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Savannah by Eugenia Price
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long epic novel about a young man's early years in Savannah in the early 1800's ( )
  nancynova | Sep 12, 2015 |
Where I got the book: review copy supplied by the publisher. My feature article on the Savannah Quartet appears on the Historical Novel Society website.

On the eve of the War of 1812, Mark Browning moves to Savannah. On the way he meets Robert Mackay, a successful Savannah merchant, and the two hit it off so well that Mackay invites Mark to stay in his home, thus leading to a lifelong friendship. Against the background of the war, Mark discovers his past and his future.

I’m going to stop here and explain that Robert Mackay was a real person, while Mark Browning is fictional. The weaving of fiction and fact is pretty seamless—Price uses the real lives of the characters as plot points, inventing a sort of love triangle that is a major factor in the book’s last third. Price was a Christian writer and this is reflected in the text, but I didn’t find it particularly preachy or intrusive since nineteenth-century Americans of that class were pretty much automatically religious.

Price’s main fault is repetition—she has a tendency to belabor plot points by having first one set of characters and then another discuss them. Also, I wanted to smack Mark for keeping Caroline hanging around while he moons over Eliza—if he were a woman there’d be a name for his behavior. But he’s portrayed as so perfect—many of Price’s ‘good’ characters are good to the point of weakness—that we’re evidently supposed to sympathize with his predicament. I didn’t.

Having said that, Savannah is a really good read with plenty of historical interest and something always about to happen round the next corner (often heavily foreshadowed). It’s the kind of book you can just sit a long time with, preferably on a verandah with a tall glass of cold liquid. Recommended. ( )
  JaneSteen | May 25, 2014 |
I’ve just returned from another time (1812-1825) and place (Savannah, Georgia). This trip was taken without pen and paper at hand; it is rare for me to read without taking notes all along the way. But this trip was for the pleasure of the journey itself. I’ve wandered the squares of Savannah, walked along the river paths on plantations, worked on the wharf, and alongside my mistress in the kitchens. This book is brimming with an atmosphere of place and time.

The story centers on the fictional character of Mark Browning, a young man recently orphaned, who moves to Savannah. It weaves his story into the lives of real persons, famous in their time. Ms. Price’s research and love of the area shine through her finished work. It was a lovely, lovely beach read. ( )
  countrylife | Aug 12, 2009 |
The only home he has ever wanted is a place he has never been - the place of his mother's birth...and of his father's remembered dreams.

From the deck of the schooner, a young man of privilege watched Savannah emerge on the horizon that fateful day in the spring of 1812, never imaging it held secrets to both his past and future.
  DunnFunKat | Sep 17, 2007 |
This is the first in a series of four books. It's so wonderfully written that you get immersed in the story and the romance, and don't even realize what a huge dose of history and biography you're getting. The saga's main characters are fictitious, but supporting characters, including significant historical figures, are often real. ( )
  SusieQ228 | Mar 8, 2006 |
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Hands gripping the rail of the plunging schooner Eliza, young Mark Browning, his well-tailored clothes wet and rumpled, stood on deck alone, determined not to be sick.
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THe only home he has ever wanted is a place he has never been-the place of his mother's birth...and of his father's remembered dreams. From the deck of the schooner, a young man of privilege watched Savannah emerge on the horizon that fateful day in the spring of 1812, never imagining it held secrets to both his past and future. That the burgeoning Southern port would be so intricately tied to his own expanding fortune. That there he would become involved in the intrigue of war...and torn between his love for two women. That in Savannah he would ultimately learn the the measure of his own courage and worth. Once again Eugenia Price blends historical observation with masterful storytelling in a bountiful novel that sweeps readers into the passions and splendor of nineteenth century Georgia. (Book Club Edition)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312962320, Mass Market Paperback)

Few writers have earned a place in readers' hearts as dear as Eugenie Price. Her novels entice us into a vanished world, peopled by characters who immediacy makes their joy, sorrow, heartbreak, and soaring love something we can share and savor. Eugenia Price chose Savannah, Georgia as one of the most fascinating cities of the South, as the setting of a quartet of novels that follow the fortunes of the city and families that gave it life.

Orphaned Mark Browning was only twenty when he renounced his father's fortune and sailed to Savannah, his mother's birthplace...and the home of two remarkable women. The first is Eliza McQueen Mackay, his mentor's beautiful wife, whom Mark loves with a deep, pure love that can never be spoken. The other is lovely young Caroline Cameron, whose life is blighted by a secret that has tormented her grandparents for half a century--a secret that affects Mark more closely than he imagines. Desiring one woman, loved by another Mark must confront the ghosts of a previous generation, and face the evil smoldering hate, before he can truly call Savannah his home.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:04 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A young man of privilege arrives in Savannah, never dreaming of how the port would become involved in his expanding fortune or of how he would become involved in the intrigue of war and his love for two women.

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