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Once in a Blood Moon by Dorothea Hubble Bonneau


Once in a Blood Moon
Author: Dorothea Hubble Bonneau

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Acorn Publishing

Release Date: 2020

Pages: 335

Source: Publisher/Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Heaven Hill Plantation, upriver from Georgetown, South Carolina, 1807: Sixteen-year-old Alexandra Degambia walks a tightrope stretched between her parents’ ambitions. Her father, a prosperous planter, want to preserve the heritage of his African ancestors. But her mother, who can pass for white, seeks to distance herself from her African roots and position herself in the elite society of wealthy free-women-of-color. Alexandra dreams of establishing her own place in the world as an accomplished violinist. She assumes her talent and her family’s wealth will pave her way to success. When her life spirals into a life-or-death struggle, she learns that the future is uncertain. Sometimes destiny has its own plans.

     My Review: Alexandra is the daughter of a wealthy African-American plantation owner. Her mother is a mixed-blood socialite who could pass for white. Alexandra’s life in the Antebellum South seems idyll. Her father is on the verge of being made legally white, and she dreams of becoming a renowned violinist. However, her life takes a drastic turn when her father is murdered and her mother dies. Alexandra is made a slave. One of the people she befriends is a boy named John Fowler, who is a white slave. Can Alexandra find a way to free herself and John Fowler from a life of slavery?

Alexandra is an engaging protagonist. I found it interesting that even though they were an African-American family they kept slaves, and her mother treated them harshly. However, Alexandra was very caring to the slaves and even establishes a friendship with one of them. Alexandra is also very clever and resourceful. She also is an accomplished musician and has a passion for music. Her cleverness and accomplishments would become very beneficial to her when she becomes a slave. Alexandra is also a character who goes through many tragedies and obstacles, but she strives to overcome them to find her own happiness. Thus, I could help but root for her to find a life outside of slavery. I also loved Alexandra’s friendship with John Fowler, a white slave. I had never heard of John Fowler in history before. Yet, this novel opened my eyes to John Fowler and his dangerous escape to freedom.

Overall, this novel is about slavery, friendship, and freedom. I found all the characters to be very realistic and complex. Once in a Blood Moon is a very engaging novel that sheds light on a little known piece of history. The novel is very fast-paced and thought-provoking. The only thing I did not like about the book was that there were a few loose ends. Still, Once in a Blood Moon is a breathtaking and meticulously researched novel about a woman who fights for those she loves! I recommend this book for fans of Beverly Jenkins, Alyssa Cole, and Barbara Chase-Riboud! Once in a Blood Moon will be sure to stay with you long after you’ve read the last page!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


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