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Living Half Free [Kindle Edition]

Haley Whitehall
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
You Save: $12.00 (80%)

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Book Description

When Zachariah, a naïve mulatto slave, is sold to a Kentucky slave trader, and separated from his ma and sister, he realizes the true meaning of not having rights. Singled out for abuse by his new master’s sadistic son, he dreams of only one thing: escape. He thinks he’s found it when he falls in love with a Cherokee woman from a powerful family, under whose direction he learns to pass as white. But it’s not long before he discovers that freedom that’s based on a lie will only get him so far. While struggling to find his place in the world, he also wrestles within his heart to realize his faith. This faith is tested when his slave past catches up with him, and threatens everyone he cares for. He must decide whether slavery is the price he’s willing to pay for his family’s freedom.

Note: This book is written in period language and dialect. If this could offend you, please do not read.

READER REVIEWS

Living Half Free is a powerful book that puts you face-to-face with the Civil War era by experiencing slavery through the eyes of Zachariah. Just like any man he has hopes and dreams for a better future, but as a slave he never believed he would see them. When he meets a Cherokee woman fighting for her own freedom within her reservation he finally has hope of his dreams coming true, but will his past ever truly let him go?

~Regina Brookman

This is an historically accurate novel which brings to the fore all of the emotions felt during and post the days of slavery. We fear, become angry, are filled with dread and terror as we read about the abuse incurred. Zachariah is a man who is forced to walk in two worlds, while remaining true to himself. Defiantly worth the read.

~AJ Murphy

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Since the age of four, Haley Whitehall always wanted to be a writer. She went to Central Washington University and majored in her other favorite subject: history. She has social studies and library endorsements. Now she pairs her two passions into writing historical fiction set in the nineteenth century U.S. She writes what she fondly calls "out of the box" stories. Forgotten history and the complexities of human nature inspire her characters and plots. Mark Twain serves as her writing mentor. Haley loves coffee a little too much. Perhaps that is why she is a night owl. Cats, a good book, and a view of the mountains make her happy. She blogs at HaleyWhitehall.com or you can follow her on Twitter @HaleyWhitehall.

Product Details

  • File Size: 656 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0985182814
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Expanding Horizons Press (September 20, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00789FLUK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #758,468 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good First Novel January 21, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
If you're offended by harsh racial epithets and violence, you might not want to read Living Half Free, a first novel by Haley Whitehall. Set in the South before, during, and after the Civil War, it tells the story of Zachariah, a very light skinned black who is held in slavery, and who is sold away from his family, and taken from Virginia into the deep South, where he faces harshness and bigotry worse than he's ever encountered.

Over time, he earns his freedom and meets a young Indian woman, Lillian, and the two fall in love. Able to pass himself off as white, he's able to live with Lillian on the reservation, until the arrival of the sadistic son of his second master uncovers his identity. Zachariah then learns that prejudice runs just as deep among the Indians as the whites and is forced to accept being put back into slavery to save Lillian from the tribe's harsh punishment. Lillian uses her wiles to free him once again, and the two of them flee to California where the prejudice is less.

As you follow Zachariah through his life, beginning in Strasburg, Virginia in 1838, to San Francisco in 1867, you will be alternately moved and repulsed; moved at how his strong faith helps him survive the severest of conditions, and repulsed at the depths of depravity to which some people can sink in their treatment of others.

This is a great story, only a bit in parts by what is difficult for even the most experienced writers - dialect that sometimes doesn't ring quite true.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Living Half Free by Haley Whitehall February 7, 2013
Format:Paperback
This book was a LibraryThing Member Giveaway.
For me, reading a story written 'in dialect' is always difficult, sometimes too difficult to continue. In this case, I understand Whitehall's reasoning for attempting to write the conversations in the manner of antebellum slaves, but the translation into print slows and confuses the reading process greatly.
The story itself is very easy to 'get into' and is interesting and suspenseful. I would have liked more historical information - more 'scene setting'.
It is the first half of the nineteenth century. Zachariah is a slave first in Virginia with his family, then Kentucky after he is sold. He promises himself that one day he will be free, and then he will buy freedom for his sister and mother.
He has many experiences over the years, and the reader is clearly shown the wretchedness of the slave's life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great pre-Civil War novel for young adults and older February 28, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
The author's focus on historical accuracy shines in Living Half Free, her first published story of a young white-skinned slave named Zachariah. For many contemporary people, Zachariah's trials might seem outlandish, or even unthinkable by today's standards. But this book is set in the pre-Civil War period, when the institution of slavery was alive and well, in all its harsh clarity. The author simply brings the truth to light through the main character.

In this story, we see how few choices Zach has in his life. We cringe at how he's forced to live, at the abuse he suffers. And all along we root for him to get and hold onto freedom and happiness, though we know it's unlikely he'll ever have either for very long. His light skin and light hair allows him some freedom, but in the old days, even one drop of negro blood made a man a slave. And sadly, a slave Zachariah will always be. But to whom is the question?

I think the book is aptly named. Zach will ever be half free as he's forced to straddle two worlds - the white world and the black world - and try to remain the master of his soul.
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4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT February 8, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
GREAT STORY! ENDED TOO SOON WANTED MORE. MAYBE A SEQUEL? PLEASE EMAIL ME WITH MORE FROM THIS CATEGORY. THANKS DENISIA
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great story! February 3, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I learned alot about mulatto slaves in this novel. I really enjoyed the tenseness and overall description. I was pulling for Zacariah all the way!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read! January 22, 2013
By Regina
Format:Kindle Edition
Living Half Free is a powerful book that puts you face-to-face with the Civil War era by experiencing slavery through the eyes of Zachariah. Just like any man he has hopes and dreams for a better future, but as a slave he never believed he would see them. When he meets a Cherokee woman fighting for her own freedom within her reservation he finally has hope of his dreams coming true, but will his past ever truly let him go?

This book is historically accurate to the social relationships of the time and contains racial slurs and violence.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sympathetic Character January 18, 2013
Format:Paperback
This novel made me recall a college history course I took in which we talked about the "one drop rule" where if you had even one drop of African blood, you were legally considered black. The professor remarked that there were a lot of blond haired, blue eyed, black people in America.

This particular story about Zachariah, a slave with a Caucasian appearance, and his quest for freedom conjured up many emotions. It is precisely because of this that I thought Ms. Whitehall did an excellent job of character development. In many places in the story, I could almost imagine what Zachariah felt and what he was experiencing even though I've never had any personal experiences even remotely like his.

I ultimately thought the story came down to personal sacrifice as Zachariah risked everything for his family time and again. I would highly recommend this novel and am looking forward to reading other material from Ms. Whitehall.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read.
I received this book in exchange for a review. This was a difficult book to read. The honesty of how slaves were treated is shattering. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Insight aa well as Enjoyment
This is a free book from Library Thing in exchange for reading and reviewing it. Today, not that many people really think about slavery, though it is a vital part of our history. Read more
Published 17 months ago by KMT
5.0 out of 5 stars Living Half Free
I have just finished reading Living Half Free by Haley Whitehall. I was taken back in time to the the dreadful days of slavery. I felt mixed emotions reading this book. Read more
Published 17 months ago by kykimba
4.0 out of 5 stars An Intense Read
Haley Whitehall is a master at writing historical fiction. The settings and details are so well done, I was taken back to the awful days of slavery. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Lynn Kelley
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing and insightful.
I just finished Living Half Free at 7:38pm. I loved it. I felt fear, hatred, dread and sorrow. Tears formed and I cried. This would be great as required reading in high school. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Brett S.
4.0 out of 5 stars Freedom Isn't Free
Living Half Free by Haley Whitehall is an intriguing and sometimes shocking story of slavery and its hardships and cruelties before and after the Civil War. Read more
Published on March 29, 2012 by Book Lover
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Read
Living Half Free is a fascinating story of a slave named Zachariah. Although the treatment of the slaves was sometimes hard to read, it is historically accurate. Read more
Published on March 28, 2012 by Sue Geurkink
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More About the Author

Since the age of four, Haley Whitehall always wanted to be a writer. She went to Central Washington University and majored in her other favorite subject: history. She has social studies and library endorsements. Now she pairs her two passions into writing historical fiction set in the nineteenth century U.S.

Haley Whitehall lives in Washington State where she enjoys all four seasons and the surrounding wildlife. She writes historicals set in the 19th century U.S. When she is not researching or writing, she plays with her cats, watches the Western and History Channels, and goes antiquing. She is hoping to build a time machine so she can go in search of her prince charming. A good book, a cup of coffee, and a view of the mountains make her happy.

She blogs at HaleyWhitehall.com or you can follow her on Twitter @HaleyWhitehall. She loves to hear from readers.


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