This blog is the place where I post reviews of the books I have read. I review audiobooks, regular books and eBooks for authors and publishers as well as any other book or audiobook that catches my eye.
Check out this Exclusive Excerpt from Fake It ‘Til You Break It by Meagan Brandy
Her little nose scrunches. “Don’t be a dick.”
“Don’t ask questions you know the answer to.” I shrug. “Why would couples stand off to the side or walk away from groups and shit like that?”
She purses her lips, giving a sassy, “Privacy.”
“Exactly.” I shift her more, so they can’t see my face. “Right now, at least half of them are staring right at us, each one thinking something along the lines of how bad you must need me, or how hard I must be for you, if we have to take a few extra minutes to ourselves before we can even consider sitting through a dinner with the rest of them.”
She attempts to glance over her shoulder, so I shoot my hand up, catching her chin before she can, my fingers spreading along her jaw and neck in the same move.
Damn if she doesn’t even flinch.
I continue. “The girls are wondering what filthy things I’m promising to do to you later when you come to my room, you are coming to my room by the way.” Her eyes narrow, but it’s playful as hell. “The guys are wondering if you’re biting into your bottom lip, if your eyes are growing darker, and wishing they knew what that looked like, knowing they’ll never get the chance now that you’re mine.”
“Wow,” she teases, purposefully breathy. “You really think you’ve got this whole prepped and ready thing down.”
A laugh escapes me before I can squash it, and I tug her a little closer.
She stares a long moment. “So, I’m challenged with convincing everyone your mood swings turn me on?”
“And I get to be the possessive boyfriend who doesn’t want you outta arm’s reach.”
“Get to?” She smashes her lips to the side, tryin’ real hard not to let her grin slip.
“Get. To. D.”
“What makes you think possessive is what I’d like?”
A light chuckle leaves me, and I lick my lips, leaning into her as I slowly slide my arms down. When she doesn’t budge, my palms slip a little lower, now resting just below her waist, my pinkies propped on her ass cheeks.
She inhales, waiting.
“Demi,” I whisper. “I tell you right now, the last thing you want is a pussy ass dude who won’t push you. You’re too smart, too independent for a doormat of a guy, and too strong to ever be one yourself. You’ll take charge… but you’ll like it more when I do.”
Coming February 5th, A Brand New Standalone !!!!
Have you added Fake It ‘Til You Break It to your TBR ?
The perfect Valentine’s Day or anniversary gift: An illustrated collection of love and relationship advice from New Yorker writer Patricia Marx, with illustrations from New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast.
Everyone’s heard the old advice for a healthy relationship: Never go to bed angry. Play hard to get. Sexual favors in exchange for cleaning up the cat vomit is a good and fair trade.
Okay, not that last one. It’s one of the tips in You Can Only Yell at Me for One Thing at a Time: Rules for Couples by the authors of Why Don’t You Write My Eulogy Now So I Can Correct It: A Mother’s Suggestions. This guide will make you laugh, remind you why your relationship is better than everyone else’s, and solve all your problems.
Nuggets of advice include:
If you must breathe, don’t breathe so loudly.
It is easier to stay inside and wait for the snow to melt than to fight about who should shovel.
Queen-sized beds, king-sized blankets.
Why not give this book to your significant or insignificant other, your anti-Valentine’s Day crusader pal, or anyone who can’t live with or without love?
100% Hilarious, as well as being 100% Terrific Marriage/Relationship Advice.
My husband wholeheartedly agrees with the following:
“If you keep buying things from Amazon ten times a day even though there’s no more room in the house, you must buy a storage unit. And live in it.”
For me, I love this quote:
“Do not walk ten feet in front of me unless you are checking for land mines.”
However, the advice that rings most true to anyone in a long-term relationship is the following:
“When you do something wrong and there’s no fixing it, apologize twenty times a day for being such a dick and soon I will become so sick and tired of hearing you babble, you will be forgiven.”
This book is the perfect gift for friends and loved ones for Valentine’s Day and should be given to every couple upon the occasion of moving in together.
I know it is intended to be humorous, and it very much is, but it also contains situations that anyone who is in a long-term relationship will recognize and perhaps upon reading this, they will laugh off the irritation rather than let it escalate into an argument. The illustrations are the perfect accompaniment to each humorous quote. Readers of the New Yorker magazine will most definitely recognize the style.
Another thing I am very pleased with is the fact that not all illustrations portray couples as only Cisgender. There are illustrations that depict all sexes. I believe this is important.
I rate this book as 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐
**** Thank you to Edelweiss and Celadon Books for providing me with a free copy of this book. Receipt of this book for no cost has in no way influenced my review. ****
.. To preview more of this book’s illustrations, visit the following article on the website of The New Yorker.
Roz Chast was born in Brooklyn, New York. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating with a B.F.A. in painting in 1977. Her cartoons and covers have appeared continuously in The New Yorker since 1978.
She has published several cartoon collections and has written and illustrated several children’s books.
Her graphic memoir chronicling her parents’ final years, “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?”, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the inaugural Kirkus Prize, and was short-listed for a National Book Award in 2014.
Her most recent book, “Going into Town,” an illustrated guide to New York City, won the New York City Book Award in 2017.
The editor of The New Yorker, David Remnick, has called her “the magazine’s only certifiable genius.”
To learn more about this amazing illustrator visit the following links:
“Each of us has a seed of our own, each as diverse as the person that carries it.”
Raised in an isolated world of strict rules, one young woman questions what is the purpose of the seed she carries in the palm of her hand. What is its purpose in a world that already seems perfect and is basically untouchable? Railing against her society, she decides to travel toward the distant tree line to discover her purpose.
About the Author:
Kelsey Ketch is a young-adult/new-adult author, who works as a Wildlife Biologist in the state of North Carolina. During her free time, she can often be found working on her latest work in progress or organizing the New Adult Scavenger Hunt, a biannual blog hop. She also enjoys history, mythology, traveling, and reading.
The inaugural I READ CANADIAN DAY is a national day of celebration of Canadian books for young people. This is a day dedicated to ‘reading Canadian’ and will empower families, schools, libraries and organizations to host local activities and events within the week.
For example, libraries or book stores can create a local I Read Canadian display for a month, or host author and illustrator visits during the week of the I Read Canadian day. Schools or communities can create challenges to get more readers involved – see how many readers can read Canadian.
GOAL: The purpose of this event is to raise awareness of Canadian books and celebrate the richness, diversity and breadth of Canadian literature.
WHEN: February 19th, 2020.
ACTION: We challenge the nation to “Read Canadian” for 15 minutes and to share their experience at their library, in their school, with their families and friends, or on social media Young people are encouraged to read, or be read to, a Canadian book of their choice.
Research librarian Savannah Sanderson wants nothing more than to escape into her happily-ever-after novels with their larger-than-life fictional heroes. But a promise to her late husband has her attending her dreaded twenty-year high school reunion, drinking ghastly punch, and taking desperate measures just to keep her vow, even if she has to hide behind the décor to do it.
Once a reckless troublemaker, Michael McCann fled town after graduation. Now a professional technical rescuer, he’s back for the reunion, but on his trip down memory lane, he soon comes face to face with unresolved issues, namely Savannah.
Before the night is over, a pact between these two old friends will lead them on an adventure into uncharted emotional territory where Michael must confront his past regrets and find the courage to reveal the truth. But can Savannah fly from her sheltered nest and risk her heart on a real-life hero?
Melony Teague is a co-author of As the Ink Flows: Devotions to Inspire Christian Writers & Speakers released in 2016 and finalist in The Word Awards. Melony Teague is a Freelance Writer, Ghostwriter, and Columnist. By her written words, she loves to bring more laughter to this crazy world.
Born in South Africa, she stepped onto a plane to start a new life in Toronto, Canada in 1999. She loves to uncover stories hiding in plain view, but they are remarkable nonetheless. She believes that everyone has a story to tell…and sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction.
As a freelance writer and journalist, she is an editorial contributor for various newspapers and magazines in the Greater Toronto Area and wrote guest columns on issues pertaining to the community. Melony handles Communications for a Non-Profit Organization in Canada and is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers)
Watch for her debut novel, A Promise to Keep, Available To PreOrder NOW.
Melony lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband, two teens and two cats.
To learn more about this Author, visit the following links:
Sixteen-year-old Nate is a Gem—a Genetically Engineered Medical Surrogate—created by Gathos City scientists as a cure for the elite from the fatal lung rot ravaging the population. As a child, Nate was smuggled out of the laboratory where he was held captive and into the Withers—a quarantined, lawless region. He manages to survive by becoming a Tinker, fixing broken tech in exchange for food or a safe place to sleep. When he meets Reed, a kind and fiercely protective boy that makes his heart race, and his misfit gang of scavengers, Nate finds the family he’s always longed for—even if he can’t risk telling them what he is.
But Gathos created a genetic failsafe in their Gems—a flaw in their DNA that causes their health to rapidly deteriorate as they age unless they are regularly dosed with medication controlled by Gathos City. When violence erupts across the Withers, Nate’s illegal supply of medicine is cut off, and a vicious attack on Reed threatens to expose his secret. With time running out, Nate is left with only two options: work for a shadowy terrorist organization that has the means to keep him alive, or stay—and die—with the boy he loves. . .
“His kind had been developed by scientists to fight the lung-rot outbreak, and later — when the lung-rot was gone — to be used up. Harvested by the wealthy. Kept endlessly asleep or left awake to participate in the horror of it. At least that’s what people said when they whispered about GEMs…Genetically Engineered Medi-tissue. He wasn’t supposed to be here.”
Nate is sixteen and an abomination. At least, that is what he had been told. He knew he wasn’t like everyone else in the Withers. He was starving and scraping together a meager existence, just like everyone else who had the bad luck to live in The Withers – a slum filled with people who would not hesitate to kill you for food, or for anything they could use to trade for Chem to feed their addiction.
Nate knew that if the members of his gang discovered he was a GEM, they would either kill him for putting their lives in danger, or they would turn him over to the Breakers – never to be seen again. He didn’t want to put his friend’s lives in danger, especially Reed’s, but he loved being a gang member, they were the closest thing he had to a family. And, although he had never admitted it out loud, he not only loved Reed, he was also IN LOVE with him.
Just surviving the streets of The Withers was challenge enough, but Nate had another problem, his genetically engineered DNA (and that of all GEMs) had been modified so that his body would deteriorate and he would perish before ever reaching adulthood. He needed to find a way to survive, and he knew it would not be easy.
The world-building in FRAGILE REMEDY is second to none. With vivid descriptions of the slums known as The Withers so descriptive it is impossible not to form pictures of it in your mind. I love the fact that the world in which Nate lives is comprised of islands, and instead of water separating each island, and each social class, from the other, there is a vast ocean of toxic sludge which is fatal once submersed in it.
There are numerous parallels between our own society and the issues planet Earth is currently experiencing to the world of FRAGILE REMEDY. For example:
The society in FRAGILE REMEDY is segregated between the ‘Haves’ and the ‘Have Nots.’ The high class citizens live in the Towers of Gathos City and never leave their perfect lives to see how anyone else lives. It is these people who create and keep GEMs so that they can extend their own lives by using the GEMs blood and body parts. This may sound far fetched, but cloning already exists, and stem cells are already being used in medical treatments. Is it really so unbelievable that in humanity’s quest to extend human lives, something like creating a clone for the purpose of using ‘it’ as a personal organ bank may be inevitable.
Of course, it would be expensive to create a clone, so only the uber-rich would be able to afford such a luxury, thus creating another socioeconomic division amongst the world’s population.
Once the clones are created, the rich clone owners would want to protect their assets. This could easily lead to physical segregation similar to that of the islands on which Nate has spent the entirety of his sixteen years of life.
ADDICTION is another of the central themes of FRAGILE REMEDY. Instead of being addicted to alcohol or opiods, the addicts in this story are fiends for a substance known as Chem. “They’d all been regular people once. People who’d made choices – good and bad. Chem had wrenched those choices out of their hands.”
Another theme is HOPE. In FRAGILE REMEDY, Nate may not have many possessions, and he is aware that he will die sooner rather than later, but he still has hope. He hopes that he can do some good before he dies. He hopes that Reed feels the same way about Nate as Nate feels about Reed. And in a wider sense, the inhabitants of The Withers scrounge a meager living on a daily basis, but they still have hope that at some point, the doors to Gathos City will open to admit them.
I love the fact that the characters in this story are diverse and multi-faceted. Sparks is Trans, Nate is Gay, Alden is Queer, and other characters are Cisgender. Skin color is so rarely mentioned that I chose to believe that it was not a factor in their society.
Central to the story and to life in both Gathos City and in The Withers is the ethics of cloning as well as the question of what it is that truly makes a person human. With the increasingly complex technology and the numerous companies and laboratories working on the advancement of A.I. (Artificial Intelligence,)
There are plots and subplots, there are individual histories for each character, there is the storyline where their lives intersect. There are romances and romantic entanglements that will satisfy even the most diehard romantic. And, finally, there is the theme of Family, and the fact that sometimes the people you choose to invest your emotions in make a more loyal family than those who share your DNA.
I started reading this book yesterday morning and was unable (and unwilling) to put it down. I spent twelve straight hours reading FRAGILE REMEDY and they were hours well spent.
There is only one rating I would even consider giving to this book and that is the best possible one. So, I rate FRAGILE REMEDY as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and am sincerely hoping that author MARIA INGRANDE MORA is planning to write additional books in this series. I will be first in line to grab a copy of any book she writes.
*** Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book *** . .
“He [Nate] longed for the simplicity of believing in something good. He’d seen too much of the bad to have faith.” . “He had no right to love Reed. But the soft, private smile on Reed’s lips when their eyes met still sent a current of affection through him.” . “Nate approached slowly, the way hungry kids stalked sludge-rats.” . “‘They’ll make him sleep like they do in Gathos City.’ His voice went ragged. ‘They’ll cut him apart. What were you thinking coming here?'” . “I feel the need to remind you that my grandmother also believed that the cockroaches in her bedroom were trying to get a look at her knickers.” . .
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Maria Ingrande Mora (she/her) is Content Director at Big Sea, a digital marketing agency in St. Petersburg, Florida. A graduate of the University of Florida, she has been working in digital media since 2002. Maria specializes in identifying brand narratives and translating them into messaging that doesn’t feel like marketing.
Maria is the single mom of a tween and a teen, and the roomate of two cats and two dogs.
She identifies as bisexual, and hopes that it isn’t super weird of her to outright say, because representation and visibility matter.
If she isn’t writing, revising, or at work, please tell her to go to bed.
To learn more about this author, visit the following links:
Some 300,000 copies of Uncle Tom’s Cabin were sold in the United States during the year after its publication, and it also sold well in England. It was adapted for theatre multiple times beginning in 1852; because the novel made use of the themes and techniques of theatrical melodrama popular at the time, its transition to the stage was easy. These adaptations played to capacity audiences in the United States and contributed to the already significant popularity of Stowe’s novel in the North and the animosity toward it in the South. They became a staple of touring companies through the rest of the 19th century and into the 20th.
Stowe’s depiction of slavery in her novel was informed by her Christianity and by her immersion in abolitionist writings. She also drew on her personal experience during the 1830s and ’40s while living in Cincinnati, Ohio, which was a destination for those escaping slavery in Kentucky and other Southern states. In Uncle Tom’s Cabin she made her case against slavery by cataloging the suffering experienced by enslaved people and by showing that their owners were morally broken. Stowe also published a collection of documents and testimony, A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1853), that she used to prove the truth of her novel’s representation of slavery.
The role of Uncle Tom’s Cabin as a cause of the American Civil War is rooted in a statement—typically rendered as “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!”—that is spuriously attributed to President Abraham Lincoln. According to scholar Daniel R. Vollaro , this comment, supposedly made by Lincoln to Stowe in December 1862, originated in Stowe family tradition and did not appear in print until 1896 (albeit as “Is this the little woman who made the great war?” ). That Lincoln almost certainly did not say these words, however, has not prevented them from being cited repeatedly as Uncle Tom’s Cabin’s legacy.
The novel’s reputation became problematic during the 20th century. In a 1952 introduction to the novel, Langston Hughes referred to Uncle Tom’s Cabin as “a moral battle cry,” but his introduction’s effort to redeem the novel came after Richard Wright and James Baldwin, among other black writers, had attacked it during the 1930s and ’40s. The term Uncle Tom also became an insult used to describe a black person who shows subservience to whites or is otherwise considered complicit with oppression by whites. This sense can be traced to at least the early 20th century, and early public use of it (c. 1920) has been attributed variously to Marcus Garvey and George Alexander McGuire. Today Uncle Tom’s Cabin’s depiction of its black characters is seen as racist and patronizing.
. MY REVIEW:
In 1852 when Uncle Tom’s Cabin was originally published, it was highly controversial. In fact, it was banned in many places in the Southern United States due to it’s abolitionist rhetoric.
Although society has come a long way since Harriet Beecher Stowe first put pen to paper and wrote about the horrific reality of slavery, however, discrimination still occurs. It is for that reason that I believe every civilized adult in North America and beyond should be required to read this book, regardless of the color of their skin.
There is a saying that states:
“Those who fail to remember the past are doomed to repeat it.”
I truly and very firmly believe that knowledge is power. Yes, slavery was abolished with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln. However, what our society is seeing now is a hidden sex slave trade which is unfortunately alive and well all over the world. Reading books such as UNCLE TOM’S CABIN is important. It reminds us of how terrible human beings can act and (hopefully) stirs outrage in the reader’s heart.
I am aware that some people think of this book as racist, but I am trying to overlook the way the slaves are depicted as a consequence of the time in which the book was written.
I have no proof, but putting forward the idea to those of color that this book is racist, is/was a great way to stop people from reading it – similar to reverse psychology, but, that is just a theory.
Despite the way the characters are portrayed, I still believe this book was the catalyst that brought many white people (especially women) to join the abolitionist movement and to assist the Underground Railroad in any way they could. I believe this book opened the eyes of many of its readers.
I rate this book as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I encourage everyone to read this book. If you haven’t read it yet, now is the time. If you’ve read it, but it was a long time ago, I encourage you to read it again and to allow it’s message to penetrate your hearts and minds.
Picture Obtained From Britannica
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
MLA – Michals, Debra. “Harriet Beecher Stowe.” National Women’s History Museum, 2017. Date accessed.
Over 41 issues, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novelUncle Tom’s Cabinwas published as a serial in the abolitionist newspaperThe National Era, the first installment on June 5, 1851. It was first followed by a only small group but its audience steadily grew as the story unfolded.
“Wherever I went among the friends of theEra, I foundUncle Tom’s Cabina theme for admiring remark,” journalist and social critic Grace Greenwoodwrotein a travelogue published in theEra.“[E]verywhere I went, I saw it read with pleasant smiles and irrepressible tears.’” The story was discussed in other abolitionist publications, such asFrederick Douglass’sPaper, and helped sell $2 annual subscriptions to theEra.
The popularity ofUncle Tom’s Cabinexploded once it was made available in a more accessible format.
Some publishers claimthe bookedition is the second best-selling title of the 19th century, after the Bible.
1. HARRIET BEECHER STOWE’S FATHER AND ALL SEVEN OF HER BROTHERS WERE MINISTERS.
Harriet Elisabeth Beecher was born on June 14, 1811, in Litchfield, Connecticut. Her mother, Roxana Beecher, died five years later. Over the course of two marriages, her father, Calvinist preacher Lyman Beecher,fathered13 children, 11 of whom survived into adulthood. He preached loudly against slavery. All seven of his sons followed him into the ministry. Henry Ward Beecher carried on his father’s abolitionist mission and according to legend sent rifles to anti-slavery settlers in Kansas and Nebraska in crates marked “Bibles.”
The women of the Beecher family were also encouraged to rise to positions of influence and rally against injustice. Eldest childCatharine Beecherco-founded the Hartford Female Seminary and Isabella Beecher Hooker was a prominent suffragist.
2. THE FUGITIVE SLAVE ACT—AND A SURPRISE $100 GIFT—INSPIREDUNCLE TOM’S CABIN.
In 1832, Harriet Beecher moved to Cincinnati with her father, who assumed the presidency of Lane Theological Seminary. According toHarriet Beecher Stowe: A Lifeby Joan D. Hedrick, the Ohio city introduced her to former slaves and African-American freemen and there she first practiced writing, in a literary group called the Semi-Colon Club.
She married Calvin Ellis Stowe, a professor at Lane, and eventually relocated to Brunswick, Maine, when he went to work atBowdoin College. By then, Stowe had published two books,Primary Geography for Childrenand the short story collectionNew England Sketches. She was also a contributor to newspapers supporting temperance and abolitionism, writing “sketches,” brief descriptive stories meant to illustrate a political point.
Following a positive response to herThe Freeman’s Dream: A Parable, Gamaliel Bailey, editor of the anti-slavery paperThe National Era, sent her $100 to encourage her to continue supplying the paper with material. The 1850 passage of the Fugitive Slave Act, obligating authorities in free states to re-enslave refugees, took the slavery fight northward. It also encouraged Stowe to step up her game.
“I am at present occupied upon a story which will be a much longer one than any I have ever written,” Beecher Stowewrotein a letter to Bailey, “embracing a series of sketches which give the lights and shadows of the ‘patriarchal institution’ [of slavery], written either from observation, incidents which have occurred in the sphere of my personal knowledge, or in the knowledge of my friends.” For material, she scoured the written accounts belayed by escaped slaves.
3.UNCLE TOM’S CABINMADE HER RICH AND FAMOUS.
According to Henry Louis Gate Jr.’s introduction to the annotated edition ofUncle Tom’s Cabin,TheNational Erapaid Stowe $300 for 43 chapters. Before the serial’s completion, Stowe signed a contract with John P. Jewett and Co. to publish a two-volume bound book edition, and that’s when it really took off. Released on March 20, 1852,the book sold10,000 copies in the U.S. in its first week and 300,000 in the first year. In the U.K., 1.5 million copies flew off the shelves in the first year. Stowe was paid 10 cents for each one sold.
According to aLondon Timesarticle published six months after the book’s release, she had already amassed $10,000 in royalties. “We believe [that this is] the largest sum of money ever received by any author, either American or European, from the sales of a single work in so short a period of time,” theTimesstated.
4. SHE WENT TO COURT TO STOP AN UNAUTHORIZED TRANSLATION OFUNCLE TOM’S CABIN… AND LOST.
Immediately afterUncle Tom’s Cabinbecame a literary sensation, a Philadelphia-based German-language paper,Die Freie Presse, began publishing an unauthorized translation. Stowe took the publisher, F.W. Thomas,to court. American copyright laws were notoriously weak at the time, irking British writers whose work was widely pirated. As someone who overnight became America’s favorite author, Stowe had much at stake testing them.
The case put her in the Philadelphia courtroom of Justice Robert Grier, a notorious enforcer of the Fugitive Slave Act. “By the publication of Mrs. Stowe’s book, the creations of the genius and imagination of the author have become as much public property as those of Homer or Cervantes,” Grier ruled. The precedent set byStowe vs. Thomasmeant that authors had the right to prevent others from printing their exact words, but almost nothing else. “All her conceptions and inventions may be used and abused by imitators, play-rights and poet-asters,” ruled Grier.
5. BEECHER STOWE VISITED ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
Though Stowe had criticized what she saw as his slowness in emancipation and willingness to seek compromise to prevent succession, Stowe visited President Abraham Lincoln at the White House in 1862, during the early days of the Civil War. Reportedly, Lincoln greeted her with, “So this is the little woman who brought on this big Civil War,” but scholars havedismissedthe quote as Stowe family legend spread after her death.
Details of their conversation are limited to vague entries in their respective diaries. Lincoln may havebanteredwith her over his love of open fires (“I always had one to home,” he reportedly said), while Stowe got down to business and quizzed him: “Mr. Lincoln, I want to ask you about your views on emancipation.”
6. BEECHER STOWE WROTE A LOT OF THINGS THAT WEREN’TUNCLE TOM’S CABIN.
Stowe wrote more than30 books, both fiction and nonfiction, plus essays, poems, articles, and hymns.
7. THE STOWES WINTERED IN THE FORMER SLAVE STATE OF FLORIDA.
The influx of wealth fromUncle Tom’s Cabinand the end of the Civil War allowed the Stowes topurchasea winter home in Mandarin, Florida, in 1867. It may have seemed strange—and perilous—for a famous anti-slavery crusader to buy 30 acres in a former slave state so soon after the war, yet six years after the purchase, she wrote to a local newspaper, “In all this time I have not received even an incivility from any native Floridian.”
8. BEECHER STOWE AND MARK TWAIN WERE NEIGHBORS.
The Stowes’primary residence, beginningin 1864, was a villa in the Nook Farm section of Hartford, Connecticut, a neighborhood populated by prominent citizens, including Mark Twain. The homes of Nook Farm had few fences, and doors stayed open in sunny weather, creating an air of gentility. That did not prevent Twain from writing a somewhatunflattering portraitof Stowe, as she gave way to what was probably Alzheimer’s disease, in his autobiography:
“Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe who was a near neighbor of ours in Hartford, with no fence between. In those days she made as much use of our grounds as of her own in pleasant weather. Her mind had decayed, and she was a pathetic figure. She wandered about all the day long in the care of a muscular Irishwoman, assigned to her as a guardian.”
9. BEECHER STOWE OUTLIVED FOUR OF HER SEVEN CHILDREN.
While continuing a lucrative and prolific writing career, Stowe birthed and cared forsevenchildren. When she passed away in 85 in 1896, she had outlived four of them, as bad fortune seemed to follow their offspring.
Their third, Henry, drowned in a swimming accident in 1857. The fourth, Frederick, mysteriously disappeared en route to California in 1870. The fifth, Georgiana, died from septicemia, probably related to morphine in 1890. (She was an addict.) The sixth, Samuel, died from cholera in infancy in 1849. These losses informed several of Stowe’s works.
10. THERE ARE SEVERAL HARRIET BEECHER STOWE HOUSES YOU CAN VISIT.
The Harriet Beecher Stowe House ofCincinnatiis where she lived after following her father to Lane. The Harriet Beecher Stowe House on the campus ofBowdoinin Brunswick, Maine, is where she wroteUncle Tom’s Cabin. It became a restaurant from 1946 to 1998 and is now a faculty office building, but one room is open to the public and dedicated to Stowe.The Harriet Beecher Stowe Centerpreserves her home in Hartford. Her home in Florida is gone but ismarked by a plaque.
Poster for a theatrical production of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, 1881.