Historical Fiction (USA, 1840s)
Midwest Book Review
"Olivia, Mourning is historical fiction at its best ... Expect no easy conclusions to Book 1: it's all about transition points and leaves the door open for further journeys with Olivia. Readers interested in historical fiction with a healthy dose of romance will find Olivia, Mourning a compelling, gripping saga that deliciously wraps what could be predictable elements in a cloak of many choices. It's all about options and consequences - and is a heartfelt story especially recommended for readers who enjoy headstrong protagonists tasked with making their own way in the world."
Read the entire review at the author's blog:
Olivia wants the 80 acres in far off Michigan that her father left to whichever of his offspring wants to stake a claim. As Olivia says, "I'm sprung off him just as much as Avis or Tobey."
The problem: she's seventeen, female, and it's 1841.
Mourning Free knows how to run a farm and Olivia has complete trust in him.
The problem: he's Black, the orphaned son of runaway slaves, and reluctant to travel and work with a white girl. He especially fears the slave catchers who patrol the free states, hunting fugitive slaves.
Not without qualms, they set off together. All goes well, despite the drudgery of survival in an isolated log cabin. Incapable of acknowledging her feelings for Mourning, Olivia thinks her biggest problem is her unrequited romantic interest in their young, single neighbor.
Then her world falls apart.
Strong-willed, vulnerable, and compassionate, Olivia is a compelling protagonist on a journey to find a way to do the right thing in a world in which so much is wrong.
About the Author
Yael Politis grew up in Dearborn, Michigan, not far from Olivia's farm. She spent years researching the backdrop for Olivia's story, enjoying the challenge of recreating daily life in another time and place. She based many of the details (including how Mourning got his name) on letters and journals passed down through her family, over seven generations of lives lived in the American Midwest. She received a great deal of insight from her sister Martha, who lived in a modern log home, hunted her own land, and was as independent and stubborn as Olivia.
Since 1973 she has lived in Israel, where she has worked as an agricultural laborer, secretary, librarian, Administrative Systems Analyst, Hebrew-English translator, editor, English teacher, technical writer, and proposal writer.