Genre: Historical Fiction
Growing up in the Deep South during the years leading to the Civil War, two young girls find freedom on a hillside overlooking Westland, an Alabama plantation. Essie Mae, an intuitive, intelligent slave girl, and Evie Winthrop, the sheltered, imaginative dreamer and planter’s daughter, strike up a secret friendship that thrives amidst the shadows of abuse.
Told from the viewpoint of four women: Katherine Winthrop, kind mistress and unexpected heiress to her father’s small, cotton plantation; Delly, her sassy and beloved house slave; Essie Mae, her slave girl; and Evie Winthrop, Katherine’s only child, Essie’s Roses tells of forbidden relationships flourishing in secret behind Westland’s protective trees and treasured roses.
After scandal befalls Westland, Evie and Essie, aged nineteen, travel to Richmond, Virginia, to escape their abusive pasts. There, they face the gross indecencies and divisions leading to the War Between the States. Though the horrors of slavery and discrimination prompt action, Evie and Essie’s struggles lie within. The secrets they hold and the pain of the past lead them away from one another and back home again.
A story about a black slave who frees a white woman, Essie’s Roses reveals the diverse meanings of freedom, the significance of a dream, and the power of love. In their efforts to save each other, will the women of Westland find the true freedom they desire?
Praise for Essie’s Roses
“Michelle Muriel has penned a wonderfully moving work of fiction – and one that will leave no reader with a dry eye. I fully expect to see Essie’s Roses on the silver screen someday, but until then I will simply look forward to reading future works by this author. Five Stars (and then add some more)!” -Charline Ratcliff, Feathered Quill Book Reviews
“5 stars! Miss Muriel’s novel is a thing of beauty. I loved the changing perspectives. It was refreshing to see various points of view of the same story, and the author did it seamlessly. I could tell the author took a great deal of time researching the era, and that is something I always appreciate in a historical novel. Overall, Essie’s Roses will make you laugh and cry, but most of all, appreciate the innocence of children’s friendship. Michelle Muriel should be very proud of her accomplishment in this novel and I will happily recommend it on to others.” -Heather Osborne, Readers’ Favorite
“In this book, I have found a great story and I am sad to have had to put it down. The book has made me laugh, get mad, and cry. I want to know more about these women and what happens in the next chapter of their lives. Usually, when about done, I have my next one already picked out. However, this time, I didn’t want this book to end because I know these women have more stories to tell.” -Amazon Reviewer
Essie’s Roses Available At
Michelle Muriel holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, magna cum laude, and after graduating, she worked as a professional actress, a member of Actors’ Equity and The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists for almost twenty years, doing theater, voice-over, and commercial work. She is also a songwriter and musician. Michelle lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband and two quirky Border collies. She first developed Essie’s Roses as a screenplay. This is her debut novel. She is currently at work on her second.
Essie’s Roses Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, June 29
Spotlight at The Lit Bitch
Tuesday, June 30
Review & Giveaway at Unshelfish
Wednesday, July 1
Review at Book Nerd
Friday, July 3
Spotlight & Giveaway at Mina’s Bookshelf
Monday, July 6
Interview & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, July 7
Review at Books and Benches
Thursday, July 9
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation
Friday, July 10
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee