Sunday, January 1, 2012

Review: Wayfarers by Winifred Cook

Title: Wayfarers
Author: Winifred Cook
Grade: B +
I received this book for review!

Synopsis from Facebook:
The majestically beautiful Hawthorne Manor, a sprawling plantation, in pre-civil war Tennessee sets the stage for this amazing story of love, hate, loss, and redemption. When Jeremiah Hawthorne, the master of Hawthorne Manor, is murdered by highwaymen late one night, it sets into motion this complex and absorbing saga involving the family he left behind: His widow Mary-Beth, the beautiful but cruel mistress of the plantation who cares for no one but herself, and her son Jerry, a handsome young boy who experiences the loss of his innocence at a tender young age.

Also caught up in the grief, loss and betrayal experienced by the Hawthorne family are the other residents at Hawthorne Manor - the slaves. Daniel, Jerry’s best friend and slave playmate who was given to him when they both were toddlers and Beulah, his mother and Jerry’s nana, have never known any other life but the one at the manor, having worked and lived there all of their lives. But with the death of their master they are subjected to the harsh realities of their situation and the cold hand of their mistress Mary-Beth, who sells them away without a second thought despite the desperate pleas of her son Jerry, who has grown to love Beulah and Daniel.

As their family life is shattered, both Jerry and Daniel have to mature quickly to make their way in drastically different circumstances, both affected by the Civil War. Wayfarers is the story of how their extraordinary bond, in spite of their divergent paths; endures the turbulent and sometimes violent ravages of time

I was very surprised by this book. Historical fiction is not typically a genre I read, but I wanted to give this book a try. I very much enjoyed reading it! The book has a history background, but the historical part is not overwhelming to the reader. The reader is able to see the characters of Daniel and Jerry grow up through different circumstances that is brought on by their race. The book spans Jerry and Daniel's teenage years, so you are able to really learn about the characters and can find yourself identifying with their struggles. Jerry is white and Daniel is African American so you can see how it was to grow up during the Civil War era from two very different points of view. It made me truly horrified to see how slaves were treated. I wanted to scream and cry when Daniel and, his mother Beulah, are separated. It's amazing to think how far our country has come over the last hundred or so years.

I must say that it started a little slow, but once I got about 20 pages in, I was hooked. It wasn't the quickest read, but it definitely made me think while reading (which is pretty good for Christmas break!). Wayfarers has something for everyone; romance, action, horror, etc... You can find out more about the book at Mr. Cook's website! Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this book!

Happy reading!


  1. I give this book an A! I too am not a fan, typically, of Historical Fiction, but the character development was so intriguing and the scenes just came to life as you read. I too was truly horrified at the treatment of slaves, but that is just a testament to how talented this author really is. I did not feel that the beginning was slow at all. If you pick up on the subtleties that become important later in the book, it's a page turner from the beginning. A all the way!

  2. I just got Mr. Cook's other book Uncle Otto, and am pretty excited to read it! I will make sure to review it! I think it has definitely brought me out of my "reading comfort zone"! Thanks so much for commenting!