I've been so incredibly busy, about 70% in now and hoping to finish this up before GOT on Sunday :)
Chs 11-16 talk............................................................................
I thought this section had a lot of sexual scenes, they were good and I liked how it didn't immediately go to penetrative sex but my eyes wanted to glaze over a couple times. This is probably where I thought the story showed its age the most, the purple prose sexual scenes really stood out.
He was dressed in a coat of indigo velvet.
Oh man, I live for lines like this! It ties in the title which I always nerd-ly like and is a seemingly innocuous heart growing moment. Definitely a showing moment instead of telling of how important Hester is to Galen. Loved it.
"Traitors can be anyone: mothers, fathers, individuals you may know and love. I went to prison because I was betrayed by the husband of a woman I tried to help escape."
"He didn't want to join her?"
"No. He thought his first loyalty was to his master and it outweighed all else. He found his wife's desire for freedom dishonorable."
"'Tis slavery that's dishonorable."
"Well, he didn't view it that way."
Another telling moment from Jenkins. I feel like this was a foreshadowing moment and a clue that the traitor could be someone close to Hester.
During the War of 1812, Free Black brigades played a pivotal role in Andrew Jackson's victory at Chalmette. In December of 1814, Jackson issued a proclamation thanking them for their service to the nation during its time of need. His words on that day were now a treasured part of the race's history. During Hester's school years Jackson's proclamation had been routinely assigned as a memorization piece.
Even though I am busy, looking up and reading about all the historical moments is making this go pretty slow. This is Jackson we're talking about, so obviously there's no gushing going to happen but reading the proclamation, which if I have before, I didn't remember was interesting.
"But we're not in the South," Hester interrupted coldly. "You're in the North where cold weather makes free Blacks insane. Isn't that what you were taught? Shall I demonstrate just how crazy I am?" she tossed out bitterly.
Again, Hester giving as good as she gets, love it.
They were the men who believed the awful myths about the women of the race, myths that left women like herself vulnerable to attack anytime and anywhere, myths that slanderously labeled Black women as voracious in pursuit of the vices of the flesh and willing to accommodate anyone to satisfy their carnal cravings.
Another line still resonating very strongly today and proving that for as long as people want to try and make enslavement a thing of the past, the issues radiating from it still impact and linger today.
Foster seemed to be transfixed by the sight of the bag in the sheriff’s hand.
Is this a clue??? Is Foster the traitor????
"Then turnabout is only fair play. All the brokenhearted women you've left in your wake are probably elated knowing you are being put through your paces."
"You're undoubtedly correct, but my day is coming, petite, very soon."
"Is that a threat I hear?" she asked saucily.
"No, baby girl, a promise."
Another rogue alert! Lol.
"I want you like no other woman before, Miss Hester Wyatt, but I'll not force you, nor will I press. You are to let me know if and when you are ready."
Whoo-hoo, look at that a rogue who understands consent issues. I do side-eye Galen at times for how he pushes Hester to me with him and this is another example of I can struggle with some things in romance novels. If a guy acted like this in the real world, I'd be like "Dude, take a hint and leave her alone." but in a romance novel I know they are going to end up in love together and Hester does like him but is scared. I have such problems trying to articulate why I think Galen in a romance novel is acceptable but in real life wouldn't be.
Had Mary really loved her master? He seemed to harbor very strong feelings for her, yet he evidently lacked the ability to see the world through her eyes. Her sons had been her children, but to him they'd been chattel.
Red hot book club meeting topic to discuss. A moment that, I feel, the author is trying to put across about consent issues and how Mary isn't free and therefore can never be choosing her master to love. Just because her master seems to care for her doesn't mean she cares for him. Power dynamics and such, a lot to unpack in this brief moment in the book and there is a little part of me shocked and a whole big part of me ecstatic that Jenkins editors kept that in there because Jenkins is saying a whole heck of a lot with this moment.
This section started to really give me Courtney Milan vibes and I would say I think her work is influenced by Jenkins, the feel and themes. I felt a bit off with how Galen seemed to force Hester's hand with his wedding proposal, maybe less sexual scenes and more introspective moments from Hester about her softening or wanting to marry Galen, I'm not sure I saw enough progress from her to be ok with how Galen strong armed her here; didn't; completely feel this was something she wanted to do quite yet.