Essie's Roses

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
346 Pages
Reviewed on 03/26/2015
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

MICHELLE MURIEL is the award-winning, bestselling author of the #1 historical fiction bestseller ESSIE'S ROSES, WESTLAND (Essie's Roses 2), and WATER LILY DANCE. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, magna cum laude, and worked as a professional actress, a member of Actors' Equity and The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists for twenty years, doing theater, voice-over, and commercial work. Michelle transferred her skills in complex character development and historical research into writing heartbreaking, heart-mending historical, literary fiction. Her novels poetically explore the secret sides of life, stories told from multiple points of view by strong female characters in history harboring secrets and breaking norms fighting for freedom. She is also a songwriter and musician. Michelle lives in Missouri with her husband, Michael. To learn more about Michelle and her books, visit the author's website:

    Book Review

Reviewed by Heather Osborne for Readers' Favorite

Essie's Roses: A Novel by Michelle Muriel is a historical fiction novel set in the South during the years leading up to the American Civil War. Essie, a slave, is born on the Westland plantation at the same time as the plantation owner, Katie Winthrop, births a little girl named Evie. Mysterious circumstances surround Essie's parentage, as her mother dies in birth. Evie's father loved Essie's mother, so they must hide the small girl. Against odds, Essie and Evie forge a deep friendship, surpassing race lines and cultural norms of the time. However, Evie's father is a horrible man and things come to pass that could change the girls' lives forever. Will they be able to overcome all the societal pressures and truly find freedom?

Miss Muriel's novel is a thing of beauty. I loved the changing perspectives. It was refreshing to see various points of view of the same story, and the author did it seamlessly, keeping the flow of the story going. I also enjoyed seeing a story set before the Civil War. I find the whole era fascinating so it was a well-written prelude to a bloody war. I could tell the author took a great deal of time researching the era, and that is something I always appreciate in a historical novel. Overall, Essie's Roses: A Novel will make you laugh and cry, but most of all appreciate the innocence of children's friendship. Michelle Muriel should be very proud of her accomplishment in this novel and I will happily recommend it to others.