Book Review: Reconstructing Jackson by Holly Bush

16067757Title: Reconstructing Jackson
Author: Holly Bush
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: BookBaby
Publication Date: September 25th 2012
Author Website | Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Review copy provided by the author in exchange for honest review.

1867 . . . Southern lawyer and Civil War veteran, Reed Jackson, returns to his family’s plantation in a wheelchair. His father deems him unfit, and deeds the Jackson holdings, including his intended bride, to a younger brother. Angry and bitter, Reed moves west to Fenton, Missouri, home to a cousin with a successful business, intending to start over.
Belle Richards, a dirt poor farm girl aching to learn how to read, cleans, cooks and holds together her family’s meager property. A violent brother and a drunken father plot to marry her off, and gain a new horse in the bargain. But Belle’s got other plans, and risks her life to reach them.
Reed is captivated by Belle from their first meeting, but wheelchair bound, is unable to protect her from violence. Bleak times will challenge Reed and Belle’s courage and dreams as they forge a new beginning from the ashes of war and ignorance.

I didn’t get to read a lot of historical fiction novels this year, unfortunately. I’m a big fan of the genre, but it takes a certain mindset to be willing to travel back in time and experience life from several centuries ago, and not every book manages this time-transport equally well. Reconstructing Jackson does though. Even after a few pages, I felt like I was back in the 1860s, breathing the ancient air and wrapping myself in old, traditional customs. Reed Jackson is an intriguing, well-constructed, complex character I liked almost right away. He’s been dealt some bad cards in life, but nevertheless he tries to make something from it. He sees challenges and tries to conquer them, but even though so, being refined to a wheelchair and being kicked out of his family home may be two challenges he has trouble overcoming.

He intends to start over with a fresh slate. Unfortunately, demons of the past keep haunting him and his new life doesn’t go as well as he’d hoped. He meets a yougn damsel in distress by the name of Belle Richards. He falls head over heels from her, but then again can’t find true happiness because of his inability to protect the woman he loves. I liked Belle, even if I thought Reed wore intriguing than she was. She’s from humble descent, but has a courageous heart, and even if she grew up with a drunk father and violent, aggressive brother, she tries to make the best of it. What I admired most about her, was how she never gave up, and by doing that, she managed to give Reed confidence and courage as well.

There are no major battles being fought, no evil schemes that threaten entire countries, but what Reconstructing Jackson offers instead is a heart-warming, at times devastating, tale of a man and a woman who have to struggle in order to be together, and who faces challenges at every corner. It’s an inspiring story, and well told. The language is descriptive and fitting for the era, but never rattles off into too much detail. I very much enjoyed reading this novel, and will definitely read more books by author Holly Bush in the future.


  1. Thanks so much for the thoughtful review and for sharing Reconstructing Jackson with your followers!

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