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Charleston by Alexandra Ripley
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Charleston (1981)

by Alexandra Ripley

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I really enjoyed this story based on historical events. Others have reviewed the story, but I found it enthralling on every page. It really gave me insight into how it was to live in Charleston during the Civil War and around that time, especially as a woman. I am now looking for On Leaving Charleston on my e-reader, can't wait. Wonderful characters, I thoroughly recommend it. ( )
  alisonb60 | Sep 10, 2012 |
Don't be fooled by the cover, this is NOT an historical romance. Although it's also not the most engaging piece of historical fiction I've read either. Which is unfortunate, as there are so few books written about the Civil War and it's aftermath on the people and their families. Charleston is the story of the Lizzie (Elizabeth) Tradd and her brother Pinny (Pinckney) Tradd of Charleston, South Carolina and starts just prior to the end of the war. Pinny is injured in battle and returns home with Shad (Joe) Simmons, who the Charlestonians would consider as white trash. Lizzie is still a young girl who keeps every hurt and emotion tightly wrapped inside of her, and Shad is the only one who can break through to her inner self.

The story continues as the Tradd family attempts to recover their home(s) and livelihood in the aftermath of the Civil War, and continues Lizzie's story into adulthood with a disastrous marriage, childbirth, business successes and failures, a love discovered later in life and a lifelong friendship that might blossom into something more.

Although I greatly enjoyed the historical details and the glimpses into the lives of upper crust of Charleston society, unfortunately the author used a good 2/3 of the book setting up Lizzie's background and childhood and not enough time on her adult life and loves, and that's much too long for me. I would have preferred to start Lizzie's story as an adult and then tell her background via flashbacks. If you're looking for a fast paced storyline I recommend you search elsewhere, but if you want to sit back a savor a slice of life in 19C Charleston society this might be worth your while. I'm giving this one four stars for the history and look at southern life and two stars for a very slow paced storyline, rounded out to three. Not great, but not bad either. ( )
  Misfit | May 12, 2009 |
отл,тверд,639 ( )
  mi4ur | Jun 27, 2007 |
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Epigraph
Boastful and braggart Charleston . . .
Terrible is the self-inflicted retribution
which an All-Wise Providence has decreed
against this cockatrice's den . . .
O fallen Babylon! . . .
--------------New York Independent, February 1865
If ever a people deserved extermination and banishment, it was the unprincipled, obstinate, ignorant and treacherous ruling class of South Carolina . . .
--------------Chicago Tribune. April 1865
Dedication
This book is dedicated to

JANE CLARK TWOHY

in grateful acknowledgment of
her Medici view of banking.
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The wide street was quiet and deserted under the scorching sun.
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Elizabeth, a strong-willed and passionate woman, searches for the true meaning of love in a story of a family set against the background of Charleston, South Carolina, during the Civil War and Reconstruction
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A magnificent Southern saga.

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