Review Title: Truth Sets Love Free (Review of Colors of Truth by Tamera Alexander)
Reviewer: Janice S. Garey
***** 5 Stars
This historical fiction novel, set in the aftermath of the Civil War in Tennessee, brings alive characters who are multi-dimensional and true to life. Because of the circumstances of the time, some of the characters are required to hide their true identity to quash crime and corruption revolving around a ring of counterfeiters.
I had the good fortune to win an Audible version of this well told story. The different character voices were amazingly produced by the professional reader so there was never confusion as to which character was speaking. It was the best performance I have ever encountered on Audible.
The book engages readers who want a good clean romance with a backdrop of secondary characters with interesting sideline stories. I especially appreciated the complexity of entwining the Irish characters with the Southern Tennessee characters highlighting their diverse accents and cultural customs.
The timing of publication of this novel created a dilemma for the publisher who backed out of the contract with the author rather than take a chance on possibly offending anyone sensitive to the recounting of history from the Civil War times. I am thankful that the author chose to self publish without delay rather than change parts of the story that would not have aligned accurately with her research. The story portrays slavery as an awful crime that tore families apart and kept people in bondage against their will and against the true teachings in the Bible. The book realistically shows attitudes of the times from multiple points of view: sympathizers with the emancipation of slaves; former slaves who are finding their way to a new way of life; opportunists looking to take advantage of innocent people; and, the defeated supporters of the fallen Confederacy trying to bury their dead.
The author does not neglect showing the devastation of the battles fought which left Confederate soliers dead and rotting in the fields without proper burial. I had never considered this aspect of the history of the war.
I am hoping to read the rest of the books in this series along with other books by this author. She is an excellent writer and story weaver. She has a gift of polishing all the story bits and pieces and spinning them into a spectacular treasure at the end. Although I won the novel at a book launch party, I was under no obligation to review it. I have given my honest opinion in this review to share with readers a book worthy of reading.