They left everything behind to build a new Southern utopia…
After witnessing the death and destruction caused by the Civil War, Colonel Blake Wallace is eager to leave his once precious Southern homeland for the pristine shores of Brazil and the prospect of a new utopian communit
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What did I think? I think that I have almost gone crazy over this series, because I have now finished all three books and am incapable of getting out of that world and moving on with other things. I mean, I’ve been reading another book for what, three days now, and I haven’t even made it to page 100, because I simply cannot focus and still think about the wonderful characters I met in Escape to Paradise. Yes, it was that good. I couldn’t put it down, and I wanted to shush everyone and everything
And do you know, I almost, almost DNFed this? I know, what the heck, right?! I hate it when a book starts with a situation where the reader doesn’t know what is going on, then it flashbacks to a few years ago, then forwards to a month before the story, then back again, and then finally re-jumps to time of the story and it’s like WHAAA-!!! So, yes, I got impatient with the beginning and the writing was throwing me off, but as soon as it settled to one time frame and everything started to unravel, I got really into it, and two major things made me believe that I would really enjoy the book after all. The first was that the story takes place on a boat. I love everything sea, voyage, boats and storms, and I wasn’t wrong in thinking that the novel would be a very adventurous, suspenseful and intense story. The second thing was…the character of Hayden. Those of you who know me are aware that I always fall for the rakes & rogues, so, surprise, surprise, Hayden stole my heart from the moment he was introduced trying to swindle a man in a tavern, and the second he got on the ship as a stowaway, I knew I was in for some good sport.
And I was right, boy, what a journey it all was! Colonel Blake Wallace has organized an expedition to Brazil, composed of Southerners who are either trying to escape their past, or who simply wish to start anew in a better place than war-torn America. I LOVED the fact that we met many of those travelers, and that the story didn’t just focus on the H/h. The narration switches points of view many times, and we are privy to many people’s points of view. Normally, that would be confusing, but in this case it worked superbly and it was SO interesting!
The main character is Mrs. Eliza Crawford, a widowed war nurse who married a General on the wrong side of the Civil War. Rejected by his northern relatives and disowned by her own Southern connections, Eliza has nowhere to go but on Colonel Wallace’s ship and she hopes to start a new life in Brazil, where her past wouldn’t matter to anyone. But try as she might, her past keeps resurfacing and threatens to destroy her budding romance with Colonel Wallace. Scarred by the war and suffering from severe PTSD, Blake is incapable or forgiving anyone who ever had anything to do with Yankees…so brace yourselves, because unbeknownst to him, he is falling madly in love with the widow of a Yankee General, one whose violence on the battlefield was well-known. The problems and misunderstandings between Blake and Eliza were predictable, but there were still suspenseful twists and turns, and scenes that make you want to tear your hair out in frustration, because argh, just get together already. It was a good romance though, and I loved the whole forgiveness aspect of it. Eliza was extraordinarily remarkable; selfless, generous, courageous, forgiving, charitable and always at the service of others. I really loved her and my heart honestly ached for her many times during the story. Blake was a good hero, although a little too commanding, imposing and awe-inspiring for my tastes. But Eliza loved him, so I liked him, and his ability to keep the colony together and getting everyone to work together to get to Brazil was truly remarkable.
Their long journey from Charleston to Rio de Janeiro was anything but tranquil, and as they are faced with misfortune upon misfortune, the colonists start thinking that their trip is cursed, and it really does look as though someone or something were trying to prevent them from starting their colony in Brazil. Some of the adventures they went through on the ship were a bit far-fetched and wtf-is-going-on type of thing, but others were really good and kept me riveted to the pages, frantically anticipating what was going to happen next(it’s a miracle that I didn’t peek). All the characters were interesting, and as I’ve said before, I loved that we got a lot of different points of view. We meet Angeline Moore, the colonist’s seamstress, a beautiful young woman who harbors a painful secret and Sarah Jordan, the teacher, who is a widow and soon to give birth. Those two become Eliza’s close friends and I loved seeing the strong bond of friendship develop between them. Then we have the Scotts, wealthy plantation owners who think they are King and Queen of the expedition, and their spoiled, irritating and selfish daughter Magnolia, who is as beautiful as she is annoying. There is also the handsome preacher-doctor James Callaway, who has a fear of blood and a dirty past of his own, Mr. Graves, the creepy politician who is always rubbing an amulet and watching everyone from a corner, Mr. Dodd, an ex-lawman obsessed with gold and women, and finally, my favourite, the good-looking stowaway Hayden Gale, a confidence man trying to find his father to make him pay for abandoning him when he was a young boy.
All the characters were interesting, and most of them all linked through a series of past bewildering events, although they all believe themselves to be strangers. The novel, Forsaken Dreams, tells the story of the colonist’s journey to Brazil and ends just as they reach their final destination. My advice to you if you are considering reading it, MAKE SURE that you have the second and third book nearby, because once you start, believe me, you won’t be able to stop. It’s so engrossing and exciting that nothing else matters but this book when you read it.
it was amazing
I think Forsaken Dreams is my favorite novel by Marylu Tyndall so far. It was captivating, heart-rending, and fresh. A whole new story, but still with the usual ships, rough oceans, and sea battles that are always included in Marylu’s books.
I loved the character Eliza Crawford, and Blake too, even though his extreme bitterness at times made him a little unlikable. Their love story was a beautiful one about redemption, forgiveness, and most importantly, trusting God. It was thrilling.
I also ve
Each of MaryLu Tyndall’s books gets better and better as new ones are published, which is saying a lot, because I have loved every single one of them!
Forsaken Dreams is no exception. It encompasses many page-turning qualities that I loved: adventure, romance, and a thrilling plot-line.
This story centers around a group of Southerners who leave everything they once lost home to start a new life in Brazil after the devastations of the Civil War. They hope to create their own Southern Utopia in the