AWARDS FOR A DREAM OF DARING:
Finalist in Regional Fiction, 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Finalist in Multicultural Fiction, 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Recommended by BOOKLIST, FOREWORD, and MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW.
For readers of historical novels and... read more
Tom Edmunton, the science-minded son of a cotton planter, has designed the precursor of the tractor in antebellum Louisiana. He foresees a new age of mechanized farming that will empty the fields of men and supplant the South’s peculiar institution. But the planters of his town don’t like his... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Tom Edmunton, the science-minded son of a cotton planter, has designed the precursor of the tractor in antebellum Louisiana. He foresees a new age of mechanized farming that will empty the fields of men and supplant the South’s peculiar institution. But the planters of his town don’t like his big ideas about changing their world or the intensity with which he’s pursuing them.
As Tom hears the call of the new age, he also feels the pull of two women—one at the top of society's ladder and the other at the bottom. Rachel, a senator’s daughter, loves him, but will she break with her family to stand by his side when the town turns against him? Solo is the feisty mulatto slave who despises Tom, along with every other man from the race that binds her. Rachel is free, but is her spirit chained? Solo is chained, but is her spirit free?
Tensions between Tom and the planters peak, and the tractor is stolen. “Then a shocking murder sets into motion inextricably linked events and revelations that will change life as they know it for Tom, Rachel, and Solo” (Booklist).
Set at a crossroads of history when an old era is about to tumble and a new one ready to gain ground, the story centers on the clash between the men vying to take hold of the future—the men who seek to employ the power of science and industry to transform the world—and those who seek to maintain their grip on another kind of power upon which they built their lives and fortunes.
This is a haunting tale of the Old South, with its sweeping fields of white-gold cotton, its majestic plantations, its elegant gentry, and its embattled slaves. A carefully researched story of the conflicts leading to the Civil War, A DREAM OF DARING is also a tribute to the timeless call of freedom that sounds in every person's heart.
As it delves into the souls of those who want to harness nature and those who want to harness other men, the novel leaves us with questions for our own troubled world: Which camp is on the rise today? Will it save us or destroy us?
“I tell you, there’ll be a day when one machine will perform the work of a hundred hands. It will empty the fields of men!”Tom Edmunton
“We don’t need to empty the fields. We have plenty of hands that we need to occupy. Whatever would we do with them?”Nash Nottingham, planter
“You’ve been away so long, Tom, you forgot how things work here. What I mean is, they’re children. We look after them. They need our help and would be completely lost without it. Why, it’s right honorable of us to take care of them. . . . They’re like children, I tell you.”Senator Wiley Barnwell
“You listen, boy, and listen good. You got something new, we’re open-minded; we’ll give it a look. But if any tractor gets developed here, it’ll be by us, for us, and serving us and our ways.”Ted Cooper, planter
“No men can make the tractor kowtow to their notions of how the world should run. The tractor will come with its own notions.”Tom
“If you know how to speak, and read, and write, then you have something no one can ever take away. Inside yourself, you’re . . . free.”Solo
“You don’t understand, Tom. When I came back, the people in Greenbriar gossiped about me, with their nasty tongues wagging all the time. . . . Mrs. Jeffreys said she’d heard that I joined a theater. . . . She made it sound as if I’d joined a brothel. You see, the folks here have a different view of things than we did.”Rachel
“We don’t have to walk down the same dusty old roads people walked in the past. The world is changing, Rachel.”Tom
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