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Reviewed by Keith Mbuya for Readers' Favorite
For as long as Bonita could remember, life on Captain William Richardson’s hacienda Sausalito, Yerba Buena, had been good. However, it suddenly became rocky after Captain Richardson’s sister Hannah committed suicide. First Bonita realized that she was not the captain’s niece as she had been told and that perhaps her whole life had been a lie. Then followed the captain’s problems with General Vallejo –the comandante general of Alta California. It only gets worse for Bonita when Captain Richardson begrudgingly sends her away to the Vallejo household to save his marriage. This was only the beginning of the trouble heading his way, with corrupt and greedy Mexican businessmen after his wealth. It was also the start of Bonita’s quest for answers concerning her identity and her parents. The prevailing system of patriarchy hampered Bonita’s efforts to find the truth. What would happen next? Get yourself Bonita: A Tale of Early California by Carl. R. Brush to discover more.
Carl. R. Brush’s Bonita is just what lovers of slow-burn historical novels with a touch of drama and mystery should be looking for. Brush had me hooked on this page-turner with an intriguing plot featuring an amazing array of protagonists. This is a compelling tale of deception, lust, greed, torture, injustice, love, blackmail, secrets, spying, and patriarchy. He kept me on edge with adventure and suspense. The vivid descriptions transported me back in time to the early 1800s in California. The author provides a culturally nuanced glimpse into the daily lives of the different classes of men and women of that era. He has a knack for capturing the mood and setting with accuracy. This made me feel as if I was right there watching the scenes unfold. Bonita was an immensely intelligent, loving, caring, and fierce girl with a big heart. Bonita is a magnificent piece of work and I loved it.