Today’s Inheritance Books come from Darlene Elizabeth Williams. Hi Darlene, welcome to Inheritance Books. Tell me a bit about yourself.
Then I turned to professional freelance writing for a number of years. For health reasons, I shut down my business.
Now what to do? I had been writing almost every day for years. So I decided to start a blog and write historical fiction novel reviews. Historical fiction is a life-long passion and the idea was to share novels I enjoyed with the world.
After a couple years, I had this crazy idea to write a novel. In May, 2012, Darlene Elizabeth Williams Author was born. I networked for hours daily for the first 3 months, while taking further writing courses and reviewing historical fiction novels.
Those 3 months paid off beyond my dreams. I made fabulous friends and online connections. Best of all, my newfound friends gave me the courage and support to commence the monumental goal of writing a historical fiction novel.
For inspiration, I thank a certain remarkable slave woman who persevered in 19th Century North Carolina to publish the only female slave biography in existence.
Which book have you inherited from your parents/grandparents? Why is it special?
The book I inherited from a few generations ago is the unsurpassable Les Miserables. I’ve read numerous classics, but none impressed me so much as Les Mis. Victor Hugo’s genius shines throughout this tome.
Aside from the complex plot of heroism, conviction, persistence, a burdened conscience, tragedy, love and loss, which is engrossing in itself, Hugo often sequaes into topics which give the reader incredible insight into daily life in turbulent France.
For instance, Hugo spends 10 pages with descriptive detail about homeless children in Paris. The beauty of Hugo is the 10 pages aren’t boring; they educate in captivating prose, which includes references that demonstrate Hugo’s intelligence:
“If Jehovah beckoned he would go scampering up the steps of Paradise. He fights with both hands and feet. He may grow in any direction. He plays in the gutter and rises above it in revolt, his audacity unchecked by musket-fire. The guttersnipe turns hero. Like the Theban boy he twists the lion’s tail. He cries ‘Aha’ among the trumpets like the war-horse in the book of Job.”
In another section of the novel, Hugo delves into the Paris sewer system. There are characters who live and travel through the system. We get an extensive history of the building and charting of the system. When I finished this section, I was somewhat confounded I had just been fascinated by a sewer system.
Readers today often are unwilling to read classical authors because the prose requires consideration investment. We have become used to instant gratification in most everything, including our reading material.
It would be a pity to miss out on novels which detail human history, in both its miseries and glories. That history is us. It is how arrived at where we are today.
Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why?
Rome has captured Jerusalem in 70 C.E. Jewish people have been forcibly converted from God, enslaved or slaughtered. Yet, there are those who fought for their faith. Some of these fighters will take a final stand at Masada, a fortress built by Herod some 100 years earlier. It was considered impenetrable due to terrain, isolation and unsustainable environs.
The Dovekeepers follows 4 indomitable women, all with complex backgrounds and secrets, who eventually arrive at Masada. The last hope of the Jewish nation and these 4 women. The common bond amongst the women is they are all dove keepers.
For months, the survivors hold out against the Roman armies and harry them. As time passes, the situation becomes dire at Masada. Starvation becomes another enemy.
During this time, circumstances bring the 4 women together. Bit by bit, they gradually learn about each other and their past struggles. This bond will permit 2 of the women and 5 of their children to survive what is to come. The ultimate sacrifice for the love of their God.
I urge you to Google Masada to appreciate the full extent of this historical event. Also, an interview with Alice Hoffman is online, where she talks about the inspiration behind The Dovekeepers.
I’d like the future generation to read this novel to realize strength of convictions, religious or otherwise, is sadly lacking in today’s society. I’m not talking about fanatical terrorists; I’m speaking about personal ideals and values.
I truly believe we need to recapture a stance on principles. The Dovekeepers is an excellent opportunity to induce us to reflect upon this.
I have to admit, I’ve only ever read the abridged version of Les Miserables. I hadn’t heard of The Dovekeepers before. I’m off to check out right now.
Thank you for sharing your Inheritance Books, Darlene. I wish you all success with your books.