Creek Country Saga Gets Better
April Gardner defies sophomore syndrome like the pro she is. Her work just gets better and better. Readers of historic issue-laden fiction, especially of early nineteenth-century south-eastern Americana, won’t be disappointed.
Major Philip Bailey has nightmares, and no wonder. As a survivor of the horrific massacre at Fort Mims between the settlers and Creeks, Red Sticks, to be more specific. Wounded, scarred, and betrayed by the love of his life—to one of the enemy, no less—Philip is entitled to his rage and fear. But his deep-seated beliefs are upended after a disturbing encounter in the forest.
Milly is running away. Accompanied by her faithful friend Isum, she hopes against hope to make it to freedom and the Negro Fort beyond the US border in Las Floridas. Passing for white but for one giveaway, she almost conquers the first test on the road, until the white man gets suspicious and sends her owner after her. Isum, dear Isum, would give his life. Dear God, she hopes it doesn’t come to that, as they run.
Philip saw a woman in the woods. Not just any woman, but a beautiful young woman being carried away by a huge black man. Is he nuts?
When Philip and Milly meet, Philip loses his heart again. It’s okay, according to the company doc Marcus, Philip’s best friend. Philip deserves to be happy with someone worthy. But Philip’s company is under orders to put down another rebellion – that of escaped slaves who have started to gather strength just beyond the US border.
Milly wants her freedom at any cost. Philip wants to be free of the demons that have taken his spirit. Milly loves the depth of Philip’s devotion both to his duty and new country, and to his fellow man. She challenges him to live up to his kindness and faith by freeing his young slave. He challenges her to be true to herself. But he doesn’t know the devastation that will happen if she reveals her true self.
The secondary storylines, which give the reader a glimpse of surprisingly realistic life in the Negro Fort and the Creek family searching for their roots, are pages taken from modern news.
My admiration of this young author grows. I look forward to her next work.