A sprawling and imaginative literary tale…
An ambitious and haunting evocation of a time and place, Newell’s debut takes readers through Florida’s gradual development after the Civil War. The book starts with the early settlers’ struggles to survive and maintain their personhood. The rest of the story is a slow piecing together of a large cast of interconnected characters’ lives (both real and fictional) as the state of Florida that once was very removed from the American society became a destination hotspot. Newell beautifully portrays the resolute spirit of the early settlers to survive independently as well as ambitions and hopes of the inventors and entrepreneurs who followed. Many prominent historical figures such as Ava Gardner, Earnest Hemingway, Eleanor Roosevelt, President Theodore Roosevelt make an appearance. Inspired by horrific events that transpired in Florida and everywhere else (raids on Native Americans and First Nations, the widespread lynching and the rise of Ku Klux Klan), Newell’s vivid exploration of Florida’s history of violence and its gradual blooming is a superb novel of immaculate language and surprising insight.
Note: This title is free on Kindle Unlimited.
Beneath the Palms
By Ruth Newell
Pub date August 14, 2020
Price $15.99 (USD) Paperback, $7.66 Kindle edition