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Nicole Marie Sorkin

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Books by Nicole Marie Sorkin

Winds of Change, by Carole Eglash-Kosoff
by Nicole Marie Sorkin   
Rated "PG13" by the Author.
Last edited: Saturday, October 01, 2011
Posted: Saturday, October 01, 2011

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Winds of Change is a whirlwind novel of bi-racial love set against those forgotten decades that include the Spanish-American War, the San Francisco earthquake, and World War I. It deals with segregation and injustices to Southern black and white communities during the post Civil War period when old attitudes persisted and interracial love led to disastrous consequences. The racially charged love and conflict of the critically acclaimed When Stars Align have become more entrenched. Josiah, Bess, and Stephen discover facts about themselves that refute everything they believed regarding both their parents and their racial background. Loves are thwarted as they each struggle with echoes of their past. It is a tumultuous time in American history that includes the inventions of airplanes,automobiles, telephones and movies, amidst decades of lynchings and economic turmoil. Racial biases complicate lives and relationships as newly arrived immigrants vie with white and Negro workers all trying to gain a piece of the American dream. It is a socially relevant, historically accurate, saga of decades often overlooked in American history. Winds of Change follows the next generation from those we came to know in When Stars Align. Carole Eglash-Kosoff lives and writes in Valley Village, California. She graduated from UCLA and spent her career teaching, writing, and traveling to more than seventy countries. An avid student of history, she researched the decades preceding and following the Civil War for nearly two years, including time in Louisiana, the setting for Winds of Change and When Stars Align. It is a story of bi-racial love during a period of terrible injustice. It is a story of war, reconstruction, and racism, but most of all; it is a story of hope. This is her third book. In 2006, following the death of her husband, she spent several months teaching in the black townships of South Africa. Her first book, The Human Spirit - Apartheid's Unheralded Heroes, tells the true life stories of an amazing array of men and women who have devoted their lives during the worst years of apartheid to help the children, the elderly, and the disabled of the townships. These people cared when no one else did and their efforts continue to this day.

 Winds of Change, by Carole Eglash-Kosoff, is a whirlwind novel of bi-racial frustration and love set against a cataclysmic period that includes the Spanish-American War, the San Francisco earthquake, and World War I.  It is a continuation of her novel, When Stars Align, but is a great stand-alone read as well.

Winds of Change deals with segregation and injustices to Southern Black and Colored communities during the post Civil War period.  Although Black legislators were elected and laws enforcing equality were passed, old attitudes persisted, including increases in Ku Klux Klan membership. Minorities were mistreated and interracial mixing led to disastrous consequences.

Josiah Rogers, his aunt Amy, her daughter Bess, and cousin Stephen, are living in San Francisco.  Josiah’s ancestors, safe in the belief that they were white, grew cotton, getting wealthy off the sweat of their slaves.  Amy passes away and Bess discovers a letter, hidden among her things, asking to be buried under a special magnolia tree at Moss Grove, the Louisiana cotton plantation where she’d fallen in love.  They comply, providing them an opportunity to meet the people who meant so much during her life and whom they’d only known as children.

Moss Grove is now owned by the Finemans, a Jewish family, with two grown children, Rachel, a dark haired beauty, and Stuart, who had always been attracted to Bess. Rachel and Josiah launch an explosive physical relationship that ends in their elopement despite her parent’s mistrust of Josiah.  Mr. Fineman is forced to reveal secrets about Stephen’s birth that doom the relationship between him and Bess.  Racial relationships of the past return to haunt them all.  

Winds of Change reflects on jazz, drugs, sex, war, and racism as vast numbers of Negroes leave the South, and the introduction of automobiles, airplanes, electric lights and movies whirl around everyone's lives.    

I found Winds of Change to be very adventurous as well as a wonderfully accurate historical novel.   This book is truly a masterpiece.  The language used is exquisite, the characters well drawn and believable.   Carole Eglash-Kosoff kept me in suspense and involved me in the lives of the characters by using highly developed visual imagery in her writing style.  This book displays how families from different cultures and values lived in the rural South, having diversities in people not generally accepted.

Winds of Change truly brings the terrors of the Spanish-American War, World War I and deathly activities to light as one can virtually feel the characters' pain.  But the beauty of the writer's language pulls the reader on, no matter how horrific the circumstances became. 

Carole Eglash-Kosoff makes it easy to understand and appreciate the generations of not-so-long-ago. I loved reading her book, allowing myself to step back in time to “savor” the home-cooked Southern meals and “hear” the heavily accented Southern folks talking to one another throughout her excellent descriptions. 

For educators, this book can certainly be used in your classroom to teach students about diversity and differences among cultures.  It teaches children to accept and respect cultures which are different from their own.  One clearly will appreciate the research which has gone into writing this book, and we thank the author for giving us all a glimpse of past cultural diversity, in this beautifully written historical novel.  

Web Site: Pacific Book Review

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