Maybe you’re like me -- I learned to love history from reading historical fiction. But history books that list treaties and battle dates are dry reading for most of us -- we want to know what it felt like to be alive in 1650 or 1250 or even 1920. That's where fiction comes in -- it helps us feel what other people feel, and therefore helps us understand ourselves.
When I write, that’s what I’m trying to do – to understand. When I began The Plantation Series, I wanted to understand not just what it meant to be a slave, but what it meant to be a slave owner. Even the scoundrels among us, at least most of them, want to see themselves as moral creatures, but how did -- in fact, how do -- people reconcile doing something horrendous and still feel they are good to the bone. This question has led me through all my novels – how do we see ourselves and how do we learn to see more clearly?
I invite you to the Novels page on this site for a thumbnail sketch of each book. The first four are part of The Plantation Series: A Saga of Slavery and Deliverance. Other novels dealing with race are The Lion's Teeth and Livy. Under the category of historical women's fiction you'll find three more titles: Crimson Sky, Theena's Landing, and Tansy.
Gretchen's newest novel, Six Mile Creek is now available from Amazon as a Kindle ebook and in paperback.
After weeks of traveling through the wilds of Florida, Brynn Brodie wants a house with a place to plant hollyhocks and peach trees, and she wants to stay in that house till she's made a thousand peach pies. For that, she needs to be married, and the handsome Reverend Albright will make an excellent husband. Instead of leading the idyllic life she hopes for, Brynn is abducted by a Seminole warrior who takes her deep into the watery lands of the Green Swamp.
Brynn's brother Parker and his Seminole friend Yoholo split up and spend weeks looking for her in the forests and wetlands. Yoholo, who yearns to keep Brynn close, forever, knows there is no future for a white woman and an Indian man, and vows that if he finds her first, he will return her to her family. He doesn't expect Brynn's reluctance to go home, scarred and shamed. Can he accept her desire to live with him on the shores of an idyllic lake, or must he keep his vow to return her to her family?
Historical Novel Society Review:
Craig's heartwarming story is a sentimental and inspirational journey. The narrative is descriptive and convincing and explores relationships which are partially or not-at-all blood-related, and the tender realism with which Craig deals with this is particularly compelling. The difficult search for Brynn is page-turning as her internal journey moves from anger to acceptance of her fate, and the realisation that the one thing she must do is survive. Her ordeal as Kinkeke's captive evokes conflicting emotions, and she is shunned and treated with disdain, a distrusted intruder in the peaceful Seminole camp. Beautifully rendered, the novel explores the choices we make, for good or bad, and how we come to terms with the latter. -- Fiona Alison
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