Narrated by a sharp-eyed but genial family servant named Henry Hawthorne, this novel vividly brings to life its beautiful heroine, whose headstrong and wayward childhood foreshadows the fierce freedom fighter she will become as the Revolutionary War approaches Charleston.
The lives of Jenny and her family are intertwined with those of the Smythes, owners of the adjoining plantation, and the dizzying, often hilarious feud between Jenny’s father and Mr. Smythe forms the backdrop against which Jenny’s story unfolds. Scrupulously researched, Jenny Dorset recreates 18th-century Charleston like no story ever has—from its heyday in the 1760s as an energetic, boisterous seaport until 1782 when it gained its independence from British occupation. The city’s teeming life—on the streets, by the docks, in the taverns—adds a rich texture to the fabric of the novel.
Woven into the tapestry of 18th-century Charleston, this comic epic traces the rise of two low-country plantation families and propels readers on a merry adventure. Jenny Dorset is a big, sprawling story set in a time and place where high adventure was afoot, depicting Charleston from its heyday in the 1760s as an energetic seaport until 1782, when it gained its independence from Britain.
Hardcover, Longstreet Press, 1997
Softcover, University of Georgia Press, 2001