Divided Decade Series – Book One

Author: Michele Isenhoff

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: Fred Wolinski

Length: 4 hours, 32 minutes

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: April 30, 2015

Publisher: Michele Isenhoff

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free copy of this audiobook from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

Fourteen year old Emily Preston has grown up on a plantation in the South. Her family is wealthy and they own over 200 slaves.

She is a wild and willful child and her parent’s decide to try to curb her behavior by sending her to live with her Uncle who owns a hotel in Detroit, Michigan.

Being raised by slave owners in the lap of luxury and never having to do anything for herself, Emily is in for a huge dose of culture-shock when she arrives in Michigan.

Emily meets Malachi who is a black boy that is almost the same age as Emily. Never having met a free black person, she is shocked to discover that not only can Malachi read, but he also attends school.

Emily had always been told that black people were not capable of learning the way white people can.

As she spends more and more time in the company of her uncle as well as Malachi and a terrific cast of characters who work in the hotel, Emily starts to question everything she has ever been taught about black people.

But, being so young, what good will her changing attitudes be? Does it even matter?

This book is thoroughly researched and I absolutely loved the description of Emily’s trip to the Michigan State Fair.

The period of time this book is set in was a volatile time in American history. I liked the fact that the book is written from the perspective of a fourteen year old privileged white girl. I have read many books set during this era and this is the first time I have read a book written from this point of view, and I found it extremely well done.

The author has done a commendable job of describing the conflicting emotions that Emily goes through and I enjoyed listening to this audiobook.

Narrator Fred Wolinsky has a very expressive voice. Initially the simpering, whiny voice he used for Emily grated on my nerves and I thought it was a bit overdone. However, as I learned more about Emily’s spoiled and indulged childhood and her superior attitude I realized that the voice perfectly matched her character. I also have to give the narrator kudos for being able to perform multiple accents including both Yankee and Southern ways of talking. He also does a great job of using different accents for Zeke (the elderly black slave) and Julia and Malachi (free blacks living in Michigan).

I rate this audiobook as 4 out of 5 stars.⭐⭐⭐⭐

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