Author Name: Andrew Joyce
Genre: Adventure/Historical Fiction
Molly is about to set off on the adventure of a lifetime . . . of two lifetimes.
It’s 1861 and the Civil War has just started. Molly is an eighteen-year-old girl living on her family’s farm in Virginia when two deserters from the Southern Cause enter her life. One of them—a twenty-four-year-old Huck Finn—ends up saving her virtue, if not her life.
Molly is so enamored with Huck, she wants to run away with him. But Huck has other plans and is gone the next morning before she awakens. Thus starts a sequence of events that leads Molly into adventure after adventure; most of them not so nice.
We follow the travails of Molly Lee, starting when she is eighteen and ending when she is fifty-six. Even then Life has one more surprise in store for her.
I first saw him in the light of the setting sun. He sat straight and proud astride a chestnut mare, handsome in his grey lieutenant’s uniform. He rode into the yard following my pa who was driving the family wagon. In the back of the wagon lay the “Captain.”
This adventure is so unlike anything I have ever had the pleasure of reading, and now I've discovered this craving for Wild West type books thanks to Andrew Joyce's fabulously entertaining novel. The book closely catalogs the dangerous and exciting adventures of Molly Lee, an innocent young girl in the beginning, but one with fire, passion, and eventually a wisdom beyond her years toward the end.
There are so many things to make note of in this novel. One is the marvelous development we are privy to with Molly's character. With each new adventure, challenge or obstacle we can see the growth she makes and the wisdom she gains though we are also exposed to how truly vulnerable and lonely she finds herself at times. Not one to complain or wallow in her dire circumstances, she always finds a way to rise above the trials while keeping hold of her kind heart and her natural love and concern for others.
At first I wasn't quite sure what to make of her, simply because she went from having her virtue saved by Huck Finn to jumping right into a situation where her virtue was taken while chasing after him. It made me throw my hands up in the air and say, "Well, that was a waste!" but I didn't, at that point, fully understand what the author was doing. He took a young woman with very little understanding of how the world worked at that time, and eventually presented the reader with a woman who was not only wise to the ways of the world, but was fully capable of taking care of herself and the legacy she eventually built for her step-daughter. For a woman to be able to accomplish so much without relying on a husband, well, it simply wasn't done during that time period. Not that the women weren't hardy back then, but providing a living without a man around was much more difficult in that era.
Another thing I want to mention is the incredible amount of research that went into this and the wonderful attention to detail. The author made me feel as if I was there driving cattle with Molly and her drovers. The culture, customs, and settings were described so thoroughly that I could picture everything with perfect clarity. There was never a point during this book where I felt like it might be a good time to stop and make dinner or do laundry etc. I had to, of course, but that doesn't mean I was happy about it. I simply wanted to read until the very end, and once I finished, I felt a little bereft. I'd grown so attached to Molly. This woman is someone I want in my corner, and I can't imagine anyone reading this and not falling in love with her.
There are parts of Molly's adventures that may be difficult for some sensitive readers to absorb. She is raped, and must live for a time as a lady of the night in order to get by, but the author does not give any details when it comes to the rapes or any sexual details involving her temporary work as a prostitute. It is mentioned and then the story moves on from there. Very tastefully done, and I appreciated that. I also appreciated the fact that the author didn't shy away from the harsh realities of what women had to do to survive in that era. It was a truthful portrait of her struggle for survival and a tricky balance to attempt, but the author navigated it in a way that kept the book PG-13. Beautifully done, there.
Great pacing, wonderful characterization, chilling villains and lovable secondary characters. A perfect recipe for a fantastic adventure. So the real question is this: Does she ever succeed in finding Huck Finn? I guess you'll have to buy the book and read it to find out.
I think anyone who loves a good Wild West adventure and a strong female character is going to fall in love with Molly Lee. I highly recommend it to pretty much anyone, and I want the next book...NOW!...um...please.
I gave it five cherry blossoms!
My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. C.J. has been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my latest book, MOLLY LEE. It’s averaging 4.9 stars on Amazon. It is also available in paperback. Please check it out. Here’s the link: http://geni.us/molly
I would love to tell you all about it, but instead, I have to turn the writing duties over to my dog whose name is Danny. You see, he can be pretty insistent at times. We recently had some excitement in our lives and he can’t wait to tell you about it. For what it’s worth, this is a true story. And when you are finished reading it, please click on the link to my book and check it out. Danny is not the only genius in our household.
Danny and the Three Monsters
Hello dog fans, it is I, Danny the Dog! I haven’t been writing much lately because I’ve been helping my human, whose name is Andrew, look after three Labrador retrievers. What a nightmare! There is Chloe, who is fourteen months old, and then there is Beau and Hank. They are both four months old and they are holy terrors. They live on a boat down at the end of the dock. Their human was going out of town and he asked my human to look after them and Andrew, being the idiot that he is, said yes.
First of all, I want to say to Jeff, the human that lives with the three monsters, don’t ever leave them in Andrew’s care again. I wouldn’t trust him to look after a taco, much less three dogs.
The trouble started right away. Jeff had two crates (humans call them crates; I call them cages) for Beau and Hank because, as I’ve said, they are holy terrors. Andrew went over to take them for their first walk after Jeff left, and of course, he has to take me along to help out. Anyway, Andrew gets them out of the crates and is getting them off the boat when clumsy Hank falls into the water.
Let me paint the picture for you. It was nighttime. It was dark. The water was dark and Hank is black. Andrew and I could see nothing of Hank. We could only hear him splashing around. The dock is about five feet above the water so Andrew couldn’t get him out by standing on the dock. Being the genius that he is (just kidding), Andrew got on the swim platform, which—for you landlubbers—is attached to the back of a boat and is only a foot above the water.
Now this is where Andrew’s “genius” comes into play. He took off his glasses and placed them on the transom so they wouldn’t slip off while he was bending over to pull Hank out of the water. He called to Hank. Hank swam over and Andrew got him onto the boat. Then Andrew went to get his glasses and they were not there or anywhere else on the boat. It looked as though Beau knocked them into the water because he had his paws up in that general vicinity while he was watching Andrew rescue his brother (they’re twins). All this in the first five minutes of Andrew looking after the monsters. And it only got better, and by better, I mean worse. I had a ball watching Andrew trying to cope for four days.
On to the next disaster, but first a side note. For some reason Beau is enthralled with me. The damn dog wouldn’t leave me alone. He put his snoot in my face, ran around me, bounced around me; he was a royal pain in my rear end. Finally, I had to growl at him and give him a little nip on his snoot to get some peace.
Now back to Andrew’s genius. We got the dogs back on the boat without further mishaps. Andrew fed them and all was well. But then Andrew decided not to put Hank and Beau in their crates. He felt sorry for them being cooped up like that. Big mistake!
The next morning when we went to get them, there was poop everywhere. The whole floor was covered in it. The babies had gotten into the dog food bag, ripped it open and ate it all. Then they pooped everywhere and walked in it. They got it on the couch, on the sliding glass doors, on everything. I think even on the ceiling. Needless to say, after spending two hours cleaning it all up, Andrew changed his mind about the crates.
Last night we were hanging out. Andrew was staring into space because he did not have his glasses and could not read a book or see the computer screen. I was on the computer starting this story when Chloe came onto our boat. She’s always coming here and stealing my water bowl! To date, she has taken five. But she should have been locked up on her own boat! Andrew got up, looked out, saw Jeff, and said, “Thank God! Thank God!” I barked the same thing. Our days of taking care of the monsters were over. Thank God!
P.S. This morning Jeff came over with Andrew’s glasses. Beau had taken them and hidden them in his stash place. And by the way, I have my own Facebook page and it’s a lot cooler than Andrew’s. Here’s a link: http://geni.us/dannythedog
Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written three books, and a collection of almost one hundred stories that is comprised of his hitching adventures, written as veiled non-fiction called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS, and his latest novel, REDEMPTION. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Andrew Joyce's latest novel, REDEMPTION, has hit #1 in two categories over the last year and was (for a short while) the number 27th best selling book on Amazon (out of over 2,000,000 books).