I am so honored by these two new great reviews of Wayfarers. It really is thrilling, and very humbling, to have so may people respond so positively to my work. So I had to share! (The emphasis added in the reviews is my own, because honestly, how could I not??)
“In reading this book, visions of Hattie McDaniel immediately come to mind, in her role as “Mammy” in Gone with the Wind. McDaniel actually became the first African American to win an Academy Award, that of Best Supporting Actress for this movie. Beulah, in Cook’s Wayfarers, could easily have had the part of “Mammy” in Gone with the Wind. The book also conjures up visions of Roots and the recent controversial movie, Django Unchained. Ironically, Django and Wayfarers were both set in 1858.
This book, beginning in the antebellum South, has many subplots, along with love interests and childhood devotion between two young men that carry it forward into adulthood. The author is meticulous in his character nuances, along with the time period. This is a powerful book – Cook is the Alex Haley of a new generation. The author weaves a heartrending story of a time and period that a lot of us would like to forget, a period of human deprivation and injustice.”
Read the full review here.
The second review is a short one from The Historical Novel Society, a site that I often reference to get recommendations on what I should be reading next. I will add the full review since it is not long.
“I found Wayfarers a satisfying read, with rich detail, realistic characters, a complex plot, and, most of all, a consistent point of view. Some U.S. Civil War aficionados might fault Cook for not including generals’ names or locations of battles or even dates, but for myself, the not knowing was a realistic representation for the types of people portrayed in this book, specifically slaves during this time period.
The slaves find out they are free from a passing soldier; they then need to decide whether to stay or leave. Those who are able to walk away from plantations to head north are the “wayfarers” of the title, and theirs is not an easy journey. But along the way, just as for those who stay behind, they form new bonds, building families to replace the ones they’ve lost or never had.
I think the sense of bonding was the aspect I liked most about Wayfarers. There are two main characters—Daniel the slave boy and Jerry the massa’s son—whose bonding starts early in their childhood and continues, as we learn in the prologue, well into their adulthoods in “the life” of New York. How they regained their bond after they were forcibly separated is the thread of this book, plaited with vivid characters who tugged at my heartstrings. I read this book in one day, my only quarrel being the sections where Cook over-explains, as though unsure of his mastery. The dialectic spelling does not take long to get used to and is integral to the realism. Recommended.“
Have you read Wayfarers? Please do me the honors of writing a review for it on Amazon.