"A remarkable tale"
In 1860 New York, teenager Arabella Leeds, daughter of
upper crust parents, commits a terrible faux pas and is
exiled to Europe until the furor ends. By 1862, the Civil
War costs New Orleans "high-yellow" house slave
Aubrey "Bree" Paxton his position of "privilege". Rather
than waiting for the inevitable disaster to finally hit,
Bree obtains employment on a ship heading to London.
Bree and Arabella meet in Europe and begin to fall in
love with one another. However, though his skin is white,
she knows her family would consider Bree as Black and
unacceptable. As Bree seeks more about his own roots,
Arabella struggles with her parents and peers
intervention. Love means nothing in a caste system that
these two star-crossed individuals live in everyday of
LETTERS FORM AN AGE OF REASON is a tremendous
historical fiction that will surprise readers by how good a
tale is told by debut author Nora Hague. The story line
rotates letters and other similar entries between Bree and
Arabella that for the most part provide insight into
American and English society during the American Civil War
years. The duo's look at the attraction between them slows
down the overall powerhouse theme that Victorian society
cages Bree and Arabella for race and gender respectively.
This, in turn, works so well that the plot makes this novel
required reading for Civil War era buffs.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted September 8, 2001