- Paperback: 378 pages
- Publisher: Austin Lamp Press (January 12, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0986245100
- ISBN-13: 978-0986245107
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 33 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,373,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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One Day's Tale: A Novel Paperback – January 12, 2016
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Betsy Randall's journey from England to Colonial Virginia isa bone-rattling, eye-opening voyage across the Atlantic to her brother'splantation--a place he described as "paradise." There, slavery formsa nightmarish counterpoint to the bonds of sisterhood that develop betweenBetsy and her brother's slave, Deborah. Lois Barliant is a terrifically giftedwriter who knows this world to bedrock, and OneDay's Tale is a spectacular act of the imagination--by turns lush andterrifying, it's a celebration of the love that liberates and an indictment ofthe institutional racism and misogyny that continue to haunt our present moment
-Karen Russell, authorof Swamplandia! and Vampires in the Lemon Grove
One Day's Tale isa memorable and exciting historical novel about one English woman's journey toColonial America. Along the way Betsy encounters pirates as ruthless as ISISand the brute ugliness of slavery, but she maintains her courage and hercommitments to other human beings. A moving, believable and beautifullyresearched story.
-Scott Turow, author of Identical and Innocent
One Day's Taleis an exciting adventure novel about an English woman surviving violence andmayhem on the high seas, and arriving in the American colonies in verydifferent circumstances than she expected to. The atmosphere is charged, thedetails sure; Lois Barliant has meticulously researched her material. This is acaptivating book.
-Elizabeth McKenzie, author of Stop that Girl and The Portable Veblen
Lois Barliant is a brilliant writer. One Day's Tale is a compelling storywith vivid details of the early 1800's. History mixed with fiction in thetradition of 'Roots'.A serious chronicle of America's past, abuse and the treatment ofslaves, along with the hardship the settlers encounter. With plenty ofdrama and romance, the novel is a captivating heart-wrenching view of how welived.
-Syed Haider,author of To Be with Her and The Tumbleweed Collection
"One Day's Taleisn't history; it's a literary novel about conflict and oppression."
-Wayne Johnson, author of The Devil YouKnow and On the Observation Car
"A complicated, engaging and ultimately moving narrative . . . The writing is assured and affecting, and Barliant does fine work exploring this troubled era without becoming bogged down in its details."
"Lois Barliant is a terrifically gifted writer who knows this world to bedrock, and One Day's Tale is a spectacular act of the moral imagination--by turns lush and terrifying, it's a celebration of the love that liberates and an indictment of the institutional racism and misogyny that continue to haunt our present moment."
--Karen Russell, author, Swamplandia!
"Betsy encounters pirates as ruthless as ISIS and the brute ugliness of slavery, but she maintains her courage and her commitments to other human beings. A moving, believable and beautifully researched story."
--Scott Turow, author, Identical
"An exciting adventure novel about an English woman surviving violence on the high seas, and arriving in the American colonies in very different circumstances than she expected. The atmosphere is charged, the details sure. This is a captivating book."
--Elizabeth McKenzie, author, Stop that Girl
"One Day's Tale isn't historical fiction. It's a literary novel about oppression."
--Wayne Johnson, author, Live to Ride
From the Author
A nightmare about pirates terrorizing a colonialfamily triggered the writing of One Day's Tale, anovel about Betsy Randall, a naïve young English woman who sails to Virginia inthe early 18th century. The narrativebegins with the pirates, but while writing of the assault onBetsy by the British officer who rescued her, I was jarred by therealization that the war in Iraq had spurredthe original nightmare in 2003. Suddenly, my illusion of writing about the pastwas shattered, and the writing became about contemporary struggles againstviolence, oppression, racism, and the suppression of women. The pirates'ruthless murders reflect all too much of the contemporary world. The horror ofthe African slave trade and the inhumanity of the treatment of black people, evenwhen they lived intimately with their masters in elegant homes, foreshadow thecontinuing struggle with racism. Betsy's dread of the peoples whose landcolonials claimed parallels current fears of terrorists. And her reluctant submissionto the norms of male supremacy echoes the plight of women today.
Nevertheless, history comforts with itsonce-upon-a-time, and travels to Colonial Williamsburg in every season of theyear both taught and entertained me, turning research into recreation: boardingwind-powered ships like those that had sailed the Atlantic at the turn of the18th century; conversations with sailors andhistorians; visits to the Google domain; studying books on sailing, ships, andlife at sea for migrants, sailors, and pirates; and reading numerous slavenarratives, accounts of planters' lives and journals of expeditions describingthe flora and fauna of the Virginia wilderness. The twelve years dedicated toBetsy's adventure have been well spent.
The writing of One Day's Tale was also informed by my experiences as a tutor atthe Tuskegee Institute Summer Education Program, and teaching at CuttingtonCollege in Liberia for two years, all long before I began my journey in Betsy's company.
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Top customer reviews
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The book had a high number of tragic and violent events. I think that the occurrences were probably realistic for the time and the dangerous journey Betsy embarked on. What was also a little different from many other novels was the pacing of these events as they were somewhat "front loaded". Of course, this gave Betsy time to grow and adapt. I make these comments as neither critical or complimentary. They are merely observations. Good luck, Betsy, in your remaining time in the colonies!
Actually I thought it was more than excellent. It was profound, moving and thought provoking; all in the context of an exciting well written story. While covering a period of our early history that most know of us very little about , it was surprisingly relevant to today's issues of race and gender, as well as law and family.
Because there are numerous characters in the book, it would have been helpful to have made a list of the characters as a reference.