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Celia Garth by Gwen Bristow
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Celia Garth (1950)

by Gwen Bristow

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I picked this up in a $1-a-bag sale at a local thrift store. I'm not sure why. Perhaps the cover caught my attention. Whatever the reason, I read the first page to see what it was about. Hours later, I realized I didn't want to put it down. Bristow deftly weaves the fictional story of Celia through the true strands of history - the Siege of Charleston, the terror of Tarleton, those who took the King's Oath and those who did not, those who received the houses of displaced patriots as rewards for service to the King - and what happened to those patriots. Bits of historical facts about culture and society gives the story a wonderful depth. And her characters - each is flesh-out, well-rounded, with flaws and depth and emotions. They feel real. They feel true. As if they might have really lived. The plot is a breathless - taking the reader through a gambit of emotion.
To anyone interested in American History, the Revolutionary War or Colonial Life, I highly recommend! ( )
  empress8411 | Jan 21, 2014 |
When her story opens, Celia is a bubble-headed sewing-girl of twenty, plotting how to get more complicated needlework from the shop that employs her and speculating whether any of the older women that work there were ever kisses (surely not). But as the Revolution reaches Charleston just as she becomes engaged, her world becomes more complicated very quickly. Fortunately, she rises to the occasion, making difficult decisions and taking real risks. She will see true horrors and suffer both indignity and great loss as she learns from the example of Viviane Lacy and her daring son Luke, with whom Celia feels a connection quite different than her love for steady Jimmy. Although one can predict the broad outlines of where the novel will go within the first few chapters, following Celia through the vicissitudes of war creates plenty of tension. The story is enchanting as a love story, a tale of war, and a coming-of-age. ( )
  jholcomb | Jul 8, 2009 |
Experience Revolutionary Charleston through the eyes of the young and vibrant Celia Garth. Celia has big plans for her life, not the least of which is getting out of Mrs. Thorley's shop, where she seems doomed to sew buttons for the rest of her life. When she takes a job sewing for wealthy Vivian Lacy, it seems as if Celia has carved out her niche in the world. But the war with England has finally reached Charleston and Celia will experience the painful consequences of her country's war for independence. ( )
  molliewatts | May 6, 2009 |
This book was originally written in 1959 and was updated with a foreword by Sara Donati in 2008. It is a well written story of a young woman's journey through the American Revolution. Set in Charleston, South Carolina and various SC locations, this book documents Celia's life, tragedies, triumphs and evolution into womanhood.

The author documents the fervor felt by the Rebels and the distain the Tories had for the American cause. Celia is a patriot; she will support and defend the cause for freedom any way she can. She's young but brave, and goes through many adventures to secure her future and family.

I really enjoyed this book. Not only did it document the SC war time, but it documented both sides of the conflict. Both the Tories and Rebels are portrayed to give an idea of what they believed and how they conducted themselves. The plot flows quite well, and the characters are well developed. ( )
  brainella | Jan 22, 2009 |
I read this story when I was young and fell head over heels in love. I thought it was the most beautiful and exciting book ever! The book belonged to my mother, it helped fuel my love for period literature. ( )
  whimsyblue | Jun 2, 2008 |
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Celia Garth had blonde hair and brown eyes. Her hair was a thick, fluffy gold; her eyes were dark, and they looked at the world with brisk attention.
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Bringing to life the heady days of the American Revolution through the eyes of a heroine who played a brave and dramatic part in the conflict, this novel follows Celia Garth, a Charleston native, as she transforms from a fashionable dressmaker to a patriot spy. When the king's army captures Charleston and sweeps through the Carolina countryside in a wave of blood, fire, and debauchery, the rebel cause seems all but lost. But when Francis Marion, a lieutenant colonel in the Continental Army known as "The Swamp Fox," recruits Celia as a spy, the tides of war begin to shift. This classic historical novel captures the fervor of 18th-century Charleston, the American Revolution, and a woman who risked her life for the patriot cause.… (more)

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