Charlotte meets her new neighbor, Nicholas Betancourt along with his two daughters. When he asks her to tutor them until he can find a more suitable schooling situation for them, she eventually—yet reluctantly—agrees. One day Nicholas leaves for New Orleans to clear up the foggy situation surrounding the claim to his land. However, he does not return. Charlotte takes in his two little girls for part of the summer before going in search of him, thinking that perhaps he has caught the yellow fever that is plaguing New Orleans and is quite possibly too sick to write or even dead. Will she be able to find him?
* * *
The start of Carolina Gold gently segues into the rest of the book, sweetly pulling me along through the pages. There was no major attention getter as many books in this genre nowadays has. However, I was swept into the story and down the Waccamaw River along with Charlotte.
I was surprised by the absolute authenticity that was so completely woven into Carolina Gold. The word pictures and descriptions the author gives are absolutely breathtaking. Sometimes, after reading a paragraph, I could close my eyes and imagine myself in the place the author described. Carolina Gold is saturated in the history of the post-Civil War era.
I enjoyed getting to know the characters. This novel is told in third person from Charlotte’s point of view. She had a distinct personality. She was cordial yet abrupt when needed. She accepted the death of her father with a grace I’m sure not many others could. She took no nonsense from anybody and held firm convictions concerning her land and life. I also enjoyed getting to know Nicholas’s daughters, Marie-Claire and Anne-Louise. In fact, the book is told in such a way that the girls are introduced and developed even more than their father. This is unique in that the book’s plot does not solely revolve around Charlotte and Nicolas’s romance, but rather around Charlotte’s growing maternal affection for the girls.
Carolina Gold has a steady pace from beginning to end that never speeds up and never slows down. Those who are looking for an exciting story filled with romance will not get that here. The romance between Charlotte and Nicholas is sweet but rather slow. Also, Nicholas disappears for a large portion of the book, which does not give Charlotte and Nicholas time to develop their relationship.
I felt as though some characters were introduced rather abruptly. There was no mention of a few of the characters before their introduction and sometimes I wondered why they were introduced at all because they were never mentioned again in the book. However, this did lend a certain uniqueness to the novel as a whole. Also, something else I found unique was that certain scenes of the book were told in first person from Charlotte’s point of view about different times in her life.
The only thing I could find that I did not care for as a reader was that the author seemed to shy away from action or excitement. Whenever there was a possibility for a little action the scene would cut off and the book would pick up at a later time. However, I was struck by the realistic characters and situations. Also, Carolina Gold was not as predictable as I thought it would be. There were several places in the book when a minor character turned out to be the cause of a major problem.
I give Carolina Gold 4 out of 5 stars.
*I received an e-book copy of this book from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. The opinions stated are mine and mine alone.