Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Eric's Daughter Goes West

Eric's over at Romancing the Blog today, asking for recommendations. His daughter's gone West. She's crossing new frontiers and heading into the romance genre. And appropriately enough, she's begun with Beverly Jenkins’s Something Like Love which, as you can tell from the excerpt here, begins with the heroine leaving Chicago. Fortunately for Eric, that's pretty much where the parallels stop, because our heroine, Olivia, doesn't have a great relationship with her father, and she doesn't want to be trapped in a relationship like the one her parents have:
she passed the door to her father's bedroom. His snores were easy to hear even through the thick cherry wood. Her mother's door was closed too, as it always was. As long as Olivia could remember, she'd never known them to share a room, a fact no proper daughter should be concerned with according to society, but Olivia did have concerns and they were part and parcel of why she was running away. (2)
I blogged not very long ago about historical romance and the uses of history. Jenkins, like her heroines, often heads off into some of the lesser-known historical territories. Something Like Love's fictional setting, the town of Henry Adams, Kansas, is based on Nicodemus, Kansas, a National Historic Site because it's
An all Black Town settled by former slaves fleeing the south in 1877 after the Reconstruction Period had ended following the Civil war is located in the Northwest corner of Kansas. This living community is the only remaining all Black Town west of the Mississippi River that was settled in the 1800’s on the western plains by former slaves. (National Park Service website)
Jenkins also says that writing this novel "gave me the opportunity [...] to revisit the fascinating history of the Black Seminoles" (370) and if you'd like to know more about the novel, Eric's provided a brief description of the plot in his RtB post.
  • Jenkins, Beverly. Something Like Love. New York: Avon, 2005.

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