Winner, INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARDS, Multicultural Fiction, 2021.
Finalist, WISHING SHELF BOOK AWARDS, Adult Fiction, 2020.
An epic American Civil War literary saga that explores the intimate relationships between folk of diverse cultures during an era of suffering and hate; spanning cultures, continents, and generations. Written in the Antebellum tradition with spoken dialects characteristic of the period.
Shay is an orphan. A young Asian boy with no link to his past – except for a mysterious jade amulet – and no idea what fate has in store for his future. Not until an American merchant captain raises him to be a man, who becomes a valiant Union Army scout during the height of the American Civil War.
Across the oceans, a young girl is ripped from her African homeland and tossed aboard a ship set sail for America. She is sold to an Alabama plantation like livestock; her name, her identity, and her life are stripped from her. Now, she is considered nothing more than a slave.
When their two paths cross ten years later, they immediately intertwine, driven by a connection so strong it could only be forged by destiny. But love is forbidden, and darkness surrounds them. The reader is invited to view the perspectives of each character and the decisions they make, leading to life, love, or loss.
This book is outstanding! A totally unpredictable storyline that is quite fascinating. The 3rd person universal narration the author uses puts you inside the characters living during the American Civil War. This is a book for all races, religions, and beliefs. I went through an emotional roller coaster while reading this! I liken it to Cold Mountain and The Color Purple if somehow they were combined. Deserves and warrants multiple readings, as there are several storylines to consider. I see this book becoming a movie.
This book was entered in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. This is what our readers thought:
Title: An Uncommon Folk Rhapsody
Author: C.J. Heigelmann
Star Rating: 5 Stars
Number of Readers: 18
Stats Editing: 10/10
Writing Style: 8/10
Of the 18 readers:
18 would read another book by this author.
18 thought the cover was good or excellent.
18 felt it was easy to follow.
18 would recommend this book to another reader to try.
Of all the readers, 7 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘plotting a story’.
Of all the readers, 7 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘developing the characters’.
Of all the readers, 4 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘writing style’.
18 felt the pacing was good or excellent.
18 thought the author understood the readership and what they wanted.
“I think anybody interested in the historical slave trade to America will find this of interest. It's also a superb novel, rather gritty in parts reflecting the subject matter.”
Female reader, aged 19
“This is a long historical novel that is gripping with a highly compelling plot and a host of fascinating characters. It has a ‘saga’ feel to it and, I must say, the author's knowledge of the time in place is excellent.”
Female reader, aged 53
“This is a love story of sorts between two characters very far from home. The plot is complex - but not too complex - it looks at subjects such as the American Civil War, slavery and the terrible hardships of the time. The writing style is strong and always easy to follow, and the author deftly helps the reader to stay on top of the plot and who's who.”
Female reader, aged 56
To Sum It Up:
‘A gripping historical novel populated with memorable characters. A FINALIST and highly recommended!’
The Wishing Shelf Book Awards