A gripping tale of love, murder, and betrayal in antebellum North Carolina. Based on a true crime.
In 1853, Reverend George Carawan was arrested for murdering the timid schoolteacher Clarence Lassiter in the small town of Rose Bay, North Carolina, for supposedly seducing his wife. The subsequent trial was a media sensation at the time, with the story being reported in newspapers as far as London, England. The idea of a well-respected preacher shooting an unarmed schoolteacher would have been enough to gain an audience’s attention, but Reverend Carawan was thought to have done many more sinister things in his lifetime, all of which he found necessary in order to maintain his position of power and wealth in the community where he had made a name for himself.
Beneath the Splendor tells the story of what might have happened to propel these tragic events just as the corroded foundation of the South began to crack in the years before the Civil War.
A frightening and well-written story!
When I read the synopsis, I became an instant fan! I have heard a version of this story, as I am a southerner, and I was excited to receive this book.
Taylor has brought an old tale to life with a few twists, a wonderful cast of characters, and a writing style that captured every ounce of my attention. This haunting tale invoked my deepest emotions and I felt a connection with the heroine, though it took a while-she earned my love slowly due to her naivete. Written by a true Carolinian, there were several aspects of life that were relatable, and the setting was almost like a memory. This is something I take to heart, as each southern state has its own idiosyncrasies and not all natives can depict them so eloquently.
The paranormal was flawlessly introduced and continued to remain a pivotal part of the story. There are a few points of view, which enhance the story, instead of hindering the flow, and the ending wraps up very nicely.
I must add that the Reverend was a great character, and as a horror fan, I feel he belongs on screen.
All around, it was brilliant! I will read it again, a couple of times.
I highly recommend to fans of historical thriller, historical paranormal, historical fiction, historical horror and everything along those lines!
Thanks go out to Reedsy Discovery for an advance copy of this fabulous book! My review, as always, was an unscripted and honest opinion.
ABOUT THIS LITERARY CHEF
Having grown up in the South, there was rarely a story told in my family that didn’t involve the paranormal or supernatural, and this is reflected in my work. I prefer writing Historical Fiction with Gothic elements but also enjoy Fantasy and Science Fiction in historical settings.
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