Saturday, April 11, 2009

Book review: Josephine by Beverly Jenkins

Josephine by Beverely Jenkins (published by Kimani Tru, February 1, 2009)

Josephine Best is seventeen years old, and she has a different plan for her life than most young women her age in 1864. Raised in a progressive free black family that ran a station on the Underground Railroad, Josephine has been encouraged since she was a child to follow her dreams, even if they were not traditional ones for a girl to have. Josephine has attended the Women's Program at Oberlin College and now runs her own hairdressing shop in her hometown. Most of the girls her age are thinking about marriage. Josephine would be thinking about marriage, but she fears that if she marries she will be forced to give up her business. Then Adam Morgan returns injured from the war. Adam was one of her older brother Daniel's childhood friends, and tormented her mercilessly when they were both children. But now they're both all grown up and discovering feelings for each other that they never would have expected.

I highly recommend this book to teenage girls who enjoy historical romances, as well as older readers who enjoy a sweet love story. It is a nice follow up to the author's previous young adult book, Belle, set several years earlier, in which Josephine made an appearance as a young girl. 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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