Saturday, April 11, 2009

Book review: Belle by Beverly Jenkins

Belle by Beverly Jenkins (published by Kimani Tru, January 1, 2009)

Belle has lived all her sixteen years in slavery. As a young girl she lost her mother, who was sold away. Her father has decided that he wants a better life for himself and his daughter, so they flee Kentucky, hoping to reach freedom in Canada. But the two are separated, and Belle finds herself lost and alone in Michigan. She is found by the side of the road by Daniel and Josephine Best, the children of free black parents who operate a station on the Underground Railroad. Belle finds herself taken in by the Bests, being treated like a member of the family. But while enjoying her newfound freedom, she also longs for news of her father. And though she doesn't mean to, Belle finds herself falling in love with Daniel, even though he is already engaged to another. Can they ever be together, and will Belle ever find her father again?

I highly recommend this book to teenage girls who enjoy historical romances, as well as older readers who enjoy a sweet love story. The romance is very cute and sweet, and the historical setting isn't extremely detailed, but creates an interesting background for the story while teaching a few historical facts. I read this book as part of the Avon True Romance series, when it was first published, and I was pleased to see it has been re-released, so more readers can enjoy it.

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