2 out of 4 stars
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Jemima’s Secret opens your heart to the story of Allie and her family’s history. Her ancestors were fundamental in the founding and development of the city of Alexandria, Virginia. Currently, the city is eyeing her family lands for commercial development. Allie plans to present a civil suit against the city of Alexandria to prove her family’s ownership of this land. She needs to locate the land grant documents that prove that these lands belonged to her ancestors. Her studies at the Smithsonian give her access to historical documents. She has also been examining papers and pictures left to her by her great-grandmother, Jemima. Will she uncover enough evidence to save her family's land?
The city officials of Alexandria are salivating at the prospect of developing this prime piece of waterfront property. They will use any means necessary to contest Allie’s real estate claims. Will corporate money and power crush Allie’s determination? Can Allie’s friend, Kent, protect her and her family's heritage?
Allie Ann Alexander chose Alexandria, Virginia, as an appropriate venue for this story. The author cites books about Virginia’s history. The “Real Story of Eminent Domain in Virginia” can be downloaded as a pdf file. A map of the family’s original claim reinforces the historical aspect of the story.
I enjoyed all the historical facts included in the story. The author shares a wealth of information about colonial family life. References to well-known historical personalities lend authenticity to the story. I also liked the romance that developed between the two main characters.
I thought parts of the resolution ended too abruptly. There was good build-up regarding the antagonist. He had depth and history. Suspense and reputation added to his character. After such a good start, this character did not reach his full potential.
The editing of this book detracted from the reading. Simple errors, like two periods at the end of sentences and extras spaces, jarred the reading flow. Another round of editing would improve this fascinating story.
I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. The abrupt ending and the numerous grammar mistakes affected my decision. If these errors could be corrected, I would happily raise the score. The historical material presented is valuable and exciting.
Readers who enjoy historical fiction related to the original colonies will treasure this book. Romance fans will applaud Allie's blossoming love life. People who prefer stories with legal themes will find the information about eminent domain informative and stimulating. Readers who become frustrated with short books will have to look further. This book, though interesting, finishes rather quickly as 56 pages fly by in the blink of an eye!
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