I was sent a free copy of Winter’s Reckoning by Adele Holmes, M.D., by Caitlin Hamilton Summie. All opinions are my own.
About Winter’s Reckoning:
Forty-six-year-old Madeline Fairbanks has no use for ideas like “separation of the races” or “men as the superior sex.” There are many in her dying Southern Appalachian town who are upset by her socially progressive views, but for years—partly due to her late husband’s still-powerful influence, and partly due to her skill as a healer in a remote town with no doctor of its own—folks have been willing to turn a blind eye to her “transgressions.”
Even Maddie’s decision to take on a Black apprentice, Ren Morgan, goes largely unchallenged by her white neighbors, though it’s certainly grumbled about. But when a charismatic and power-hungry new reverend blows into town in 1917 and begins to preach about the importance of racial segregation, the long-idle local KKK chapter fires back into action—and places Maddie and her friends in Jamesville’s Black community squarely in their sights.
Maddie had better stop intermingling with Black folks, discontinue her herbalistic “witchcraft,” and leave town immediately, they threaten, or they’ll lynch Ren’s father, Daniel. Faced with this decision, Maddie is terrified . . . and torn. Will she bow to their demands and walk away—or will she fight to keep the home she’s built in Jamesville and protect the future of the people she loves, both Black and white?
All Amazon purchase links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase I receive a small commission (at no additional charge to you)
You can purchase Winter’s Reckoning on Amazon.com
About the Author:
Adele Holmes graduated from medical school in 1993. After twenty-plus years in private practice pediatrics, her unquenchable desire to wander the world, write, and give back to the community led her to retire from medicine. Her fun-loving family includes a rollicking crew of her husband Chris, two adult children and their spouses, five grandchildren of diverse ages and talents, a horse, and a Bernedoodle. Winter’s Reckoning, Adele’s debut novel, won Honorable Mention in the 2021 William Faulkner Literary Competition and First Place for the 2021 Chanticleer International Book Award-Goethe Award.
Facebook: Adele Holmes, MD, Author | Facebook
Winter’s Reckoning takes place in early 20th Century Appalachia. A young healer, Maddie takes care of the townspeople with aid from her Black apprentice, Ren. In time her granddaughter also wants to learn what has been passed down.
While their skills are needed, they are not always appreciated. And this is especially true after a menacing new man moves into town. He is a preacher and he will countenance nothing other than complete obedience.
He strongly feels that the races should not mix and this puts the relationship between Ren and Maddie at stake. How will Maddie handle this man’s meddling in her affairs and how will the town feel about his taking over?
It was a difficult time in this country’s history – not that there seem to be any easy times in this country’s history – and the relationship between black and white was especially wrought. Particularly in this pocket of the Union.
The book delves into many divergent areas from those race relations to the way women deal with each other to power structures in every day relationships. What you see is not always what you get. It is not always an easy read but as with any tale covering the topic of race relations, it is important.
The characters are strong and well written – Maddie in particular. She is the type that the reader can get behind and root for all the way to the end. Whatever that end may be.
I don’t often read these heavier books as I have altered my reading to keep my sleep intact but sometimes it is important to be reminded that perhaps we have not come as far as we think we have. That we have indeed come a long way but have much more road to travel.