Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Celia Garth by Gwen Bristow
Narrator: Gabra Zackman
Published by Tantor Audio on January 18,2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Length: 14 hours
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble
A bustling port city, Charleston, South Carolina, is the crossroads of the American Revolution where supplies and weapons for the rebel army must be unloaded and smuggled north. From the window of the dressmaker’s shop where she works, lovely Celia Garth, recently engaged to the heir to a magnificent plantation, watches all of this thrilling activity.
When the unthinkable occurs and the British capture and occupy Charleston, bringing fiery retribution to the surrounding countryside, Celia sees her world destroyed. The rebel cause seems lost until the Swamp Fox, American General Francis Marion, takes the fight to the British—and one of his daring young soldiers recruits Celia to spy on the rebels’ behalf. From the ashes of Charleston and the Carolina countryside will rise a new nation—and a love that will change Celia Garth forever.
This is the first historical romance I remember and a favorite of mine in my teen years. I own an original hardcover copy. I bought the ebook and now I have listened to the new audio release. It is a very long time since I read Celia Garth, so it was shocking to me how clearly I remembered everything and how some of the concepts became part of my own life beliefs. I decided to be an appreciator.
The story both because of being written over 50 years ago plus it’s a historical romance does have some dated concepts. Slavery is part of the world. There are definitely class distinctions. Women perhaps did not have much power but many were portrayed as strong and smart.
The war is a big factor in the plot and the story. It may or may not be historically accurate. Either way I loved it. The battles and strategies fascinated me. Some truly grim things happen during war. I enjoyed the tales of Francis Marian, the Swamp Fox.
Celia is a new adult and does undergo a great deal of growth and some of the hardships of being an orphan and the war. She is a seamstress which I loved because I sew. (In my teen years, I sewed pretty much every day). Her desire to be independent and make her own choices in life resonated with me. I loved her circle of friends which developed throughout the story. I liked Celia and hoped for her success!
“I don’t think,” she added, “that you’d understand.”
“Why not?” he asked genially.
“You’re so content the way you are. Oh Darren, don’t you ever want to—to be somebody?”
Darren chuckled. “I am somebody. I’m an appreciator.”
“An appreciator,” said Darren. “A person who appreciates things.” He grinned. “People who do things need other people to appreciate them. Don’t they?” In spite of her worriment Celia began to laugh. Darren went on. “I’m fairly bright and I’ve got pretty good taste. I can appreciate books and music, and good clothes, and good food and wine—why Celia, I’m mighty important in the world.”
Gabra Zackman is one of my favorite narrators. I listened to this at 1.25 speed which was comfortable, even with the southern accents. She did a nice lilt which seemed to fit. I thought both the male and female voices worked well. Having read the book many times, it was interesting to have the emotional development of her performance.
Listen to a clip here.
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2018 Audiobook Challenge
- 2018 New Release Challenge
- COYER Winter Switch