- Paperback: 258 pages
- Publisher: Lori Crane Entertainment, Inc. (December 21, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0988354500
- ISBN-13: 978-0988354500
This book is also available as an e-book.
Publication Date: December 21, 2012
In the bloodiest years of our nation’s history, a young mother was left alone to endure the ravages of the Civil War and a typhoid epidemic that threatened the lives of everyone left behind. Okatibbee Creek is based on the true story of Mary Ann Rodgers, who survived the collapse of the Confederate dollar, food shortages, and the deaths of countless family members to war and disease. As she searched for a way to feed her children and her orphaned nieces and nephews, Sherman’s Union army marched through Mississippi on their way to destroy Meridian, and Mary Ann found the distant war literally on her doorstep. Help arrived just in the nick of time in the form of an unexpected champion, and Mary Ann emerged on the other side a heroic woman with an amazing story. Okatibbee Creek is a novel of historical fiction that brings the Deep South vividly to life and will have you cheering and crying through a real-life story of loss, love and survival.
My take on this book:
"Okatibbee Creek" is based on the true story of the main character in this story, Mary Ann Rodgers. This story opens in 1834, and young Mary is six years old, and is spending time down at the creek with her brothers and sister while waiting for the birth of another sibling. While there is joy that day she also experiences the loss of her two brothers along that creek. From there we follow the Rodgers family thru the eyes of Mary. We get snippets of her life as she grows up and and at the age of eighteen marry her childhood sweetheart Rice Carpenter, become a mother herself and watch as they turn from farming to become owners of a mercantile in town. We also experience the loss and longing she feels when many in her family, including her beloved Rice head off to fight in the Civil War. While she is left at home to take care of the children and run the store times are far from easy. With dwindling supplies and a typhoid epidemic that has her taking in several of her nieces and nephews. It seems that death and destruction is around every corner, but Mary knows she has no choice but to stay strong.
For me "Okatibbee Creek" is the best kind of historical fiction, because it's based on real people, places, and events. I found myself so completely drawn into this story that I felt like the Rodgers family actually became my family, and I felt like I was transported back to the south during the Civil War. The author easily captured the emotions that the characters felt, bringing each person to life,which allowed me to experience the feelings that the felt. The joy of a new birth or wedding, or the sadness and sorrow as death took a beloved family member.I really thought the letters that passed between Rice and Mary were wonderful,and actually found myself re-reading them. In addition to the sense of family I felt within this story, I also felt a sense of experiencing history. It was obvious that Lori Crane did her research in regards Civil War aspects of the story. From the shortages that many experienced to the rosters that named the dead posted in the mercantile it all seemed so very real.The story spans the years of 1834 thru 1869 which allows us to glimpse many changes that takes place not only within the family but within the United States as well. An added bonus was the pictures of the Rodgers family that the author included with this story.
Overall, as a fan of historical fiction this book certainly fit the bill, it's a perfect blending fact and fiction to make for a wonderful historical read that touched my heart and left me wanting more. I was so glad to see that the author plans at least two more stories around the Rodgers family.
reviewed for Readersfavorite.com