2x New York Times best-selling author of The Kitchen House and Glory Over Everything

The Stockwell Letters is a novel that would draw me from all the way across a crowded bookstore, because not only am I fascinated with the abolitionist era, it has so much resonance for our time. This is an immersive, human, important novel that everybody should read!”
—Jenna Blum,
 New York Times best-selling author of Those Who Save Us and The Lost Family 

“Jacqueline Friedland is a gifted writer with an incredible ability to tell a gripping, page-turning story in any genre . . . . Friedland’s impeccable research and compelling characters immersed me in the period . . . . Even if you don't usually gravitate towards historical fiction, this one will have you hooked from the outset. It’s just that good!” 

—Samantha Greene Woodruff, best-selling author of The Lobotomist's Wife 

“A riveting portrait of the women who risked everything to help usher slaves to freedom, Jacqueline Friedland's latest is told with a tender heart. Thanks to a cast of captivating characters, colorful period details and an ending that will have you cheering, the book will stay with you long after you finish. The Stockwell Letters is book club fiction at its best.” 

—Brooke Foster, award-winning journalist and author of On Gin Lane 

“Evocative period detail abounds in Friedland’s work; characters are pulled directly from history.”
—Kirkus Reviews

The Stockwell Letters is an immersive work of fiction that plunges readers into one of the most fraught and urgent decades of American history. With assiduous research and a cast of complex and finely rendered characters, Friedland delivers a powerful literary punch. Showing both the best and the worst of human nature, Friedland’s writing prompts every reader to ask: How can I stand up for what is right?” 

—Allison Pataki, author of The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post 

“Impressively researched, seamlessly written and deeply felt, The Stockwell Letters brings the abolitionist movement fully and completely to life.  Friedland is an expert at showing us the motivations behind the actions; this is historical fiction at its very best.” 

—Kitty Zeldis, author of The Dressmakers of Prospect Heights

For He Gets That From Me

2022 USA Today Best Seller 

A 2021 Kirkus Reviews' Best Indie Book of the Year 

2021 Reader's Favorite: Gold Medal, Fiction 

SheReads 2021 Book Awards: Best Book Club Pick 

“It is hard to imagine a better novel for a book club discussion...A thoughtful and gripping family tale that will haunt readers long after finishing it.” 

Kirkus Reviews, STARRED 

 “...a touching and provocative novel about the collisions of the emotional and legal meanings of family.” 

Foreword Reviews 

“Friedland spins a web of intrigue, questioning the truest expression of parenthood. Fans of Nicola Marsh, Tana French, and Hannah Mary McKinnon will race through this thrilling exploration of nature versus nurture and the sacrifices needed to keep loved ones together.” 


“A heartfelt exploration of what it means to be a family, He Gets That From Me is a fascinating story of strength, humanity, love, and perseverance. This is one you won’t stop thinking about.” 

—Allison Winn Scotch, best-selling author of Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing 

 “A piercing, mesmerizing look into the fragility and resiliency of the human experience . . . a bold page-turner that will leave you breathless with anticipation. With He Gets That From Me, Friedland invites you to ask yourself the questions you didn’t even know you needed to answer—about family, forgiveness, sacrifice, and love. An absolute home run.” 

—Amy Impellizzeri, award-winning author of Lemongrass Hope and I Know How This Ends 

“Compulsively readable and ferociously insightful . . .He Gets That From Me cuts to the core of what it means to be family. An unforgettable book of our times.” 

—Jamie Brenner, author of The Forever Summer and Blush 

He Gets That from Me is a potent reminder that we can’t always choose what life hands us—but we can decide whether to rise to the occasion when faced with seemingly impossible choices. With expert plotting and unwavering empathy toward her characters, Jacqueline Friedland has written a novel as unexpected as it is riveting. I read it in a single sitting.” 

—Camille Pag├ín, best-selling author of This Won’t End Well 

He Gets That from Me takes on timeless questions about parenthood and our presumptions about birth, biology, and family. Describing a modern-day arrangement between two dads and a surrogate, the story opens our eyes to the many ways a family can be created while also telling a suspenseful narrative full of unexpected thrills that keep the reader wanting more. A moving story throughout, it ends with a twist that will leave you thinking about the book long after you’ve finished reading it.” 

—Melissa Brisman, Esq., reproductive attorney 

“Friedland has written characters who are so compelling and so lovable, and then she put them in the middle of such a suspenseful, entirely believable story of what can happen when modern-day technology complicates the most basic relationships between parents and a child. My heart was pounding as I read, far into the night. It's a must-read.” 

—Maddie Dawson, best-selling author of Matchmaking for Beginners 

“Jacqueline Friedland creates a host of complex characters in this nuanced, compelling exploration of what it really means to be a family, and why we should maybe think twice before heading to” 

—Laura Hankin, author of The Day DreamsHappy & You Know It and A Special Place for Women 

For That’s Not a Thing

2020 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards: Gold Medal in Fiction – New Adult 

2020 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards: Wind Dancer Films Winner 

2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Winner in Romance (Fiction) 

“Exploring the messy concept of closure, this is a charmingly witty novel that fans of Emily Belden's Hot Mess (2019) and J. Ryan Stradal's The Lager Queen of Minnesota (2019) will eat up.”


 “In That's Not a Thing, Friedland has created a delightful and generous novel about the type of love that never leaves us and the people we hope to become in the aftermath.” 

—Laura Dave, international best-selling author of The Last Thing He Told Me, Eight Hundred Grapes, and more 

 “An open-hearted lawyer is forced to choose between her fiance and her dying ex in Friedland’s novel about love and forgiveness...A complex and compelling romance...” 

Kirkus Reviews 

 “This tender, introspective romance from Friedland hangs on the difficult choice between new and old lovers...Fans of sensitively handled love triangles should snap this one up.” 

Publishers Weekly

“In life’s journey, there are many types of love we encounter along the way—first love, rebound love, the one-who-got-away love, 'B'sherit' (soulmate) love, and conflict love (the one in your bed, the one in your head) . . . Friedland, with her fabulous descriptions and compelling characters, presents a little bit of everything in this emotionally-gripping tale that examines love, loss, loyalty, what ifs, what is, and ultimately, forgiveness. Protagonist Meredith Altman is my kinda girl—complicated, inspiring, and richly-drawn. That's Not a Thing has the unputdownable Jojo Moyes 'It Factor' that keeps those pages turning and burning bright ... long after lights-out.” 

—Lisa Barr, award-winning author of The Unbreakables 

“Fun, flirty and fabulous...I devoured this read!” 

—Stephanie Evanovich, New York Times best-selling author of Big Girl Panties and The Sweet Spot 

 “Friedland's That’s Not a Thing is an unputdownable tale of old love meets new. Heartrending and evocative, this beautifully woven story captures the deep-seated emotions we carry—those of guilt, forgiveness, and what it means to be there for those we love. Friedland's sharp writing and emotional depth will leave you turning the pages, ending with a satisfying, albeit bittersweet conclusion.”

 —Rochelle Weinstein, USA Today best-selling author of This Is Not How It Ends 

 “Jacqueline Friedland is at the top of her game with this wholly engrossing page-turner about the complexities of love, loss, and loyalty. With richly drawn characters and a gripping plot, That’s Not a Thing is undoubtedly THE thing to pack in your beach bag or pick for your book club. Friedland has done it again—another must-read!” 

—Amy Blumenfeld, award-winning author of The Cast 

 “Fans of Jojo Moyes and Karma Brown will simply love Jacqueline Friedland's romantic, poignant novel, That's Not A Thing. In this dramatic and insightful story, Friedland explores tragedy, true love, and life's many 'what ifs'.” 

—Amy Poeppel, author of Limelight and Small Admissions 

 “Fans of Emily Giffin will love this romantic novel . . .” 

—Betches, “20 Books to Read in 2020”

About the Author

Jacqueline Friedland is the USA Today best-selling and multi-award-winning author of He Gets That From Me, That's Not a Thing, and Trouble the Water. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and NYU Law School, she practiced briefly as a commercial litigator in Manhattan and  taught  Legal Writing and Lawyering Skills at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law. She returned to school after not too long in the legal world,  earning her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Jacqueline regularly reviews fiction for trade publications and appears as a guest lecturer. When not writing, she loves to exercise, watch movies with her family, listen to music, make lists, and dream about exotic vacations. She lives in Westchester, New York, with her husband, four children, and two very lovable dogs.

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