To Whisper Her Name (Belle Meade Plantation Series #1)

To Whisper Her Name (Belle Meade Plantation Series #1)

by Tamera Alexander


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To Whisper Her Name (Belle Meade Plantation Series #1) by Tamera Alexander

Olivia Aberdeen, destitute widow of a murdered carpetbagger, gratefully accepts an invitation from “Aunt” Elizabeth Harding, mistress of Belle Meade Plantation and the dearest friend of Olivia’s late mother. Expecting to be the Harding’s housekeeper, Olivia is disillusioned once again when she learns the real reason why Elizabeth’s husband, Confederate General William Giles Harding, agreed to her coming. Caring for an ill Aunt Elizabeth, Olivia is caught off guard by her feelings for Ridley Adam Cooper, a southern-born son who—unbeknownst to her and everyone else—fought for the Union.

Determined to learn “the gift” that Belle Meade’s head horse trainer, Bob Green, possesses, Ridley is a man desperate to end the war still raging inside him while harboring secrets that threaten his life. As Ridley seeks to make peace within himself for “betraying” the South he loved, Olivia is determined to never be betrayed again…

Set within the remarkable history of Nashville’s historic Belle Meade Plantation, comes a story about enslavement and freedom, arrogance and humility, and the power of love to heal even the deepest of wounds.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310291060
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 10/23/2012
Series: Belle Meade Plantation Series , #1
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 99,808
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Tamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling novelist whose works have been awarded and nominated for numerous industry-leading honors, including the Christy Award (two-time winner, seven-time finalist), the RITA Award (two-time winner, four-time finalist), the Carol Award, the Maggie Award, the Booksellers Best Award, and Library Journal's top distinction, among others. After seventeen years in Colorado, Tamera and her husband now reside in Nashville, Tennessee, where they live a short distance from Belmont Mansion and Belle Meade Plantation, the setting of Tamera’s two USA Today bestselling Southern series.

Read an Excerpt

To Whisper Her Name

A Belle Meade Plantation Novel
By Tamera Alexander


Copyright © 2012 Tamera Alexander
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-29106-0

Chapter One

May 10, 1866 Nashville, Tennessee

Olivia Aberdeen bowed her head as she hurried to the waiting carriage. Stares from people on the street bored into her like rusty nails, but she averted her gaze, certain if her eyes met theirs, the passersby would glimpse traces of guilt and would rush to heap further blame on her for what had happened.

Clutching an envelope in one hand, she accepted the servant's assistance into the carriage. Despite what her late husband had done to the people of Nashville—and to her—she couldn't bring herself to spit in the face of propriety. So while her heart was far from grieving the untimely passing of Charles Winthrop Aberdeen, she was properly adorned in the widow's garb befitting a woman of her station in life.

Or what used to be her life.

Settled on the carriage seat, Olivia drew in a deep breath, the first in what felt like five years. She knew it was wrong, what she was feeling. Because a widow of only a week shouldn't wish to dance a jig. But God help her, that's precisely what part of her wanted to do. Not on the grave of her recently deceased husband, of course—that would be considered rude. Just off to the side would suffice.

A swift stab of remorse accompanied the disparaging thought, and she bowed her head again, feeling the hot prick of tears. Merely imagining someone might guess her true feelings scathed her conscience. The duplicity of her circumstances wore on her already-frayed emotions, as did the knowledge that those watching her were also judging her.

But one thing she knew they would agree with her about—including the men who had successfully plotted to kill her husband—Charles Aberdeen had been among the basest of men, lacking in morals and ethics and loyalty to the Confederacy.

She'd never wished Charles dead. But she had wished to be severed from their marriage almost from the moment they'd become man and wife in God's eyes. The marriage had been arranged by her father in one of the final decisions of his life—an irrevocable partnership, as he'd explained—and Olivia had determined from the outset that what God had joined together, even without her consent, she had no right to put asunder.

Yet it would seem God himself had finally undertaken that task and had performed it with exacting precision and finality. So much so that, despite lingering doubt, she'd begun to wonder in recent days if he really did hear everything, even the silent desperate whisperings of a disillusioned soul.

The possibility brought a measure of comfort, but a greater feeling of unease when considering how little she really knew about his nature. She'd tried to be the very best wife she could be to her late husband, and this is how God repaid her.

"I got one trunk already loaded for you, Missus Aberdeen. But where are all the others, ma'am?"

Olivia sat straighter on the carriage seat, struggling to remember the servant's name. He'd only been sent to collect her. "I'm only taking the one trunk ... Jedediah. I have everything I need in there." And nothing her brother-in-law had forbidden her to take. He'd been named the sole beneficiary of her husband's estate—every last cent of which Charles had gained by cheating, lying, and swindling nearly everyone they knew. Even their friends, as it turned out. Those friends who—thanks to Charles's elder brother, the last of the Aberdeen family—now believed she'd known all along about the far-reaching extent of her husband's shady dealings.

Which she hadn't.

But one thing could be said for Charles Aberdeen ... he'd not been a respecter of persons when it came to taking advantage of someone. In that regard, he was no better than one of those Union sympathizers or fortune-seeking Northerners. And she wanted nothing that his greed and hypocrisy had garnered. Not even the wedding band—a family heirloom—Charles's brother had demanded she relinquish.

Jedediah peered up at her, his dark brow knitting tight, and she wondered if he understood what was happening to her, if he'd read the newspapers, if he could read at all. She wasn't about to try to explain it to him.

"Everything is fine," she assured, glancing down at the letter in her grip. Or soon would be. Surely Aunt Elizabeth would know what to do to help her navigate these unknown waters.

The carriage leaned to one side as Jedediah climbed to the driver's perch, and Olivia took one last glance at the handsome red-brick two-story house that had never been a home. Something went rigid inside her, and although it was ludicrous, she could've sworn she heard the scrape of mortar being spread on brick. Another layer being added to the wall she'd erected within herself. A wall that distanced her from every shed and unshed tear. Every unmet need. Every harsh word, look, and blow her strikingly handsome husband had bestowed upon her. And as much as she hated how the protective wall had changed her, hardened her, the wall also kept her safe, guarded her from being hurt again and from the sting of betrayal. She'd vowed to never place herself in a position where that could happen again.

And in the somber reflection of the moment, she silently pledged it for a second time.

She looked away, but recklessly so, for her gaze collided with that of a woman standing not ten feet away. The woman, older in years, draped in black, her pale skin sallow, her eyes sunken deep, stared at Olivia, unblinking. The woman's lips moved and Olivia braced herself for whatever she might say. Or scream. But it wasn't words that came from the woman's mouth.

The carriage started forward with a jolt, and Olivia tore her gaze away. But not before she saw the woman wipe the spittle from her chin.

Rigid as stone on the outside, Olivia trained her gaze straight forward as the carriage bumped and jarred over the rain-rutted road, purposefully not looking to the left or the right. A recent newspaper article had reported in detail about the entailment of Charles's estate onto his brother, so no doubt people were aware of her circumstances. Likewise, judging from their reactions, many of them were savoring her comeuppance.

Down Elm Street first, then Pine and Poplar, until, finally, the number of gawking pedestrians mercifully thinned.


A traitorous tear edged the corner of her eye, but she put a swift end to it, unwilling to shed one more drop of grief over that man. She didn't miss him, so what was this ... emptiness she felt inside?

Realization gradually dawned, and with difficulty, she acknowledged what she was feeling. Though she hadn't loved Charles, a part of her did miss what they might have had together if he'd been a different kind of man.

The carriage passed a school, one she'd walked by often and always with a yearning. Though not for what most women might have wanted. Oh, early in their marriage, she had asked God repeatedly for children, truly wanting a child and believing it would help her and Charles's relationship. But God had not granted that request and wisely so, looking back. Charles had blamed the lack of conceiving on her, as he had with everything. And though she still hoped for children someday, if she was able, what she wished for now—what she'd wished for growing up—was a chance to nurture in another way.

But even that, Charles had taken from her. Along with everything else. She watched the school disappear from view.

Street traffic was light, so stops and starts were few. But recent summer downpours followed by days of oven-like heat had left the roads deeply scarred and ill-fit for travel. The carriage lurched to one side as a rear wheel slipped into a rut, and Olivia grabbed hold of the door, her stomach knotting. The walls of the carriage seemed to close in, and the horses' struggle to gain footing didn't help her already taut nerves.

If it wasn't so far a distance, she'd get out and walk. As it was, she tried to focus on something else, turning her gaze outward.

The war-torn city was gradually coming back to life again, though the number of boarded-up buildings stood as testament to how far a stretch remained on that journey.

A line of pedestrians trailed out the door of a bakery and that of a telegraph office, while a woman draped in black, like so many others, cradled a squalling infant in one arm and pulled two more children along behind. Men clad in tattered clothes—some still wearing their Confederate coats, now turned a dingy, defeated gray—stood clustered together on street corners, their shoulders thin and stooped beneath invisible burdens.

Olivia swallowed, tasting a bitterness, hating what the war had done. And to think her husband—and her, by association—had profited from the less fortunate, by helping others to "invest" what little money they had left. No surprise people looked at her with such disdain.

The last image she had of Charles rose in her mind, and she squeezed her eyes tight, wishing she could erase it from memory. The way they'd killed him ... His body so brutalized and—

Swallowing hard, she pressed back against the cushioned seat and focused on the buildings passing in a foggy blur. She steered her thoughts toward her destination, all while fingering the letter in her lap.

Aunt Elizabeth.

Her mother could not have had a finer friend in this life, nor could her mother have chosen a finer woman to help fill the gaping hole her own passing left. Elizabeth Harding, "aunt" by friendship, was the closest thing to family Olivia had left. She clutched the envelope as if it were her ticket to a new life. Thank God for you, Elizabeth.

Where would she be right now if not for this kind and generous invitation?

One might think that going from the wife of Charles Winthrop Aberdeen to being the Harding family's head housekeeper was a far fall. But managing the day-to-day household activities sounded like a haven to her. She would cook and clean too, if it came to that, and do whatever else was required to repay the Hardings for their kindness in taking her in.

Well, almost anything else ... The only part of the arrangement that didn't sit well was having to live in close proximity to General Harding's spirited thoroughbreds.

She ran a hand over the sleeve of her left arm, still able to feel a slight bump, even through her suit jacket, where the bone had mended thirteen years earlier. She'd been only ten at the time, but the events from that afternoon remained vivid. The pain of the break was memorable enough, as was the unsightly scar. But the excruciating snap when the doctor reset the bone had haunted her for years. She hadn't ridden a horse since. Not until Charles had insisted a year ago.

"Get on the horse, Olivia!" Teeth clenched, he'd gripped her arm tightly.

"Charles, please ... I don't want to do this. You don't understand what—"

"You're embarrassing me. And yourself! Now get on the—"

Her cheeks burned as she recalled his harsh words. A queasiness clenched her mid-section. She'd told him the stallion was too much horse for her. He hadn't listened. Or cared. The horse had thrown her for no apparent reason, then turned and almost trampled her in the process. It had taken weeks for the bruises on her hip and thigh to heal.

She hadn't been on a horse since.

She managed riding in a carriage well enough but didn't like it. And a wagon too, though the nearness the open conveyance afforded to the four-legged beasts was much less preferred. She wished no ill will on the breed as a whole, she simply wished them to be kept far away from her. Which shouldn't be an issue, even at a stud farm like Belle Meade. Not with her serving as head housekeeper to the Hardings.

The terrain outside the carriage window gradually included fewer and fewer buildings until only rolling countryside filled the frame. The air inside the carriage grew overly warm, and Olivia leaned closer to the door, letting the breeze blow across her face. She longed for fall and cooler temperatures, the crisp air and crunch of leaves underfoot. Something about summer giving way to autumn always made her think of new beginnings. Odd really, when nature was going dormant for a season. But she loved the fall and desperately needed a new beginning in her life.

Despite everything that had transpired with Charles and his death, Nashville was the only home she'd ever known. And as certain as fall passed into winter and spring gave way to summer, she knew she would live and die here.

The South was a part of her, and—for better or worse—she would always be a part of it.

The carriage slowed, and Jedediah negotiated a path onto a washboard road leading to the Harding plantation. Within seconds, Olivia was certain her teeth would be jarred completely out of her head. Wealthy as General Harding was, he couldn't dictate the weather or control its aftereffects. Aunt Elizabeth had written to her more than once about the general's determination to pave this road with macadam, and right now Olivia would've wholeheartedly seconded the plan.

After a mile, then another, the ruts seemed to lessen.

She'd been out here only once in the past five years since she and Charles had married, and once with Charles and General Harding in the same room had been more than enough. She remembered General Harding's exact words: "A man so keenly tied to the Union's interests in both action and opinion smacks of betrayal to the Confederacy and to his fellow countrymen. I'll extend no welcome to him in my home, nor will I claim association with him in any public forum."

Aunt Elizabeth—though she too disdained Unionists—had been more understanding and had written faithfully, even suggesting they meet in town. But Charles had swiftly squelched that idea. Olivia touched the side of her temple, remembering their ... "discussion."

The letters between her and Elizabeth had been a lifeline, and she cherished them. But she'd been less than honest with her about the intimate details of her marriage. After all, it wasn't proper for a woman to speak of such things. Once, in a letter to Elizabeth, she'd penned the truth of her relationship with Charles. But the very thought of him laying claim to that letter had sent her to the hearth posthaste, and she'd watched the fire devour the engraved stationery, the flames licking up the truth still locked tightly inside her.

She leaned forward on the seat, her anticipation growing at the thought of seeing Elizabeth again. "We'll be waiting for you with open arms, Livvy," Elizabeth had written. "You are like a daughter to me. As much as my own Selene or Mary is." Olivia took a deep breath and held it, smiling on the inside for the first time in she didn't know how long and awaiting that first glimpse of the Belle Meade mansion and its beautiful—

Something caught her eye. Someone. A man. Walking up the road a ways. And something about him drew her in.

He carried a ragged-looking pack, like that of a soldier, slung across his back. His gait was measured and unhurried, a fluid confidence accentuating each step. And he was tall, at least as tall as Charles had been.

His hair, dark, with a touch of unruly curl, reached past his collar in a manner more suited to that of a vagrant than a gentleman. Yet his clothes didn't look threadbare like those of the other men she'd seen in town. Still, his trousers were caked in dried mud six inches deep, like he'd been walking for weeks—if not months—on end.

She wondered if he knew where he was going and that this road led to the Hardings' plantation, then on down south through much of nothing, all the way to Natchez, Mississippi. And that, only after traversing the fifty-three hundred acres of wooded meadows and hills that comprised the Belle Meade Plantation.

As the carriage drew closer, Olivia leaned back into the shadows of her protective confines, not wanting the man to see her watching as they passed. But at that very moment he turned and looked back, and their eyes locked.

The distinguishing features of his face were hidden behind a thick beard, one that hadn't seen a trim in weeks, if ever. And although she couldn't pinpoint exactly why, she sensed a determination in him, in the resilient set of his shoulders perhaps or the steady gait of his stride—maybe in the way he carried himself. But he had a wildness about him too, like something caged, recently set free. And that untamed quality made her glad she was in the carriage and he was not.

As the carriage drew closer, she told herself to look away. Too late.

A flash of acknowledgement registered in his eyes. He waved to Jedediah—a short, succinct gesture—then looked back at her. One side of his bearded cheek edged up as though he found her attention amusing, and his teeth showed white in a slow-coming smile. He brought his hand to his forehead—just as the carriage passed him—and snapped a smart salute, then he—


Excerpted from To Whisper Her Name by Tamera Alexander Copyright © 2012 by Tamera Alexander. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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To Whisper Her Name 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 reviews.
CaraPutman More than 1 year ago
Tamera Alexander is quickly becoming one of my favorite historical authors. There is something about her novels set in Antebellum Nashville that draw me in and keep me reading. I couldn't read this novel fast enough. Besides the GORGEOUS cover, the characters were wonderful Olivia Aberdeen is a widow in a desperate situation who is welcomed at Belle Meade Plantation. She knows she is a charity case, but fights to come into her own. Ridley Cooper is a huge part of that happening. He sees a depth and strength to her that she doesn't acknowledge and teased, cajoles, and drums it out of her. At the same time he has deep secrets that he can't reveal...and so he dances a line of telling almost the full truth as he works with the thoroughbreds at Belle Meade. Neither can marry the other for big and oh-to-real reasons despite the growing reality they may be in love. Add in the rich history that is woven through the pages, an incredible cast of secondary characters, and this is a story that is going on my keeper shelf. Wonderful, truly wonderful book that is perfect for those who love a compelling romance set in another time. I received a copy of the book from the publisher.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great characters. Beautiful setting. My favorite time period-civil war era. The romance was sweet. Perfectly relaxing, fun read
KTLS More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Tamera Alexander took history, mixed in characters and a storyline, sprinkled in the truth of God's word, and the result is a beautiful story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hopeful and sweet love story. Excellent historical details with engaging characters. Was looking for a historical Christian fiction series after the Gresham Chronicles, and this more than satisfied. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Uplifting historical Christian romance. Both heroine and hero very likable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of historical Christian romance novels, I've read hundreds. To Whisper Her Name is high on my top ten list of novels! I highly recommend this book.
crew4reading More than 1 year ago
I toured the Belle Meade Plantation outside of Nashville, TN 27 years ago on my honeymoon and was curious about this book because of that. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to others in this series. I would not hesitate to read any other books Ms. Alexander has written. I am planning on purchasing a printed copy of this book as well.
Nose_always_in_a_book More than 1 year ago
To Whisper Her Name is a genuine page turner. I could not put it down and wanted more when the story ended. This book gripped from the very beginning and held you until the very last page. I will be looking for more from this author.
arlenadean More than 1 year ago
Author: Tamera Alexander Published by: Zondervan Age Recommended: Adult Reviewed By: Arlena Dean Book Blog For: GMTA Rating: 4 Review: "To Whisper Her Name" by Tamera Alexander was a wonderful historical christian romantic long read that has it all. This setting was from 'Belle Meade Plantation' in Nashville, TN. (1866) following the Civil War where you will find "Southerners who fought on the side of the South, the women who were left behind to defend their homes, a Southerner who aligned himself with the North during the war, the widow of a Southerner who betrayed them all, last but not least, the slaves who had recently gained their freedom" and most importantly 'Belle Meade Plantation' raises thoroughbreds. This story deals with Elizabeth and Ridley a couple of years after the war with secrets that will 'make or break them.' If you are a reader of Ms. Alexander's novels you will note that this novel is one of her best ones. "To Whisper Her Name" was a excellent novel with an long and detailed engaging story that really shines through with what all going on. Yes, this novel somewhat predictable at times but still a good read. The characters are well developed, 'marvelous and meticulously crafted' ...keeping you turning the pages will all of the drama that comes along from the read.. A few characters like Uncle Bob, General Harding and Rachel could have stories of their own being so complexed and all! To get a real fill for this read you must pick up the good read to find out which way this author is taking the reader. Be prepared for a long read. If you are looking for a novel of faith, love, forgiveness..."To Whisper Her Name" will take you there and would I recommend this as a good read? YES!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoy all of her books. Like the incorporation of history, romance and the Christian message of her books. I look forward to her next book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I truely loved the story line and characters in this story. Each character and a reason for who they were. I loved the fact that Ridley and Olivia cared for people because they were people not because of what they looked liked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I flew thru this novel! The characters are beautifully developed and the story was captivating. The humor in this story made me laugh and smile while the romance warmed my heart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I also loved this book. I wanted to see it end so I could see what happens, yet when it did end I now miss reading it. Very good love story mixed in with just the right amount of history.
Diana_Urban More than 1 year ago
Another great historical novel! Tamera Alexander has once again captured the feeling and history of the Civil War-era South by incorporating real historical figures into her latest novel, To Whisper Her Name. It’s fascinating to read about the journeys the main characters take – Ridley Cooper apprentices himself to former slave Bob Green, and recently widowed Olivia Aberdeen struggles to find her place in a grudge-holding society that frowns upon the idea of women’s independence. Ridley and Olivia find themselves thrown together on Belle Meade Plantation, owned by Confederate General William Giles Harding, a man with very definite ideas about integrity and how society must operate. I strongly recommend this book, as well as anything else written by Tamera Alexander. At almost 500 pages, I thoroughly enjoyed this glimpse into a past that’s difficult for us to imagine, and I was sorry to have the book end. However, there’s definitely room for a sequel, and I’m eagerly awaiting that!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best historical romance read I've had in quite some time!
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
TO WHISPER HER NAME by Tamera Alexander is an exciting inspirational historical romance. Set to the backdrop of the historic Belle Meade mansion,a Thoroughbred stud farm in Nashville, Tennessee and post Civil War. Follow,a Southerner,who fought for the Union, Ridley Adam Cooper and widow Olivia Aberdeen on a journey of healing and love. Filled with inner turmoil, secrets,horses,horse trainer,thoroughbred horses, enslavement,humility,healing,forgiveness,betrayal,freedom, arrogance,Nashville history,faith,and the power of love. If you enjoy history,horses,Nashville in the 1860's,romance,you will definitely enjoy this title. Written with historical facts,engaging and unforgettable characters, to the backdrop of post-Civil War. A powerful,although, heart wrenching,and stirring story. A must for anyone who enjoys a lesson in humility,the power of love and healing. Another hit for Ms. Alexander. She always captures the heart and soul of her characters and leaves her readers spellbound. Received for an honest review from the publisher. Details can be found at the author's website,Zondervan, and My Book Addiction and More. RATING: 5 HEAT RATING: SWEET REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction and More/My Book Addiction Reviews
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tamera Alexander writes excellent stories. They are all full of humbling experiences with timeless threads of history,discovery, romance, and faith. I have enjoyed all her stories so far and look forward towards more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I visited Belle Meade Plantation and learned of this book at that time I loved this book and pictured the home and the property as the author described This is a wonderful story and I highly recommend
Shay14 More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent story! The plot was very interesting to me. Ridley Cooper is a war veteran from South Carolina. Olivia Aberdeen is wife to a Southern "traitor." Both come to live at Belle Meade Plantation to forget their past and move forward with their lives. They meet following a carraige accident and Ridley is instantly attracted to the prim and proper Olivia. But there's a catch! Ridley has a secret that could destroy the budding relationship and cost him his position at Belle Meade. The story progresses from there (I will NOT be a plot spoiler) and we can see the growth and developement of each character as their relationship grows. The Christian message of the story is elegantly weaved in. It is not the in-your-face-Christian message, and that's what I liked about it. I believe there were two main points that each character had to learn: 1) Choices we make are not always simple. Sometimes God makes the choice for us, and it might not be what we would have chosen for ourselves; 2) Even when we make bad decisions, God never leaves us alone. He is always there, every step of the way. All we have to do is acknowledge His presence in our lives and He will help us get through. Overall, the story, plot, characters, and themes are well developed and elequantly executed. This is a great book and I would recommend it to anyone!
weatherlover1 More than 1 year ago
Ending was a little disappointing  Olivia’s late husband was a trader to the south and she is left to face society as an outcast because of it. Thankfully her late mothers good friend takes her in when she has no where to go. She soon meets Ridley who at first she can’t stand but the more she gets to know him the more she starts to care. Ridley comes to Belle Meade Plantation because he wants to learn how to work with horses and the man to learn from is Bob Green. He only plans to stay a few weeks but soon finds himself there longer and the longer he stays the more his heart starts to fall for Olivia. He has a secret though that could ruin everything he is trying to do. Can Olivia over come her her late husbands shadow and can Ridley find his way and will love blossom?      This is the first book I have read by this author and I enjoyed it. This is a longer novel and covers a lot of ground. What I liked: This is a very well written book and it was easy to feel like I was right there at the plantation. The characters where likeable and well written and developed. I also loved the cover picture, beautiful dress! What I did not like: This book was very long and at times I felt the book could have moved faster. The book took a long time to develop but yet the ending was kind of fast and left me going that’s it? I don’t understand why a little more time could have been given to the ending. I also felt the climax of the book was kind of weak.      Over all I enjoyed this book but it was a little long and drawn out at times and the ending was so abrupt I felt a little disappointed. The writing was great and I love the detail and depth of the book. I hope to read more books from this author in the future. 
Anonymous 6 days ago
mackenzie_carol 5 months ago
To Whisper Her Name is the first book in Tamera Alexander’s Belle Meade Plantation series, but isn’t the first book I have ever read by her. I read her Belmont Mansion series awhile back and absolutely loved it, so I knew I would have to read more of her books in the future. Since she doesn’t have anything else new coming out until January, I thought I would start with this series while I waited, and I’m so very glad I did. I absolutely love Tamera’s Southern historicals, and if she wasn’t already one of my favorite authors before, she definitely is now. I can’t even begin to tell you all of the things I loved about this novel. The back and forth between Olivia and Ridley, even from the very beginning of this novel, is something that showed me just how perfect they are for each other. They knew how to disagree, how to have different views of things and make that very clear, and yet at the same time still care deeply for one another—whether they would admit it or not—and that was something that I really loved about their story. Never was there a moment when I wasn’t interested, completely captivated by everything going on between them and in their story. Not only that, but there were so many unexpected twists and turns to this story! There were so many moments when I was surprised by what came next, and I love to find that in a novel. If it’s too predictable, that takes away some of the interest in a story, but this book definitely had plenty of intrigue. Besides that, there were also so many heartbreaking aspects—I even cried a little, though that isn’t necessarily saying much since I cry all the time—as I learned about Olivia’s past, about Ridley’s, and about why General Harding really wanted Olivia to stay. Although I was glad she was able to achieve her purpose, I can’t begin to tell you how much I hated that part of the story had to end that way. But I won’t spoil it for you, suffice it to say it doesn’t make me love the novel any less obviously, it just made me sad that it couldn’t have been different because I always want things to be happy. All in all, I just really loved this story. The struggle over the issue of slavery, the way that their perception of people had to change now that the Civil War was over was something that really spoke to me since the issue of race is still one that I am passionate about today, and I just really love Civil War history so that was a treat for me. I can’t imagine giving this novel anything but all five bookshelves and a place on my all-time favorites list, because it was just a phenomenal piece of writing, I can’t actually find a single negative thing to say about it (not that I’m trying, but even if I did). I highly recommend this novel, this series, and anything by Tamera, because I’m sure you’ll enjoy it just as much as I did. (This review is from my blog,
Anonymous 10 months ago
I loved this slow romance. The post Civil war history with deep nods to God. I look forward to more stories from Tamera.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You have to read this book... A bit on the long side, just under 500 pages. But, worth it. Buy it and enjoy,
LoraS More than 1 year ago
This book would make a great movie or possibly television mini-series. It is primarily a romance between Olivia Aberdeen and Ridley Cooper set on the historic Belle Meade Plantation about a year after the end of the Civil War. But, largely owing to the recent proximity of the war, there is so much more going on than just the romance. Back during the war, Ridley Cooper met a man named Bob Green, at that time one of the slaves on the plantation, hiding thoroughbred horses from Belle Meade in the hills. Cooper, who came from South Carolina but had joined the Union Army, was on a mission to acquire horses for the army. But after talking with Bob Green for a night decided to let that particular group of horses slide. Shortly afterward, he was captured by the Confederates and spent most of the rest of the war in Andersonville. Olivia Aberdeen is the widow of Charles Aberdeen, a man who had made his fortune by cheating, lying, and swindling everyone they knew, even their friends. He had abused Olivia – mentally if not otherwise – and she is not especially sorry that he is dead. But the people of Nashville believe she knew what he was doing and was a party to it, and her life there will be that of an outcast from now on. Her mother’s friend, Elizabeth Harding, mistress of the Belle Meade Plantation has offered her a haven away from town. She is to be head housekeeper for the plantation. Unfortunately, once she arrives it turns out that the housekeeper position has been given to an actual relative of the family. But she is asked to be a companion to Aunt Elizabeth, who, according to her husband, General William Giles Harding, is dying. On her way to the plantation, Olivia meets Ridley Cooper, who is also going to Belle Meade to apply for a position as a stable hand in hopes of being able to learn the secret of Bob Green’s success with horses. At first she doesn’t like him much, but over the course of the next year her opinion greatly changes. There are a lot of issues, both between Olivia and Ridley, and with the world of the immediately post-Civil War South as a whole that play into the story. The plantation’s servants – former slaves – play a significant role in the story, especially Bob Green – Uncle Bob to everybody on the plantation. There is Olivia’s fear of horses (not a convenient thing for a person living on a horse farm), Ridley’s rivalry with the white stable hands, especially after he is appointed their foreman and negotiates equal pay for the black stable hands, and General Harding’s feeling that he should arrange another marriage for Olivia. The story is not at all stereotypical or boring. The plot is tight. The characters are interesting, and the writing is excellent.