KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Monday, January 07, 2013

Book: A Dream of Daring

Novel by Gen LaGreca: A Dream of Daring
Cover for A Dream of Daring
I'm so excited when a new book arrives in the mail, especially if it's one I edited—and doubly so if it's a novel with characters whom I was sad to leave behind when editing was done. Today's arrival is just such a book: A Dream of Daring, by one of my favorite authors, Gen LaGreca.

Because I edited the book, I can't give an unbiased review here. But because I love the book, I want to tell you all about it. Here is the apt description of the book from its back cover:

Tom Edmunton, the science-minded son of a cotton planter, has designed the precursor of the tractor in antebellum Louisiana. He foresees a new age of mechanized farming that will empty the fields of men and supplant the South’s peculiar institution. But the planters of his town don’t like his big ideas about changing their world or the intensity with which he’s pursuing them. Tensions peak when the tractor is stolen, and in the process, someone dear to the inventor is murdered.

Set at a crossroads of history when an old era is about to tumble and a new one ready to gain ground, the story centers on the clash between the men vying to take hold of the future—the men who seek to employ the power of science and industry to transform the world—and those who seek to maintain their grip on another kind of power upon which they built their lives and fortunes.

As Tom hears the call of the new age, he also feels the pull of two women—one at the top of society’s ladder and the other at the bottom. Rachel, a senator’s daughter, is the beautiful Southern belle who loves him, but will she break with her family to stand by his side when the town shuns him? Solo is the unbridled grassland filly, the feisty mulatto slave who despises Tom, along with every other man from the race that binds her. Rachel is free, but is her spirit chained? Solo is chained, but is her spirit free?

This is a haunting tale of the Old South, with its sweeping fields of white-gold cotton, its majestic plantations, its elegant gentry, and its embattled slaves. But the story also poses urgent questions for our own imperiled world as it delves into the souls of those who want to harness nature and those who want to harness other men. Which camp is on the rise today? Will it save us or destroy us?

Gen did impressively detailed research for the book. I couldn't find anything that was off kilter in the story. But beyond that, the book is an engrossing read. I edited late many nights simply because I didn't want to stop reading. I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next.

The book's official publication date is February 12. It will be available in paperback (283 pages; 6″ × 9″) and as a Kindle e-book from Amazon. The ISBN for the paperback is 978-097445796-3; the ASIN for the Kindle version is B00B1HPMZY. Gen tells me that her novel made the cut for a Booklist review and recommendation in its January issue.

If you participate in Goodreads or LibraryThing (or want to register at no charge), you'll want to know that Gen is giving away 25 paperback copies at each site. The contest to win them is open until January 12, so don't wait to enter.

And if you end up buying and reading A Dream of Daring, please tell Gen that I sent you, and check out her first novel, which I also edited and loved: Noble Vision, a medical thriller.

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