Voices Beckon

Fiction - Historical - Personage
410 Pages
Reviewed on 01/02/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

History and real-life narratives had always blended in Graham's imagination, particularly when she delved into the stories of her family's ancestors. Eventually the engaging voices of characters who might have lived emerged. Tracing paper trails quickly gave way to creating her own stories, and she hasn't looked back since.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite

Voices Beckon by Linda Lee Graham is a very good fictional book mixed with real life history, starting in 1783 and spanning the next seven years. The story begins as the Industry is leaving Bristol to set sail to America. While there are many passengers aboard, the reader quickly becomes friends with David, a young man crossing the ocean to become a printer’s apprentice; Liam who is apprenticed to Mr. Oliver who is heading to the new world to start a school. Young Elizabeth and her father are also traveling to Philadelphia and will be living with her grandmother. David, Liam and Elizabeth meet and instantly form a friendship that will last a lifetime. The journey is hard and long. It is filled with storms and sickness, but there are fun times and love as well. David very quickly falls head over heels in love with Elizabeth and she feels the same way about David. Liam is a truly good friend to both of them. Once in Philadelphia, David and Elizabeth are forced to end their relationship, but both continue to miss and love the other. Liam plays the ladies man and spreads his good looks among the young women.

Voices Beckon offers lots of romance and history. Linda Lee Graham has written a book that I really enjoyed. It was so hard to put down and not stay up way past my bedtime to read just a few more chapters. While it took some getting used to reading the scattering of eighteenth-century language it didn’t take a thing away from the book but made it more authentic. Voices Beckon is a seven-year saga of life in early Philadelphia that brought me right there with David, Elizabeth, Liam and their family and friends. I highly recommend this book and anxiously await the next book in this series.

Kathryn Bennett

Voices Beckon by Linda Lee Graham takes us to the year 1783 where passengers in Bristol are waiting to board a ship that will take them to Philadelphia. Among them are David Graham, Scottish and indentured to a printer; an Englishwoman named Elisabeth who is traveling with her father; and an orphaned Scot named Liam who has a questionable past. Characters that seem to have nothing in common will bond together and be friends forever it seems, until Elisabeth is forced to make a choice.

I can hardly imagine what it would have been like to make such a journey as the three passengers in this book did, dealing with seasickness, boredom and other illnesses that can crop up on a ship at any time - and all of this because they seek a new life, a new adventure. How fantastic! The three main characters truly made me feel a bond with them and I enjoyed turning each page and delving deeper into their adventure. Books about emigration can sometimes get a little tedious, but this one surely did not.

This is one of my favorite time periods to read about and it makes it tough sometimes for me to get into books. Since it is an area of hobby study for me, I tend to be very picky about the details and I expect them to be correct. It therefore made me very happy to see that Linda Lee Graham did a great deal of research and I felt happily ensconced in this historical fiction because of the right details that gave the book an air of authenticity. I enjoyed every moment and would highly recommend it to my bookish friends.

Cheryl E. Rodriguez

Linda Lee Graham pens a story of friendship in Voices Beckon. Sailing for America to start afresh and to seize their future, three young people forge an everlasting alliance. Each unique, each with a past, each packing a measure of grief into their baggage. For David and Elisabeth, their relationship began when their eyes locked and their gazes held. Elisabeth was awed by David’s quiet inner strength and David was enamored with Elisabeth’s beauty ... such a bonny lass. Liam is likeable from the start; alive, full of excitement and a bit mysterious. Setting sail, they “faced a horizon of possibilities, bounded only by the sky.” David is Liam’s anchor. Liam is David’s motivator. And Elisabeth is the glue that holds the three together. David and Liam owned their own world, but their world was vastly different from Elisabeth’s. Hardships, religion, social status, politics and family members work to break the trio apart. However, a three-fold cord is not easily broken.

Linda Lee Graham captures the essence of the 18th century in her historical fiction novel, Voices Beckon. Her writing style is full of rich dialogues portraying old English terminology mixed with Scottish brogue. The characterization is unhurried, developing with ease and grace. The romance of David and Elisabeth is the nucleus of the story. The plot intensifies as their characters are dramatically challenged. Graham depicts the lives of her characters while revealing important historical events. The narrative’s setting is early America, a time when education was valued and esteemed, family heritage shaped your future, and young men worked diligently to learn a trade. The plot’s progression is reasonably predictable; however, not everything goes as expected. There are a few unexpected turns of events, which heighten the plot and shape the characters. Voices Beckon has a satisfying end. However, there is a subtle hint that there is more to the story.