Saturday, July 19, 2014

N.E. Brown, S.L. Jenkins - Galveston: 1900: Indignities, Book One: The Arrival

Galveston: 1900: Indignities, Book One: The ArrivalGalveston: 1900: Indignities, Book One: The Arrival by N.E. Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reading books is hobby that is good for the mind. Alas, it is not really good for the body. I tend to lie supine on a bed, or curled up in a chair, glued to a book, eyes darting along the sentences, hands turning pages. Over the time, the eyes feel the strain and I am constrained to wearing thicker glasses. The wee print that was a cakewalk when I was 15 or 20 now looks blurred. I replace books on library shelves with a sigh when I see that the print is too small for me to read.

A Kindle helps. I can enlarge the font and read comfortably. There is one more advantage to owning a Kindle that I just discovered. Buying a book is much simpler now. As an avid book lover, I have often chased books that I wanted to read and find that they were simply not available to me.

Yes, that happens quite often. At one time, I wanted to buy a book called 'Jane Austen Book Club'. I searched high and low in the bookshops close to me, I scoured the libraries around, all without luck. I managed to lay my hands on it, by ordering it in a bookstore. But I had to pay a high price for it, as it was shipped specially for me.

I read about Galveston: 1900: Indignities on a book site which carried an excerpt from it. I found it an intriguing read. My interest was piqued even more as I had visited Galveston on my recent trip to USA. The book was not available easily in paperback for me here in India.

However, a recent gift of Kindle by my daughter suddenly made reading this book possible. The kindle edition was delivered instantly to my reader. A lot of people like to deride the modern way of life, citing that the earlier days were simpler and nicer. Yes, in some ways the early days were nice, the life was slower. But surely technology has made our life richer now. This is one example. In early days I would have sighed and never managed to read this book. But now, I could.

The story is about Catherine Eastman who was born in Sandgate, England. She was brought to USA by her mother, Anne Eastman, when Catherine was 15 years old. A series of tragedies had wiped the rest of their family off. Anne Eastman wanted to make a fresh start in a new place. Her mother was a skilled seamstress and hoped to make her living by it. After a rough sea-voyage, the mother and daughter arrived in Galveston and took their bearings. Anne sought work as an assistant seamstress in The Grande Opera House. Unfortunately, she also meets David Brooke there.

David Brooke is a serial killer and born criminal. He spots the beautiful Anne Eastman and is instantly smitten by her. But the aloof widow does not encourage him. This makes him obsess all the more about her. This obsession proves fatal to Anne. It also alters the course of life of Catherine.

The book is a romance, no doubt. But being set in 1898, it is a historical fiction. It is also placed close to the devastating storm of 1900 that hit Galveston. The historical facts provide a fillip to the story. The narration is so effective, that you actually feel you are witnessing those events of far away times. This engrossing tale keeps you turning pages. I was able to read the entire book in the space of a day!

The story of Catherine Eastman is told in a series of novels. Four have been printed already, and I am on to the next one in the series, Galveston :1900: Indignities - The Aftermath.

The research for the book is done by N.E. Brown and is so well written by her daughter S.L. Jenkins. Do pick up this excellent romance from Amazon.

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