The Awakening of Miss Adelaide by Linda Brooks Davis: Book Review with Celebrate Lit.
About the Book
Book: The Awakening of Miss Adelaide
Author: Linda Brooks Davis
Release Date: July, 2019
Orphaned as an infant, Oklahoma heiress Adelaide Fitzgerald has enjoyed every advantage. She possesses a unique gift for music and has excelled on the opera stage in Italy. As a philanthropist, she’s adored from America to Europe.
But Miss Adelaide is about to awaken in a 1918 nightmare. The Great War—and the Great Influenza—knock, and Adelaide finds her uninvited guests more than unwelcome. They threaten her life and alter her identity and purpose.
Snatched from a quiet life in an Italian villa, Miss Adelaide is thrust into conflicts others have created. What battle scars will she sustain? And where will love lead her?
In The Awakening of Miss Adelaide, war and peace, laughter and heartache, love and loss come together to ignite a fresh fire that reveals one woman’s hidden needs and potentials.
What will gaining a fresh understanding of herself require of the Angel of the Opera?
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I’ve had great fun getting to know the women of Rock Creek.
But The Awakening of Miss Adelaide is probably my favorite book in the series.
Adelaide seems to have it all. She was not only given a large estate in Rock Creek, but now she’s been given a villa in Italy! Her life is perfect, right? No, not so much.
The Awakening of Miss Adelaide is a perfect example of having it all according to the world’s expectation and having it all according to God’s expectations. Adelaide had everything she could ask for, but it wasn’t enough to make her happy. After losing her voice from the influenza, Adelaide struggles to find her place. Who is she if she’s no longer the world’s darling opera singer?
Discovering God’s plan for her life will lead Adelaide on an exciting adventure you don’t want to miss. Rich in historical detail and imbued with a journey toward God’s calling, The Awakening of Miss Adelaide awakened a desire in myself to better serve God’s purpose.
With the addition of the suffrage movement and appalling use of mental institutions, Adelaide quickly finds herself in the middle of a fierce battle for women’s rights. And there might even be the chance for a renewed life of love with an old flame.
If you enjoy historical novels filled with strong characters, you should pick up this novel.
I requested a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. I was not required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
About the Author
Linda Brooks Davis was born and reared, educated, and married in Texas. Her children and six grandchildren were born in Texas. She devoted the bulk of her 40 years as a special educator in Texas schools. But her mother and grandmother hailed from Oklahoma, the setting for Linda’s 2015 debut novel, The Calling of Ella McFarland, which won the 2014 Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel Award and the 2016 American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award. Linda continues to write from her home in San Antonio, Texas. She and her beloved husband Al worship and minister at Oak Hills Church. Linda enjoys chatting with readers through her website www.lindabrooksdavis.com.
More from Linda
Awakening Miss Adelaide begins with my mother’s cedar chest, which bore an unwritten warning: Hands off! Priceless treasures resided in its depths. My parents’ wedding suits. An old tattered quilt. Mother’s felt hat with a jaunty feather at the rolled-up grim. Bible notes. A stained tablecloth. Equally stained ladies’ handkerchiefs. And old, crocheted, scorched pot holders.
My paternal great-grandmother wrote letters and created intricate, painstaking handwork while she was committed to an asylum in Terrell, Texas. They represent the dearest items in the cedar chest.
Incalculable are the times over the years when a family member would comment Great-granny didn’t appear insane at all. I often wondered how it was she resided at a state mental hospital from 1900 until her death in 1948. How could an insane person write coherent letters and create such handwork?
Mystery shrouds those answers as surely as Great-grandmother herself.
Family legend developed around her. Stories varied from “She wasn’t crazy. Her husband wanted to get rid of her” to “She was an Indian who chose the name McFarland to avoid White bias against the indigenous people.” The truth hides somewhere amid the deadfall of her tragic life.
Sometimes research for a novel can feel like digging up bones. In a way, it is.
One such “bone” I got my teeth around and refused to let go was an article in a 1913 edition of Fort Worth Star-Telegram. It described a murder committed in the lobby of the Metropolitan Hotel. This violent act occurred in connection with an adulterous affair.
Consequently, heightened emotions, lowered common sense, and the control males exerted over females resulted in one man’s murder and the murderer’s acquittal. The “offending” woman’s husband dragged her home kicking and screaming and committed her to a mental asylum for “emotional insanity.”
I wondered if the “offending” man had been treated in like manner. Hardly.
How could I NOT include this morass in a novel?
Someone ought to write a book about that was often said around our family reunions. My interest in doing just that developed little by little over the years. The Women of Rock Creek series deals with some of the ways in which women were denied equal rights when they were denied the vote. Such realities presented an ideal platform for illustrating some women’s plight in the hands of unscrupulous men–inequality in education, the courtroom, and even in mental health care.
With an abundance of love and respect for my great-grandmother; her daughter, my grandmother; and her grandson, my father, I offer this imaginary story. It contrasts two different women: one with a voice heard around the world and the other with no voice at all.
I offer The Awakening of Miss Adelaide to the Lord to do with it as He sees fit. May this story inspired by the agony experienced by my great-grandmother serve to lighten someone else’s load.