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The 15th Star: History Mystery (Real-Life History Mystery Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 258 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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I like books about the South, Civil War, etc. not so much revolutionary war, etc. so wasn't sure when I downloaded it to my Kindle how I'd feel about it. The price was right, though (freebie)so I decided nothing ventured-nothing gained. Well, I absolutely loved the book! The writing is good, the characters great, loved the story and learned a little bit of history at the same time. Can't beat that. I've never read the author before, but will most likely do so in the future.
While I dislike reviews that go into the story, in this case I have to tell a little. Grace is a young slave who runs from her home. She ends up in Baltimore and being a good seamstress gets a "job" helping to make colors(flags)for ships. A large flag is ordered for a fort and Grace helps to sew it and delivers it to the fort. At the fort she is befriended by the wife of the commander. This wife later gives pieces of this flag to persons she feels are heroes for one reason or another. Grace is one of them. This is her story and the story of the 15th star that was given to her and later disappeared. To see why she ran,why she earned the star and a lot more--
read the book!
This is a mystery with some history, a bit of drama, suspense and yes, romance. It goes back and forth from Grace's time to the present day. I highly recommend it to just about anyone, however lovers of romance, mystery and history will really enjoy it.
While the unlikely coincidence of Lone Wolf & his father's spy background being exactly what Keiko needs to wrap things up, it still left me with a feeling of completion to the story line. Of course it's necessary to believe in love at first sight working out so well, but accepting that is just another example of suspending rigid beliefs & thinking to really enjoy a work of fiction.
The story of The 15th Star is a compelling one. Borrowing her plot lines from history, Ms. Grace brings together truths and fiction to weave together a story spanning two centuries. When Grace Wisher, a slave girl on a cotton plantation in the South, is told that she has to allow one of the white men on the plantation to impregnate her, runs away. She, unlike most slaves, is able to make a clean break and runs to Baltimore, where she soon finds herself the indentured worker of Mary Pickersgill, a flag and banner maker. When delivering the Star-Spangled Banner made famous in Francis Scott Key's poem written during the War of 1812, Grace befriends Mrs. Louisa Armistead, who promises to help Grace learn to read and write. Their correspondence is later saved.
It is this correspondence that is the glue that holds the past to the present. In the present day, Keiko--a grad student working at the Smithsonian--comes across an intriguing letter in papers of Mrs. Armistead's donated to the museum. Intrigued by the mention of a star from the Armistead Flag, she goes on a whirlwind adventure with a new friend. Who knows what the next 24 hours will hold?
The book head-jumps quite often, though that type of storytelling does not bother me as much as it does others. Most of the jumps are in between chapter breaks, though there are a few rather abrupt ones when the present-day male and female lead characters are together.
The plot's bones are strong and the flesh of the story is strong in most places. There are, as with any book, some places where you have to roll your eyes. There are some issues with the present-day antagonist's motivation. There are a few connections between different characters that are somewhat unbelievable, and the chapter titles are not consistent (some are dates, some are locations, some are phrases). It is also an interesting editorial choice to use the term "Indian" where most present-day institutions use "Native American," or "First Peoples."
All in all, though, it was a pleasant read, especially after the latest updates which resolved editorial and formatting issues present in the first edition.
Keiko, a young woman pursuing her Master's while working at the Smithsonian, comes upon a cache of letters dating to the era of the fledgling nation's War of 1812. In an interesting method of storytelling, utilizing first-person relating of events by Grace, a runaway slave in the early 1800s, balanced with modern-day adventures of Keiko, the evils of the past influence equally nefarious deeds 300 years later.
A marvelously entertaining read for YA and older.
It is uplifting and will be relatable to most people today, but don't forget to read real-life examples of slaves and former slaves. Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is very good and has many elements in common with The 15th Star. Most notably is the strong female protagonist despite the heart-breaking reality of slavery.