Olivia Aberdeen, destitute widow of a man shot as a traitor to the South, is shunned by proper society and gratefully accepts an invitation from “Aunt” Elizabeth Harding, mistress of Belle Meade Plantation. Expecting to be the Harding’s head housekeeper, Olivia is disillusioned when she learns the real reason Elizabeth’s husband, Confederate General William Giles Harding, agreed to her coming. Not finding the safe haven she expects, Olivia is caught off guard by her feelings for Ridley Adam Cooper, a Southern man who seems anything but a Southern gentleman.
Branded a traitor by some, Ridley Cooper, a Southern son who chose to fight for the Union, is a man desperate to end the war still raging inside him. Determined to learn “the gift” that Belle Meade’s head horse trainer and former slave, Bob Green, possesses, Ridley harbors secrets that threaten both their lives.
As Ridley seeks to make peace within himself for “betraying” the South he loved, Olivia is determined to never be betrayed again.
I have read several books from this author and to be honest, she never disappoints. To Whisper Her Name is thus far one of the greatest stories I’ve ever read and it almost brought me to tears at the end. Though a fiction story with (some) fictional characters, it is rooted in United States history, taken place after the civil war in the 1800s. One strength of the story is how authentic the characters were in their thoughts and actions. I really felt that I understood them fully and connected instantly with all the main characters—that is the truth!
My favorite characters were Bob Green and Ridley Cooper. I loved how they first met and how their friendship developed, through their shared experience. I loved the fearlessness Ridley Cooper had and as I read the story, I really was scared for him. There were times I wished someone would hold him back on some of the decisions he made. I loved Bob Green’s almost “fatherly” nature in teaching life lessons to not only Ridley, but the people who were around him.
Probably the greatest thing about this story was its underlying message or being true to what you believe in and yourself, and most importantly, be fearless. I think the characters who struggled with this was Olivia Aberdeen and Ridley Cooper—a little. With Olivia never having the chance to make her own decisions and choices in life, through her time with Ridley, he challenged her to face her fears and become brave. Literally I saw Olivia transformed into a completely different person by the end of the book.
For me, this story challenged me to do the same as well.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in historical romance, as well as stories that seek to challenge and inspire. I really feel this book did an excellent job and made me think about my own challenges and fears—something most, if not all, people can relate to.
5 out of 5 stars. There were no lagging or slow parts in the story and to be honest, it read like a blockbuster movie. I really wanted things to work out for Ridley and Olivia and the ending really made me think about the decisions that were eventually made and why—what would have happened if those decisions were not made—how would have Ridley’s and Olivia’s lives play out?