Snow White has been an adorable character for children since time immemorial and who can forget the dwarfs? Have you ever thought that this timeless tale could be retold with a new flavor? Cathleen has done it brilliantly and that too in two volumes. Here are my reviews of both the books, which should be read in continuation to enjoy the story that goes much far to mingle with the historical facts of the civil war.
Snow White and the Civil War #1 by Cathleen Townsend may remind us of the fairy tale of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ but this story moves beyond the jealousy and cruelty of a stepmother. It focuses on the development of Gwen, how she learns to survive and excels in various skills that make her a darling of her new friends.
It is Janet’s kindness, her eagerness to learn and her perseverance that makes her an endearing character, well versed with the wisdom that she picks up slowly from her devoted friends cum uncles. Gentle love gestures of Jack and Charlie add a romantic touch to the tale. The role of dwarves has been drawn with bold strokes, which raise this simple story to epic proportions. I really enjoyed reading this book.
Plot of Gold continues the story of Snow White and book -1 has to be read to understand why Jack is looking for Gwendolyn Hilton and why does he owe money to his father. New characters are introduced to give another dimension to the story. Would Jack succeed in his mission? Would he ever meet Janet? The doubts persist as he plans to marry Eliza. Major part of the story dwells on the Civil War, the role of military intelligence and how Jack proves himself worthy of the work assigned to him by Colonel Evans.
Cathleen’s characters contribute significantly to the story; their depth and dimensions are noteworthy and their development is impressive. Though the plot focuses on Jack but all the characters grow, change and emerge out of their conflicts except the wicked stepmother of Gwen. Even Eliza and Mrs. Hammond make their presence felt. I like how poetry, music and dance form an essential part of their lives. This is a fine combination of fairy tale and historical fiction. 5 STARS.
– Balroop Singh
Meet the author:
“I always wanted to write fiction,” says Cathleen, “even as a child, but for many years I never had anything I thought was good enough to share. My favorite book is The Lord of the Rings, and that’s an intimidating standard.
I finally began by writing biographies of my family members, mostly those from the Greatest Generation, as a family history project. After that, the whole process seemed a lot more possible, as if something inside me had clicked into place. So, then I finally sat down and started writing novels, and it was like they exploded out of me.
I also enjoy writing short stories. Some I submit to online mags and publishers, but others go straight to my blog. I write mostly fantasy, but ghost stories, historicals, and even the odd contemporary tickles my fancy at times.”
Cathleen Townsend trained as a social scientist, and at various times has been a teacher, a waitress, a donut baker, and a construction worker. She’s survived parenting, scuba-diving with a Mako shark, and a plane crash.
Her stories, both whimsical and serious, are drawn from the rich sources of folklore and history to inspire the belief that a single person can make a difference in the world, even if that world contains a dragon or two.
Cathleen lives in California’s beautiful gold country, and in her mind, dwarves and pixies also lurk in the oak- and pine-covered hills. She enjoys chatting with readers on her blog at cathleentownsend.com.