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Swimming with Serpents: A Novel
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2013
Full Disclosure: Sharman Burson Ramsey is a friend of mine. She went to the same high school I did, but not in the same class. She posted on FaceBook the news about her new book, and I ordered a copy. I started reading it, then had to put it down for a while for a period of intense work. Finally, I picked it up again and read the rest of the book. Swimming with serpents is an unconventional love affair, set in a very turbulent historical period that most Americans know very little about. We all know about the battles between whites and Native Americans in the Wild West. This story is set in the midst of an uprising of Native Americans in Alabama in the early 19th century. It is a stunning story about people with complex loyalties and personalities, of love and betrayal, of heroic survival in the midst of massacres. Extremely well written, it is a very good read. The story is very imaginative, and the events are historically accurate. A superb first novel. I trust there will be more!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2013
As a Tar Heel transplant, with Scot-Irish/NC Cherokee DNA, I was very interested in reading Swimming with Serpents by Sharman Burson Ramsey, in order to better understand the history of the area where I relocated -- "L.A." (aka Lower AL) and NW Florida. The past comes alive as Sharman unravels the "tangled web of interconnectedness of the people". Politics, faith, and mysticism are interwoven through actual events that built the South during the 1800s. Like economics are so much a part of our International Policy today, so it was even at that point in our nation's history. The Massacre at Fort Mims presents images you will never forget, but makes one appreciate the sacrifices that were made in this country. The only challenge in reading the book is trying to keep all the family trees separate, which was even an issue for one of the main characters, but by the time you reach the end of the book, it will have been well worth your patience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2012
Sharman Burson Ramsey has written a moving story of romance set during the Creek War of 1813, an almost forgotten corner in the history of the American South, coming after the Revolution, factoring in the War of 1812, and fomenting forces that helped propel the nation into civil war. Her research is commendable, bringing to life real people from the times in a vividly descriptive style. Ramsey deftly deals with the reality of racial mixing and the harm caused by bigotry, greed, ignorance, and arrogance on all sides of the conflict. She shows us the brutality of war and rape, and the beauty of compassion and love. The resourceful female protagonist, Lyssa, reminds me of Ayla from Jean Auel's Earth's Children (Clan of the Cave Bear)series, one of my favorite literary characters. "Swimming with Serpents" is an impressive debut novel.
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on February 27, 2015
Sharman Ramsey combines her love of history and her gift for writing in the novel, Swimming with the Serpents. This historical novel brings vividly to life a period in American history which is given little attention is most American history books—The Creek War. The brutality of war, the poignant pain endured by those who are victims of prejudice, the clashing of cultures, the inevitable conflict between good and evil are all mixed in with a bit of mysticism, a lot of history and, of course, romance to take the reader on a journey back in time as circuitous as the rivers that meander throughout the South. Savannah Jack and William August Boyles will strike fear into the hearts of bravest reader. For the reader, a forgotten bit of history will come to life, and will be remembered forever, and hopefully leave the reader with a deeper understanding of that forgotten time and those forgotten people—both Native Americans and the early settlers. It will be a challenge at times to keep all those people and their interrelated histories straight; you may want even want to make some charts, but it will be a journey that you will be glad you dared to take. (chart now available on author’s website)
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on July 16, 2013
Just finished reading Swimming With Serpents and enjoyed it so much! Superb research and the author's intimate feel for that time and place in Alabama history make for a truly rich and vivid portrayal. I read it pretty much straight through, all the while speculating about the lives of my ancestors who were actually living right there during that time.

The author's use of the Tombigbee River is a most effective backdrop for the story. In many ways the river becomes a major character in and of itself as it lurks and flows through the narrative. To my mind it can join America's most famous novel set on a river as a major creative accomplishment lending depth and richness to the genre.

All in all, this book is a fine work of historical fiction, informative and skillfully crafted. I am eagerly anticipating the sequel!
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on July 13, 2013
Full disclosure: Sharman Burson Ramsey is not only a friend but also a cousin. Her historical novel, Swimming with Serpents, is not only a story about real events that happened to our ancestors but also a compelling tale of a history that most Americans are blindly unaware, the Creek Wars in the early 1800s. As I began to read the book, I found myself happy for my cousin and friend that she had written such a good book. Then I found that I couldn't put the book down. It is a page-turner. Not only is the author a good friend and a distant cousin but also she is a great writer as well. Get the book. You will not be disappointed.
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on April 2, 2014
Definitely a page turner. Highly recommended if you are interested in romance, adventure, historical fiction or you're just looking for a good book to enjoy on the beach.
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on July 15, 2013
A must for history buffs who love details of the period. It has prolific description of the story and of history.
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on January 11, 2015
Interesting facts in the book.
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