Essie's Roses Book 2

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
408 Pages
Reviewed on 12/21/2021
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: MichelleMuriel.com

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Westland is the second novel in the Essie's Roses series by Michelle Muriel. Set in the years after the Civil War, the novel continues the story of Evie and Essie Mae. The two girls, now women, come back to their plantation, to Miss Katie and to the place they call home. While the plantation is now unproductive, it is still a place where they feel the safest. However, that safety is threatened once again when James receives threatening letters targeting Essie and Westland. Although James is ready to do whatever it takes to keep everyone safe, fate has other plans. Before they know it, someone very dangerous from the past is back, knocking on their door, and it looks like their peaceful family will be tested. With the rebels destroying everything and everyone in sight, Essie, Evie, and everyone at the plantation will have to stick together to survive.

Author Michelle Muriel has done a fantastic job of describing the fear and uncertainty Essie, Evie, and the rest of the people at Westland felt when their security was threatened. Emotions are running high from the very beginning and you can feel the tension between Evie and Essie. Even though Essie is a freed slave, the shadowy past of being a slave still has an impact on her. She is independent, smart, and can definitely make decisions for herself, but she still doubts herself from time to time. Evie, on the other hand, is just unsure of her abilities. While she does grow a lot and becomes a well-rounded character toward the end, she has a learning curve that feels very human and relatable. The actual plot of the story is fantastic. It has just the right amount of twists, action, and suspense to keep the story flowing seamlessly. What more can a reader ask for?

Samantha Gregory

Westland (Essie's Roses Book 2) by Michelle Muriel tells the story of a group of women in Alabama in 1886 who learn secrets about their home - Westland - and their family. Evie is the daughter of a planter and Essie is a freed slave. Together they make a formidable pair in a time when they don't have much freedom or choice when it comes to their lives. The story covers a few years, following these women as they embark on their journeys and the dilemmas they face. Essie, in particular, faces the prejudice of that time, especially after the war. The women find comfort in each other and learn to live as a family until the secrets come to light.

Michelle Muriel has written a thought-provoking book with Westland (Essie's Roses Book 2). I think she has captured the era well and it looks like a lot of research went into the story. I have not read the first book in the series, but the author provided enough information so that I was able to keep up with the story. This is a continuation of how their story began. There is a big emphasis on family - not only the one you are born into but the one you make. The writing has a lyrical quality to it which I think suits the time period and makes it easier to read. I think this book would appeal to readers who like historical dramas and possibly those who like mysteries. It is well written and entertaining. I would definitely recommend it.