This is one of the best books I have read in a very long time! Although I've been very happy with a number of my Kindle reads, this one is a class apart. If I'd been able to award it 10 stars I would have. The only thing that disappointed me was that the book ended. I literally read it at every spare moment, but was always saddened when I realised that "the end was nigh".
History is definitely not an interest of mine, so I shy away from historical fiction, but as this book had so many 5-star reviews I decided to try it; I can't believe that I could so easily have dismissed this gem as "just history"!
The two central characters Mattie, the wet-nurse, and Lisbeth, the plantation owner's daughter are totally credible, well-rounded characters. Your interest in them is stimulated immediately: you care about everything they do and say. The author writes authoritatively about the lives of those on plantations in the 1800s so you begin to understand the conventions of the time, even if their "truths" go against every one of your own natural instincts.
The reader is present at Lisbeth's birth and watches her grow up and develop. You see the many prejudices through her eyes, hear all of the justifications, but you also are privy to how Mattie and her family are affected by them. It's done very cleverly by the author, but you become so involved with the characters that you can't help but be very touched by their situations. At one point I literally could not read any further - I was in tears and could not see my kindle. I feared for its waterproof safety, so put it away till later!
I have recommended this book to friends and family and anyone else who'll listen to me. As soon as I've finished this review, I'll be looking up Amazon's page for this author to see what else I might download. This book will remain on my kindle and definitely won't be deleted. It's also a book I could easily read again in a year or so.