Dreams of Savannah is a stand alone historical romance by Roseanna M. White. Set in Savannah, Georgia toward the beginning of the Civil War, it primarily follows Cordelia Owens and Phineas Dunn as war and family expectations keep them apart.
Cordelia is an idealistic storyteller. But when the man she wants to marry is lost at sea, her dreams begin to shatter. Cordelia’s maid/slave, Salina, is her biggest support, especially when Cordelia’s family wants her to marry another. But Salina harbors her own secret pain and a future dependent on who Cordelia marries.
Phineas washes up in Cuba and is taken in by a black man from England. Luther is on a mission of his own, but cannot leave Phineas to die. Even as Phineas fights to return home, his experiences change him into a different man than the one who left Cordelia with promises of a future together.
There’s so much to say about this story, it’s difficult to put to words. First off, I found Dreams of Savannah a great story. I loved Cordelia’s whimsical nature and my favorite scenes showed the relationship between Phineas and Luther. But the nature of the story means it is not the easiest book to read. It does not shy away from hard questions nor the horrible realities of Confederate Georgia in the early 1860s. Because of that, I would add a caution and trigger warning to readers of color and those who have experienced abuse.
However, I encourage my white friends, especially, to read this story, to read it with open hearts. I have long believed in the power of story and believe it is an important aspect of communicating across cultural barriers. Dreams of Savannah is an excellent example of that in so many ways. As we begin to see others’ stories, we begin to see them as fellow humans and can then give them the dignity they deserve.
Want a peek at the first line of Dreams of Savannah? Check out my First Line Friday post.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC guidelines.