“He’s a gambler at best. A con artist at worst,” her aunt had said of the handlebar-mustached man who snatched Ella Wallace away from her dreams of studying art in France. Eighteen years later, that man has disappeared, leaving Ella alone and struggling to support her three sons. While the world is embroiled in World War I, Ella fights her own personal battle to keep the mystical Florida land that has been in her family for generations from the hands of an unscrupulous banker. When a mysterious man arrives at Ella’s door in an unconventional way, he convinces her he can help her avoid foreclosure, and a tenuous trust begins. But as the fight for Ella’s land intensifies, it becomes evident that things are not as they appear. Hypocrisy and murder soon shake the coastal town of Apalachicola and jeopardize Ella’s family.
My Review: I first heard about this book from Beth Fish Reads. When I saw it in the Library I picked and up and I wasn’t disappointed. Ella Wallace husband has ran away due to opium and she is left to pick up the pieces of her life. She struggles to make ends meet and to hold on to the land that her father gave her. When she receives a foreclosure notice she gets to work to raise money to avoid this.
When she picks up a package from the Blue Moon Clock Company she is in for the surprise of her life. Instead of a clock it is a man. Ella don’t want trouble but the man promises to help her work to pay of the foreclosure. After many setbacks she is able to do this. But trouble seems to be brewing all around her in her little town. They come one after another and each time she overcomes them.
This is a novel about the strength of a woman who when faced with obstacles that many would give up on she find a way around it and managed to hold on to all that is dear to her. I love a novel with strong woman characters and this is an example of that.
It takes places during world war 1 so we get a sense of history of what life was like in a small southern town at that time.It covers the flus endemic beautifully making the setting and the characters come to life. I have never heard much had never heard much of this flu outbreak so it was a history lesson to me. I never realized how bad it was.
If you like your southern books and southern history you will love this book. I highly recommend.