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Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
Willow, by Lori Roberts, is the story of Cordelia Barlow, who was born in 1844 in Fairview Plantation in Gallatin, Tennessee. Losing her mother at a young age, the little girl finds solace in the arms of her late mother’s black slave, Priscilla, and her family. Cordelia’s own father is detached from her and her aunt Eugenia, her father’s sister, simply cannot make up for the loss. When her father marries again, Cordelia is sent to a school in Nashville, and her life will never be the same. She, once again, loses the people closest to her heart. She lives through her country’s upheaval as civil war breaks out after Abraham Lincoln wins the presidential election in 1860. For four years, Cordelia Barlow has to live through a war that destroyed much of the South's infrastructure and has to put the pursuit of her own happiness on hold. So, when the Confederacy collapsed and slavery was abolished, the country is about to go through a difficult reconstruction process of restoring national unity and giving rights to the freed slaves, while Cordelia attempts to put her life in order. Now orphaned, Cordelia discovers her family’s secret. Will she find the happiness that has eluded her all these years?
Willow is a historical fiction novel that unfolds during one of the most turbulent times in the history of the United States of America. Lori Roberts' story about a girl who is paying for the sins of her mother is enthralling. This is a story line that is as interesting as the events of that time. Informative and enjoyable, this is a book you can read when you want to visit the period in history that has helped shape the course of the United States of America.