In this second installment of the Savannah Quartet by Eugenia Price, set more than a decade later, we follow Natalie Browning from a shipwreck in the Atlantic to the wilds of northwest Georgia. Mark and Caroline Browning, Eliza Mackay and her brood, Osmund Kott and many other characters make an appearance, as well as new faces on the trip to Cass County, Georgia.
Natalie, a strong-willed, spoiled 16-year-old, meets and falls in love with the only man who has ever rebuffed her affections—Burke Latimer, a master carpenter who has just lost everything aboard the sinking ship. He leaves her in the care of a North Carolina gentleman and takes off to rebuild his fortune. Natalie, having never failed to get what she wants, sets into motion a journey that will place her family’s roots in the newly emptied Cherokee lands of northwest Georgia, the area now known as Bartow County.
This is an intricately researched story and a real pleasure for Georgia natives, especially those, like me, who are from the area once called Cassville. My only criticism is the exasperating character of Natalie, who is the poster-child for a spoiled rich girl. However, the story could not have progressed without her antics, so this one character trait can be overlooked—and hopefully she has grown up a bit in the next book in the series: Before the Darkness Falls.
If you are from Georgia, this is a must read—if only for the fascinating history! If you enjoy family sagas, Eugenia Price’s Savannah quartet is an engrossing, historically accurate tale with endearing characters that will make this more than 2,000 page journey a delight!