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Friday, June 14, 2013

Book Review - Have No Shame by Melissa Foster plus EBook Giveaway - 2 WINNERS

About the Author
Melissa Foster is the award-winning author of four International bestselling novels. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women's Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary Cafe. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success.
Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children, she's written for Calgary's Child Magazine and Women Business Owners Magazine, and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa's interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.

Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on The Women's Nest or her personal website.

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Book Description
The racially-charged prejudice of the deep South forces eighteen-year-old Alison Tillman to confront societal norms—and her own beliefs—when she discovers the body of a hate crime victim, and the specter of forbidden love turns her safe, comfortable world upside down.

Alison has called Forrest Town, Arkansas home for the past eighteen years. Her mother’s Blue Bonnet meetings, her father toiling night and day on the family farm, and the division of life between the whites and the blacks are all Alison knows. The winter of 1967, just a few months before marrying her high school sweetheart, Alison finds the body of a black man floating in the river, and she begins to view her existence with new perspective. The oppression and hate of the south, the ugliness she once was able to avert her eyes from, now demands her attention.

When a secretive friendship with a young black man takes an unexpected romantic turn, Alison is forced to choose between her predetermined future, and the dangerous path that her heart yearns for.

HAVE NO SHAME is an emotionally compelling coming of age novel featuring a young woman who cannot reconcile the life she wants with the one she’s been brought up to live.Have No Shame will resonate with anyone who has ever fallen in love, and those who have been forced to choose between what they know in their hearts to be true, and what others would like them to believe.

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Our Book Review
I was really surprised at the beginning of the book by the author giving the reader the option of reading the book with or without the southern dialect in the narrative, this is the first time I have come across this and truly appreciated the thoughtfulness.  I chose to read the book without the southern dialect.  The main story almost started immediately and the author's style of writing really brought the story and the characters alive.   I was so drawn to the storyline that I found the book very hard to put down.  I am quite a slow reader normally but actually read this book in three days which is quite a record for me, I just could not stop turning those pages!

Alison is only 18 and has been sheltered and protected all her life by her domineering father who she absolutely adores.  For years she has had deep rooted beliefs drilled into her and more importantly that she has learnt 'her place' in life.  She has lived all her life in a segregated world of whites and coloureds, the coloured people worked on her father's farm or lived in the town, they did not deserve to be spoken to or even be acknowledged, that was the norm.  She has never had to question these beliefs and considered them the natural way to live until one day she finds a coloured man's body, Byron Bingham, laying dead and well beaten in the river.  Unbeknownst to Alison at the time, this event will turn her life upside down and inside out.

Alison cannot help but question why this has happened and just how this tragedy must have affected the dead man's family.  She begins to feel shame and disgust for the way she, as well as others, have behaved towards the coloured people in her town and even starts to hate her fiance Jimmy Lee, who finds the chasing and beating of coloured's entertainment, he even let's her younger brother join in on the so called fun.  What is more, Maggie her older sister who schools away in New York, knows of a different world where whites and coloureds integrate well and starts to open her eyes to a whole new world.

Still engaged and planning her wedding, she meets kind and gentle Jackson, her soul partner whose soft love she falls deeply for but cannot allow her true love of a coloured man to continue for fear of what would happen to Jackson and the possibility of losing her father's love completely.

The book will have you hooked as you follow the tense rollercoaster story and the shocking and chaotic civil right era along with the sympathisers who help to try and make it a fairer and safer place to live for everyone.  I could have read so much more about Alison and Jackson's relationship, it was so beautiful.

This is quite a powerful and emotional story that at times made me feel pain, sadness and even anger at the way life was so different then and how people were treated so horrendously.  Yet the story is written in such a wonderful way that there is also so much beauty, love and respect that it will really pull on your heart. I felt myself wanting to shout out to Alison but had to remind myself that her world was completely different to the world we now take for granted and decisions could not be taken at will.

Truly a highly recommended emotive read that won't just leave you after you have turned the last page.  It will certainly leave you wanting more and I cannot wait to read much more from this author.

Our rating

printed book           ebook version



Open Worldwide
Ending on Sunday 30th June at 11.59pm EST

Enter Below and Good Luck !!

Sharon x

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  1. Thank you so much Sharon, for all of your hard work, and for your lovely review! I'm so happy that you enjoyed Have No Shame! xox

    1. It was an absolute pleasure to read Melissa, thanku xx

  2. This looks like a great read. I just got a Kobo and looking for books to read on it. Great review.

  3. this sounds like a great book adding it to my readinglist of books to be read

  4. This sounds like a great book, I love that the author was considerate enough to allow you to read it which every way was better for you. I am sure glad things have changed since then. I will have to read it to see if she truly did walk away from true love.

  5. I absolutely loved this book! Melissa Foster is a fantastic author and I look forward to reading additional novels by her. I can't wait to read about the next chapter in these characters lives. Their stories have stuck with me long after I finished reading this novel.

  6. I have seen a couple of reviews about this books and it does sound very good. I love books that make me want more and characters that I can get emotionally connected to.

  7. The book is very intriguing. Something you want to know because of the love between two race which was forbidden during those times. Might be a very good book to read and mysteries as well.

  8. My choice would be dependent upon how attractive my predetermined future is, vs how strong my love is. But I also make the bad choice so I'd likely go for love and end up alone, brokenhearted, and broke! :-)

  9. Great book and review. thanks for sharing even a short or part of the story :)


Always lovely to hear your comments xx

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