June 23, 2016

Hold Me Close by Marguerite Martin Gray | My Review (And a Giveaway!)

When most people think of the colonial or Revolutionary War eras, they think Boston, Philadelphia, Paul Revere, et cetera. Charleston, South Carolina--then called Charles Town--was of crucial importance to the colonies for its major role in the shipping industry. Ms. Gray did a remarkable job making colonial Charles Town come alive, weaving important facts and events into her plot seamlessly so the reader came away with both a good story, and more knowledge about the era and city. This book backs up one huge reason historical fiction is my favorite genre--you learn so much more about the past when it is presented in an engaging format such as fiction than you often learn via textbooks.
This based on a true story novel reignited my interest in the colonial era. Ms. Gray's meticulous research shines through every page mainly through the history but also through the characters of Louis and Elizabeth as well. Due to the true story the author took scant few liberties with--a feat to be applauded!--throughout the novel the characterization fell a little flat to me. The balance of showing instead of telling the actions and thoughts of the characters was unbalanced, not unpolished however, and for me, the history stood out infinitely more engaging to me as a reader than the characters and their story did. Far from a truly disappointing read, I really enjoyed the rich history and sense of time and place the author wrote expertly within her novel's pages since Charleston is one of my favorite cities not often visited enough. Hold Me Close was a vivid trip back in time all the way around.
Part of a Celebrate Lit book tour
*Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book by the author as a part of a CelebrateLit Blog Tour in exchange for solely my honest opinion. All thoughts/opinions within are my own and I do not receive any compensation for my reviewing.* 

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Louis Lestarjette, a Frenchman, arrives in Charles Town, South Carolina, in 1772 without purpose or plans. He encounters a society on the brink of revolution and is forced to make decisions that include finding meaning and direction in his carefree life. Who can he trust in his endeavors to prosper? Will he be able to stay neutral in a battle for independence? When decisive events confront him, will he stay or leave? Running from God and commitment is a constant option.
Elizabeth Elliott, daughter of a prominent British citizen, believes God will hold her close in uncertain and changing times. Faced with making difficult decisions about her loyalties, she finds comfort in close friends, a devout sister, and her music. When the mysterious Frenchman with no commitment to God or Charles Town enters her life, her role in the political battle is challenged. Can she trust her heart in volatile situations?
Set in pre-revolution Charles Town, Hold Me Close takes the reader into the lives of immigrants, ordinary citizens, and prominent historical figures at a time in which decisions are made that will change the world.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Marguerite Martin Gray enjoys the study of history, especially when combined with fiction. An avid traveler and reader, she teaches French and has degrees in French, Spanish, and Journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Recently, she received a MA in English from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. She has two grown children and currently lives with her husband and Cleo, her cat, in Abilene, Texas. Website | Facebook 

 Giveaway
To celebrate her tour, Marguerite is giving away a fun themed prize basket! Click to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/9cc8


Blog Stops
June 20: Proverbial Reads
June 21: Lane Hill House
June 22: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses
June 23: A Northern Belle
June 23: Cassandra M’s Place
June 24: History, Mystery, and Faith
June 25: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner
June 26: His Grace is Sufficient
June 27: Big Reader Site
June 27: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
June 28: Splashes of Joy
June 28: Mary Hake
June 29: Pause for Tales
June 30: Red Headed Book Lady
June 30: Bows and Basketballs
July 1: Just the Write Escape
July 2: Jeanette’s Thoughts