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Archived Group Reads 2013 > January Additional Read - To Whisper Her Name

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message 1: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Olson (girlsmama) | 694 comments Hello everyone!- I am excited for this new year and reading with all of you as a lot of great looking books are releasing soon!

For January's additional group read starting on January 15th, I chose one that I thought looked good and of course romantic since we are closing in on Valentines day-

To Whisper Her Name (A Belle Meade Plantation Novel) by Tamera Alexander To Whisper Her Name by Tamera Alexander

Here is the synopsis-
Olivia Aberdeen, destitute widow of a murdered carpetbagger, gratefully accepts an invitation from “Aunt” Elizabeth Harding, mistress of Belle Meade Plantation and the dearest friend of Olivia’s late mother. Expecting to be the Harding’s housekeeper, Olivia is disillusioned once again when she learns the real reason why Elizabeth’s husband, Confederate General William Giles Harding, agreed to her coming. Caring for an ill Aunt Elizabeth, Olivia is caught off guard by her feelings for Ridley Adam Cooper, a southern-born son who—unbeknownst to her and everyone else—fought for the Union. Determined to learn “the gift” that Belle Meade’s head horse trainer, Bob Green, possesses, Ridley is a man desperate to end the war still raging inside him while harboring secrets that threaten his life. As Ridley seeks to make peace within himself for “betraying” the South he loved, Olivia is determined to never be betrayed again…

Set within the remarkable history of Nashville’s historic Belle Meade Plantation, comes a story about enslavement and freedom, arrogance and humility, and the power of love to heal even the deepest of wounds.


***Note- we will have the regular "polling format" for choosing February's group read so you will be able to choose next month. Like I said above, there are a lot of great books releasing soon, so I'm looking forward to it!


message 2: by Cammie (new)

Cammie | 19 comments Nice choice. I got a great deal on this on my Nook. :]


message 3: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2859 comments Mod
I have this book on my to-read list. Not at library or on bookmooch or paperback swap. Will check out the used book store on Weds or Thurs.


message 4: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Olson (girlsmama) | 694 comments Cammie wrote: "Nice choice. I got a great deal on this on my Nook. :]"

Me too! Only 3.99!


message 5: by Beth, Head Librarian (new)

Beth | 2262 comments Mod
Awesome! I grabbed this one for less than $4.00 for my Kindle. I got an Amazon gift card, so I've sort of loaded up on the discounted titles before the price shoots back up again...not that I needed to add anymore books on my Kindle! Oh well, at least I'll be reading this one soon ;)


message 6: by Loraine, CFD Momma (last edited Jan 07, 2013 07:54AM) (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2859 comments Mod
I just finished this and thought it was awesome. Loved the civil war era, the characters were realistic and believable as well as filled with the normal human foibles. Both Ridley and Olivia grew and changed throughout the book and I can definitely see a sequel following this.


message 7: by Cheryl (last edited Jan 06, 2013 07:36PM) (new)

Cheryl Olson (girlsmama) | 694 comments Loraine, good for you, you are so fast! I've just started this one and am enjoying it as well. I really like reading about the civil war era, it fascinates me. It has been a little bit since I have read some historical fiction, which is one of my favorite genres so it's like a breath of fresh air for me! Love it!


message 8: by Julianna (new)

Julianna  | 15 comments Synopsis looks good can't wait to get started!!


message 9: by Beth, Head Librarian (new)

Beth | 2262 comments Mod
Loraine you're always so ahead of the game, that's awesome :) Now I'm really looking forward to this read!

Cheryl, I love reading about this era too! I'll be getting to this one soon for sure.


message 10: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2859 comments Mod
Beth wrote: "Loraine you're always so ahead of the game, that's awesome :) Now I'm really looking forward to this read!

Cheryl, I love reading about this era too! I'll be getting to this one soon for sure."


I'm not really ahead of the game. Now I am going back to read Short-Straw Bride LOL:)


message 11: by Michelle (new)

Michelle | 1 comments This was one of my favorite books I read last year. It's great!


message 12: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Kimball (nancykimball) | 19 comments In a strange coincidence of REALLY GOOD TASTE, hehe, Ridley Cooper is the hero being featured at Fiction Hero Features on 1/15/13 and Travis Archer already was in 2011. Since I've read both of these January reads I'm looking forward to finally being able to participate!


message 13: by Anita (new)

Anita (alamoaa) | 19 comments I have this in my Kindle and do not know how a book of the month goes. I will join if someone tells me the rules and what to expect. I love Tamera and her work so I am excited and do we share things as we go and at the same pace I have no idea. Fill me in ok?


message 14: by Beth, Head Librarian (new)

Beth | 2262 comments Mod
Anita, there are no strict "rules" to follow, so you can share your thoughts as you go or wait until you get finished. The only thing is to be mindful of not spoiling anything for others. When posting something that is a potential spoiler, just put something like "SPOILER ALERT" at the top before you post your comment. Make sense? :)


message 15: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Olson (girlsmama) | 694 comments Anita, I will start throwing out questions a few days after the 15th as that is when the official read starts, but like Beth said, there are no strict rules, so you can make observations and share your thoughts at any time, but just like Beth mentioned, alert us all if there is a spoiler in your post as we all read at different rates. Excited to discuss this one with you all.


message 16: by Anita (new)

Anita (alamoaa) | 19 comments Cheryl wrote: "Anita, I will start throwing out questions a few days after the 15th as that is when the official read starts, but like Beth said, there are no strict rules, so you can make observations and share ..."

ok so everyone has already started? I will get going on it too. I loved the other books I have read by Tamera and am excited to do this book as a group thanks,


message 17: by Jan (new)

Jan | 6 comments I am starting this one before the month is gone. It is on the top of my to be read books.


message 18: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Olson (girlsmama) | 694 comments Anita wrote: "Cheryl wrote: "Anita, I will start throwing out questions a few days after the 15th as that is when the official read starts, but like Beth said, there are no strict rules, so you can make observat..."

Anita- you can start anytime- I will start with some "easy questions" on the 15th for those that haven't started reading yet.


message 19: by Beth, Head Librarian (new)

Beth | 2262 comments Mod
Anita, I haven't started it yet & probably won't get to it until closer to February :) It's waiting patiently on my Kindle though


message 20: by Anita (new)

Anita (alamoaa) | 19 comments Cheryl wrote: "Anita wrote: "Cheryl wrote: "Anita, I will start throwing out questions a few days after the 15th as that is when the official read starts, but like Beth said, there are no strict rules, so you can..."

I started it today and like all of Tamera's books I can't stop. I am on chpt 13 and it is such a good read. Full of historical setting & people and yet total fiction.


message 21: by Cheryl (last edited Jan 14, 2013 09:38AM) (new)

Cheryl Olson (girlsmama) | 694 comments Anita wrote: "Cheryl wrote: "Anita wrote: "Cheryl wrote: "Anita, I will start throwing out questions a few days after the 15th as that is when the official read starts, but like Beth said, there are no strict ru..."

I like it too Anita! Such fun and vivid characters! I am not suppose to be reading it yet as I have my book club book that I am suppose to be reading, but I just can't help it- I keep wandering back to this one :).


message 22: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Olson (girlsmama) | 694 comments Starting off easy....

Has anyone read any other books by Tamera Alexander, and if so what?



message 23: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Kimball (nancykimball) | 19 comments Cheryl wrote: "Starting off easy....

Has anyone read any other books by Tamera Alexander, and if so what?"


No but after reading this one, I for sure will!


message 24: by Anita (last edited Jan 17, 2013 07:38PM) (new)

Anita (alamoaa) | 19 comments I have and loved each one. I have read the 2 series she wrote of: Timber Ridge Reflections & Fountain Creek Chronicles & the book The Inheritance. She is one of the best authors out there in the Christian Romance Historical Novels arena. I am a little over half way finished with To Whisper Her Name and it is another fascinating book with good character building and plot woven with history of the Belle Meade Plantation for Thoroughbred Horse Breeding Ranches in TN. You will love Mr Cooper and Mrs Alexander along with the others on the Stud Farm. There are so many others such as Uncle Bob you will love and some of the slave ladies. Then the ones you do not like that do harm. I am anxious to see what takes place with the youngest daughter of the Harding's that is loved yet left in the wake of her talented elder sister. There is so much going on. Young Jimmy and his little sister too much to bring up and I do not want any spoilers. But if you love this genre of books you will love Tamera Alexander and this novel. Ok I finished it yesterday and loved it. I am ready for a sequel.


message 25: by Jen (new)

Jen I just downloaded it for my ipad. I am really excited about reading it as I love books that weave some real history into the plot.


message 26: by Beth, Head Librarian (new)

Beth | 2262 comments Mod
I read A Lasting Impression last year--really good!

I ownRekindled but haven't gotten around to reading it yet! :)


message 27: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2859 comments Mod
Nancy wrote: "Cheryl wrote: "Starting off easy....

Has anyone read any other books by Tamera Alexander, and if so what?"

No but after reading this one, I for sure will!"


I have read both A Lasting Impression and Rekindled and really liked both of them.


message 28: by Lyn (new)

Lyn (lyncote) I read A Lasting Impression and wrote a review for it. A Lasting Impression (Belmont Mansion, #1) by Tamera Alexander

Here's the link. http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

BTW, Tamera is a sweetie!


message 29: by Beth, Head Librarian (new)

Beth | 2262 comments Mod
Here is the link to my review for A Lasting Impression :)

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 30: by Cheryl (last edited Jan 17, 2013 09:34PM) (new)

Cheryl Olson (girlsmama) | 694 comments Ok, I know we have a lot of Southern Belle's in our group ;).

Have any of you ever toured the Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville or another lovely Southern plantation that you would like to share about?


message 31: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Kimball (nancykimball) | 19 comments I wish! But from the videos on Tamera's website, I sort of feel like I have. I would love to see it in person one day.


message 32: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Olson (girlsmama) | 694 comments Nancy wrote: "I wish! But from the videos on Tamera's website, I sort of feel like I have. I would love to see it in person one day."

Nancy, what a great heads up, thank you! Here is a link to her site so we can ALL take a tour! http://tameraalexander.com/

Tell me what you think! Again, thanks Nancy for pointing that out!


message 33: by Anita (new)

Anita (alamoaa) | 19 comments Although I have been to the south for 10 days to MS ---it was a farm and hardly a Plantation. But I got to meet my father's family most of the time but on the farm I got to shuck corn and had a tour of my cousin Milton's place complete with horses and cows. But again not a wealthy plantation. And I got to savor the southern hospitality.
I have read many books with the setting in the south (including southern belle's) and many set during the Civil War and pre and post war times. I have always had a fascination with that time period.
I did view the video that others mentioned at Tamara's site and it helps you get a feel for the vast wealth they lived in and you can see where it would go to their heads. Living in a southern state with that wealth day by day you could see how the arrogance Mr. Harding manifested would be hard to avoid. Yet post-war and I am sure pre-war he was good to his slaves and freedmen. I felt Tamara did a good job of developing his character from the factual man.


message 34: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Olson (girlsmama) | 694 comments Very insightful words Anita. I am incredibly fascinated with the civil war era as well, a very tough time for our country to be sure! I am excited to dig more into the characters and I appreciated what you shared about Mr. Harding and about Tamara's handling of her character's and the complex issue of the North vs South mentality and how that played out with the main characters.


message 35: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Kimball (nancykimball) | 19 comments Maybe it's because I felt I understood him more but I never thought General Harding was arrogant. A product of his upbringing perhaps but he had an impossible task in rebuilding everything he valued and stewarded under a completely new set of rules.
Ridley said it best to Uncle Bob when he said "We fought a war. They lost. They don't get to make the rules anymore." Which was true, but it gave me a lot of compassion for the General because he faced being the weak leak in the chain of his families legacy and losing not only the war, but everything, if unable to find a way to preserve the best of their Southern traditions balanced between the money he needed from the north and the loyalty and sentiment of his fellow Southerners.

He had an incredible task of finding a way to navigate the new political and socio/economic climate and thought he did an outstanding job of it. I thought his strength of character was no less admirable than Ridley's, but that's just my thoughts!


message 36: by Loraine, CFD Momma (last edited Jan 18, 2013 10:01AM) (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2859 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Ok, I know we have a lot of Southern Belle's in our group ;).

Have any of you ever toured the Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville or another lovely Southern plantation that you would like to sha..."


I have not toured Belle Meade but have toured several others as my husband and I toured the Civil War sites in the south as part of my genealogy. We toured Dunlith, Magnolia Hall, Longwood, Oak Alley, The Oaks, Merehope, Auburn, and Beauvoir (Jefferson Davis' home). Each has it's own distinct, unusual character and the stories from the tour guides were wonderful. For those of you who are friends on my FB page, click on my photo albums and there are some pics under Mississippi Feb 2010.


message 37: by Jennifer (last edited Jan 18, 2013 04:28PM) (new)

Jennifer Cheryl wrote: "Ok, I know we have a lot of Southern Belle's in our group ;).

Have any of you ever toured the Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville or another lovely Southern plantation that you would like to sha..."


I have been to Beauvoir but it was in my teens (too many years ago to count)and but I remember wondering what it would have been like to live there.

My dad tells me there is a beautiful antebellum plantation near Mobile, Alabama that I intend to see the next time I make it down to Pensacola.


message 38: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2859 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "Cheryl wrote: "Ok, I know we have a lot of Southern Belle's in our group ;).

Have any of you ever toured the Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville or another lovely Southern plantation that you wo..."


Jennifer - we were at Beauvoir the year following Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf. Sadly the water swept right through Beauvoir since it is right on the Gulf. Fortunately, the Historical Society was able to get most of the furniture and historical documents out of the house and inland before it hit. They had just reopened when we were there. They had to do quite a bit of restoration and weren't completely finished. But it was still very lovely.


message 39: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Loraine wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "Cheryl wrote: "Ok, I know we have a lot of Southern Belle's in our group ;).

Have any of you ever toured the Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville or another lovely Southern plant..."


I am glad to hear they were able to save so much. I hadn't thought about the fact that so may hurricanes have hit the upper gulf coast. I will have to ask my parents if that plantation in Alabama has survived.


message 40: by Anita (new)

Anita (alamoaa) | 19 comments Nancy wrote: "Maybe it's because I felt I understood him more but I never thought General Harding was arrogant. A product of his upbringing perhaps but he had an impossible task in rebuilding everything he value..."

That is true Nancy. Mr Harding fought hard to regain his property and legacy yet he was stubborn, prideful and arrogant but that may be the very thing that got all that restored. He compared to Ridly or Mr Green shows the contrast between humility and arrogance. But we may just have a different view on arrogance.
And also with Mr. Harding he had a endearing side to wards his wife and family but all he did was as if he restored it all. Yet if it were not for Ridley he would have lost all his horses. And Mr Green was the one that had the gift to work with the horses I did not see Mr Harding gifted in that way. His was more in administrations over all -- not just the care of the horses. That was totally Mr Green's responsibility.
It was just a different culture in a different world at that time.


message 41: by Rebecca "Rebaka" (last edited Jan 24, 2013 12:56PM) (new)

Rebecca "Rebaka" Lewis (becca4ever) | 16 comments I am not a big fam of historical romance,at least not yet, so I'm just now starting this book. I have started it and so far it's pretty good. Going to try and finish it this weekend. Big task ahead of me.


message 42: by Beth, Head Librarian (new)

Beth | 2262 comments Mod
I am about 1/4 into the book, and I love it so far. I'm trying not to look at the discussion much because I can't tell what has spoilers, but I just had to pop in and let y'all know that I finally started it :)


message 43: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Olson (girlsmama) | 694 comments Ok, I am launching in with a question.
At the beginning of the novel we meet Lieutenant Ridley Cooper and Robert Green (Uncle Bob) -Ridley- fighting for the Union and Robert Green , a slave for General Harding and in charge of his horses. There was a moment when Robert Green could have yelled out as some reb soldiers were passing by and received help in getting away from Ridley (at this point he was going to bring in Gen. Harding's horses in to the Union) But He didn't. In turn, Ridley ends up giving the horses back to Robert Green and not bringing them in. What do you think prompted these men to act this way when they were on opposite sides of the war?


message 44: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Kimball (nancykimball) | 19 comments For Bob I think it was his compassion for Ridley and knowing that at that point anyway he was going to lose the horses no matter what. The Confederate soldiers would have taken them too. He took the gratitude he'd already expressed to Ridley for not just shooting him on sight and expressed it by keeping silent.

After that, in a war where there was so very little Ridley could control, I think his honor refused to allow him to take the horses from Bob. Ridley couldn't stop the war and the death anywhere else but he could allow it to pass there on the mountain. And he did and I loved him for it. Those horses were Bob's seashell and Ridley knew it, and his honor prevailed and wouldn't allow him to take them from Bob.


message 45: by Beth, Head Librarian (new)

Beth | 2262 comments Mod
I echo Nancy's answer! It seemed like for Ridley, so few "wondrous" things were left in their lives because the war had taken it all. He couldn't bear to take the horses, not only for Bob's sake but for what he knew would happen to the horses, that basically they would be destroyed.

I for one was immediately hooked by the opening, it was one of the best openings that I've read in a long time!


message 46: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Kimball (nancykimball) | 19 comments Beth! Same. I loved that opening because I loved Ridley at the end of it and it set the tone for the entire novel. Great writing.


message 47: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Olson (girlsmama) | 694 comments I completely agree! Great opening and wonderful analysis by both of you. That scene set the tone for the foundation of the relationship that would come for these two men. I also appreciate how the author is handling the context of the situation between "both sides", there were good, honorable God fearing people on both sides of that war and I think that was portrayed well.


message 48: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Kimball (nancykimball) | 19 comments Cheryl wrote: "I completely agree! Great opening and wonderful analysis by both of you. That scene set the tone for the foundation of the relationship that would come for these two men. I also appreciate how the ..."

I thought so too and I love to see a civil war era novel that recognizes that. It frustrates me to see the Confederacy as a whole villianized in both literature, film, and even more deeply in revisionist historical sentiment. This is why I read so few of them but absolutely enjoyed this one.


message 49: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2859 comments Mod
Nancy you summed it up beautifully. Bob and Ridley were two amazing men who developed a bond that transcended age, color, background and was forged in faith, beliefs and a love of horses.


message 50: by Anita (new)

Anita (alamoaa) | 19 comments I just loved the book from beginning to end and was for lack of words "spellbound" upon completion. I really did not want it to end. Now for a sequel in Colo Territory..... It was hard to put down and held you thru out. I loved the friendships & growing love, respect of horses and men, Plantation owner and his family etc... I just loved all of it. Tamera is a gifted writer and I already read the next one on Belmont and kind of thought she would weave in the Harding's as guests at the huge evening at Belmont. But that is ok. Ridley and the Mrs were having a great time with the freedmen on their night. I loved the crossing over and love and respect the freedmen were given at Belle Meade. Just plain an enjoyable read.


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