May 16, 12
Read in May, 2012
James Turner finds himself traveling around the country giving lectures after his book "Travels To Daybreak" a story about a Utopian community becomes a huge success. While traveling he meets his wife Charlotte, a strong willed woman that he knows is his perfect match. When on of his followers, George Webb, offers him a tract of land in Madison County, Missouri to form the community of Daybreak looking at it as a social experiment, where everyone who joins the community of Daybreak will own an equal share, and have an equal say, with all their earnings going into a common treasury, he decides to take Mr. Webb up on his offer.When his wife arrives she brings along Adam Cabot, a young abolitionist that her father had saved from hanging back in Kansas. Soon there are several community members and most are bookworms with the same ideals as James, but with little knowledge of farming. James quickly realizes that it isn't going to be easy to financially sustain the community. Inside the community, trust is lost, and leadership is tested, meanwhile on the outside there is unrest as a county goes to war. While the citizens of Daybreak deal with the turmoil going on inside their community they are determined to remain neutral where war is concerned. Will the community of Daybreak survive?
I love stories that revolve around the civil war and this book effortlessly pulls readers right into this time period. I found myself drawn to the characters. James was a character who had me volleying between like and dislike. While I thought his idea was interesting, I ultimately found myself very disappointed in him, and felt like his wife Charlotte was much stronger than he was, which was evident in the decision she made regarding Adam. There were several secondary characters that kept this story moving along. From George Webb's son Harp, who made moonshine and wasn't happy with the fact that his father had given the land so that Daybreak could be created, to Sam Hildebrand, an outlaw of sorts who kept cropping up in the story. The author's writing not only brought the characters to life but also allowed the reader to visualize the day to day life of Daybreak, and the decisions that had to be made. Another interesting aspect for me was the fact that the author weaves a bit of fact into his fiction. The author provides an ending that leaves the reader anxious for the next book. Overall whether your a fan of historical fiction or just looking for a book that will capture your imagination and not let go then you need to pick up this book! On a scale of one to five I would easily give this book a six because it's just that good!