Beverly's Reviews > Jessamine

Jessamine by Eugenia O'Neal
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Oct 28, 2012

really liked it
Read from July 21 to August 25, 2012

Jessamine by Eugenia O’Neal is an intoxicating blend of mystery, history, and romance of two women linked by history but separated by time. American Grace Hylton is both excited and nervous about relocating to the Caribbean island, St. Crescens. She is excited about seeing her husband, Julian, after a six-month separation, yet nervous on what this next stage in her life will bring. Architect Julian Hylton is pleased that his wife will be by his side as he pursues his dream to lead his country out of political corruption and nepotism. Big city-loving Grace is stunned by her new home as it is a palatial plantation home called Jessamine sitting on top of a hill looking down on the town and will require a staff of servants to maintain. While Julian is aware that such an extravagant home may damage his credibility with the voting population, he hopes this home eases Grace’s transition into Caribbean life. But, Jessamine has a tortured past and one of the former residents wants her say. When Grace can no longer ignore the headaches, voices, and images of a young woman crying for help, she uses her reporter skills to research who this ghost, Arabella, is, and why Arabella is speaking to her.

O’Neal, a born storyteller, carefully crafts a story within a story, as both Grace and Arabella tell their stories in alternating chapters. Arabella’s is the world of 1800s in the Caribbean and Grace’s is the present Caribbean world, yet both women have more in common that meets the eye; both are foreign women in love with native-born Caribbeans, both husbands had political ambitions that went against the grain of their times, and both stories have underlying current of violence to hold back the tide of change. Arabella’s is the most compelling story, and readers will root for Arabella to rest in peace. The story falls into a steady rhythm, with enough twists and turns to have the reader wondering will truth triumph over greed. The riveting storylines, well-defined characters, realistic drama and the excellent balance between the past and present makes for a fascinating read.

I recommend this book to readers looking for a delightful adventure romance along with historical backdrop blended with mystery and a hint of the paranormal.

This book was provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Reviewed by Beverly
APOOO Literary Book Review
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