Review: Folly Park by Heidi Hackford


The Details:

Folly Parky by Heidi Hackford

Published: 15 November 2022

Publisher: She Writes Press

Genre: Southern Fiction

Pages: 312

Available: ebook, paperback

 Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of her book for review.

Temple Preston descends from four storied families with roots anchored deep in the red clay of the South, plantation-owning families whose luxurious lives were built on the backs of their enslaved workers. Temple feels the weight of her ancestry every day as she works to keep alive her ancestral home, Folly Park, now a tourist destination, and honor her heroic great grandfather, General Thomas Smith. But it’s not that simple.

In Temple, author Hackford creates a character who struggles with her guilt and pride in equal measure. When a new intern arrives, seemingly with an agenda that may mar the reputation of Caroline Smith, the General's wife, Temple’s eyes are opened to the deep character flaws in her family. The more she delves into the ugly secrets of the past, the more her perspective shifts from those who owed the land to those who were forced to work it. At the same time, Temple fights to free herself from her overbearing father. Threaded through the story is a sweet but subtle romance. 

I really enjoyed reading this novel. It reads like a dual time line through the use of letters and diary entries. Hackford brings alive the prewar days of the American Civil War and the lives of key characters General Thomas and Caroline Smith, their cousin Jane, an abolitionist from Boston, and King, and enslaved man. With great skill, she peels back the protective layer of time, rubs at the protective veneer of ancestor worship, revealing their darkest deeds and the heartbreaking tragedies that formed their lives. The ending of both the modern day and the past narrative left me completely surprised.

More than just an entertaining story, through Temple’s struggle the book explores issues of family dynamics and race relations, and questions how to deal with the ugliness of the past, especially in the American South.

I rate this book 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Here is a link to see more about the book:


Popular Posts