Skip to main content

Carolina Built by Kianna Alexander: A Book Review

Carolina Built
Author: Kianna Alexander
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Gallery
Release Date: February 22, 2022
Pages: 327
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Josephine N. Leary is determined to build a life of her own and a future for her family. When she moves to Edenton, North Carolina from the plantation where she was born, she is free, newly married, and ready to follow her dreams.

     As the demands of life pull Josephine’s attention away, it becomes increasingly difficult for her to pursue her real estate aspirations. She finds herself immersed in deepening her marriage, mothering her daughters, and being a dutiful daughter and granddaughter. Still, she manages to teach herself to be a businesswoman, to manage her finances, and to make smart investments in the local real estate market. But with each passing year, it grows more and more difficult to focus on building her legacy from the ground up.

       My Review: Carolina Built is a biographical novel of Josephine Napoleon Leary, who was born an African slave but became a successful real estate entrepreneur in North Carolina. Josephine dreams of building a future for her family. She and her husband move to Edenton, North Carolina where they own a barber shop. While being a wife and mother, Josephine wants to pursue her passion for real estate. However, she learns that it is difficult to pursue her dreams from the ground up.

     Josephine Napoleon Leary is a fascinating and hard working businesswoman. She was born from slavery but the emancipation freed her as a young woman. From an early age, she loved book learning and is very intellectual. She wants to build a legacy that her children and grandchildren will be proud of. She is very determined to pursue her dreams. Even when it's difficult, she never gives up. Josephine also learns business on her own. While she makes some mistakes, she is able to learn from them. Therefore, Josephine is an admirable woman who worked from the ground up and became a successful entrepreneur.

     Overall, this novel is about perseverance, family, and ambition. The message of the novel is to never give up on your dreams. Aside from Josephine, I felt the supporting characters were flat and seemed to blend in together. There were some parts of the novel that I thought were very rushed. Still, I thought this novel was very well-written! I found Josephine’s story to be inspirational and moving. Prior to reading Carolina Built, I had never heard of her, and I’m curious to know why she is largely forgotten. Josephine Napoleon Leary was a courageous woman who continued to work hard despite the adversity she faced. Thus, Carolina Built shines a light on an important but forgotten successful entrepreneur. I recommend this for fans of Island Queen, The Great Mrs. Elias, and A Betting Woman!

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


Popular posts from this blog

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki: A Book Review

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Author: Allison Pataki Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Ballantine Release Date: February 15, 2022 Pages: 381 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Mrs. Post, the President and First Lady are here to see you. . . . So begins another average evening for Marjorie Merriweather Post. Presidents have come and gone, but she has hosted them all. Growing up in the modest farmlands of Battle Creek, Michigan, Marjorie was inspired by a few simple rules: always think for yourself, never take success for granted, and work hard—even when deemed American royalty, even while covered in imperial diamonds. Marjorie had an insatiable drive to live and love and to give more than she got. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar’s treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood’s biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweath

Before the Alamo by Florence Byham Weinberg: A Book Review

  Before the Alamo Author: Florence Byham Weinberg Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Maywood House Release Date: 2021 Pages: 299 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Emilia Altamirano, Tejana, half Native American, half Spanish, is the daughter of a Royalist officer who fought against Mexico's independence in the Battle of the Medina River. Growing up in Bexar de San Antonio, she becomes literate, is adopted as a ward of José Antonio Navarro, and acts as a page in the Ayuntamiento (City Council). She serves as a nurse in the Battle of the Alamo but survives to face an uncertain future.            My Review: Before the Alamo chronicles the events prior to the Battle of the Alamo from a tejana’s perspective, a Texan woman of Spanish descent. Emilia is the daughter of a wealthy Spaniard and a Native American slave. She becomes a ward to Jose Antonio Navarro, a Texas war hero. Jose teaches Emilia to read and write. Under his tutelage, she becomes

The Dark Queens: The Bloody Rivalry that Forged the Medieval World by Shelley Puhak: A Book Review

  The Dark Queens: The Bloody Rivalry that Forged the Medieval World Author: Shelley Puhak Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography Publisher: Bloomsbury Release Date: February 22, 2022 Pages: 378 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: The remarkable, little-known story of two trailblazing women in the Early Middle Ages who wielded immense power, only to be vilified for daring to rule.      Brunhild was a foreign princess, raised to be married off for the sake of alliance-building. Her sister-in-law Fredegund started out as a lowly palace slave. And yet-in sixth-century Merovingian France, where women were excluded from noble succession and royal politics was a blood sport-these two iron-willed strategists reigned over vast realms, changing the face of Europe.      The two queens commanded armies and negotiated with kings and popes. They formed coalitions and broke them, mothered children and lost them. They fought a decades-long civil war-against each ot