Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday--The Black Purse by Stephanie Sellers Book Review and Giveaway (10/28) U.S.

Summary from goodreads: As one woman's story of overcoming unfolds, so do the pages of the Underground Railroad. North Carolina's Lumbee Indian heritage is explored and finally examined when a written document is handed to the rightful heir. But not before Exilee Sheffield learns through real life experiences that fate sometimes rides a hot horse. 
BLACK PURSE is comparable to The Shack for message. To The Doctor’s Wife for understanding how the past, seemingly in the past, is triggered to consume

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When I approached the author to review this book, I have to admit that I had no idea what to expect.  I am a big fan of historical fiction, and I knew that was partially what this book was.  I also knew it had something to do with native Americans.  I also figured this would be a step outside my comfort zone, and I was certainly right about that.

The first third of the book was very difficult for me to read.  I have not ever been a fan of books written in the present tense.  That is honestly just a personal preference, but as I went on, I got used to it.  I didn't even notice this issue by the time I was two third into it.

The other thing that made the first third of the book difficult for me was that the style of writing was reminiscent of another great author who is not a favorite of mine.  "Streams of consciousness" is a style of writing that was popularized by William Faulkner, and I would say that Stephanie Sellers tends to write along those lines.  Again, it is just a personal preference of mine.  I prefer to read a book that tells a story in a very straightforward manner and does not go back and forth between present, past, and future.  That is what streams of consciousness is.  But enough of a literary lesson.

By the time I was more than halfway through the book, I did find myself finally caring for the characters and quite interested in the story. And it seems as though the writing improved.  It was as though the first style of writing was left behind, and I could finally grasp the story line.

Speaking of the story line, the story in this novel is one that needs to be told.  I have not ever read much about Native American prejudice, and I applaud the author for tackling this topic in a wonderful way.  She also tackled other issues such as hate crimes against homosexuals and the struggles of those with mixed racial blood.  Even in this day and age.  I don't think I realized until reading this book how much these things still exist and are sometimes even acceptable in some societies.

I would say that this book would appeal to young adults more than mature adult women like me.  I struggled through the "overdone" romance scenes (I suppose I have become jaded in my older years), but I was grateful that there were no intimate details.  I also appreciated the fact that the profanity was extremely limited--much better than most books I have read in recent times.  I could have done without the big drinking scene, but again, that is just personal preference.  I appreciated the history in the book concerning Native Americans and the Underground Railroad.

Overall, I give this book a 3-star rating.  While I did not always enjoy the style in which the book was written, the story itself is one that very few author would tackle.  It is a story with lots of twists and turns, and it is told with real heart.  Even though I cannot say it was my favorite book, I appreciated the story, and I believe that other people would as well.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are 100 percent mine. 

View all my reviews

Find Stephanie Sellers on facebook.

I want to thank Stephanie for agreeing to giveaway one hard copy of her book to a U.S. reader.  She has a unique idea for the giveaway, so read on.

In order to enter the giveaway, post any question you would like to ask her about her life, book, or whatever.  Post that question on this blog post.  Be sure to leave your e-mail if is it not enabled in your blogger profile. This giveaway begins today and ends October 28 at 9 P.M. Pacific Time.  Please only one entry per person.  All questions will be answered at the end of the giveaway.

Best of luck to everyone!  Put your thinking caps and get busy asking questions.


  1. What do you find the hardest p[art of writing a book? Beginning the story or deciding when to end it?

    Have a wonderful day!


  2. What is your favorite genre to read?

    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

  3. how has your life inspired your writing?

    katie_tp AT yahoo DOT com

  4. How much time do you put into research and do you include real historical events and places in your story? I have always found historical fiction that takes into account real history to be much more exciting to read and relate to.


  5. This is only opened to the US so I can't enter the giveaway. However, you mentioned the author was looking for book bloggers to review this book. It has captured my attention. So if she's interested, my review policy and contact info can be found here:

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