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Todd (The Cedar Cove Chronicles, Book One) by Cynthia Ulmer

Todd, The Cedar Cove Chronicles, Cynthia Ulmer, book review, sprkit, On My Kindle Book Reviews

Disclosure: I received monetary compensation for this honest review.
Source: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Genre:  Fiction, Historical Fiction
Format: eBook, Print
Publication Date:  December 1, 2013

Back Cover

Todd is a southern novel about family love, faith and endurance. In 1943, ten year old Todd Jansan lives with his family on a North Carolina tobacco farm. The Jansan's neighbor, Horace Hammond is a cruel man who punishes his children by holding them over a well. The Jansans have to deal with his cruelty and with the mystery surrounding Todd's uncle who is off at war.


Please note: Since this is a paid review, I will not post it on Goodreads or merchants' websites. As such, I have included a rating and a brief explanation of the rating at the end of the review.

Todd is set in rural North Carolina on a tobacco farm during the 1940's and is narrated by a ten-year-old boy, Todd Jansan. The plot revolves around two central themes: the conflict between the Jansan family and the Hammond's, and the conflict within the family between Todd's father and Todd's uncle who has returned home after being wounded in World War II. Both conflicts have the potential to tear the family apart as Todd's father struggles to exemplify the merits of faith, love, and perseverance to keep the family together.

Like some readers before me, I was a bit concerned about the cruelty and abuse mentioned in the book's blurb; however, my concern was unfounded since Ulmer did not discuss the subject in graphic detail.

In a world filled with gizmos and gadgets to help streamline life, it was a joy to read a heartfelt story that took me back to a time before life became a frenzied, frantic rat-race. The picturesque setting is the perfect backdrop to refreshingly unidealized characters who were so artfully crafted that I sometimes forgot they were fictitious.

The plot itself is brilliant and the dialogue is eloquent! Readers get a glimpse of life on a tobacco farm in North Carolina, as well as internal and external strife, through the eyes of a realistically observant ten-year-old narrator who idolizes an uncle who has served his country. The dialogue makes the characters endearing and imbues the plot with simple Southern flair.

Todd is an enjoyable, cozy read that has a profound and timeless quality to it. I highly recommend it to readers who enjoy historical and Southern fiction!

Rating: 5/5 - Todd has a charming and quaint setting, it is filled with true-to-life and intriguing dialogue, and the protagonists exude old-time Southern family values. It really is the embodiment of Southern fiction!

About Cynthia Ulmer

Cynthia Ulmer, Todd, The Cedar Cove Chronicles, book review, On My Kindle Book Review
Cynthia Ulmer, author. Photo courtesy of Goodreads.
I enjoy writing, reading, listening to music, being with my family and working in my church. Writing has always been my passion. Some people struggle with what they are meant to do in life and others just know it all along. I've known since I was a small child that I wanted to write--the stories were always in my head.

My series, The Cedar Cove Chronicles, is set in the fictional community of Cedar Cove, North Carolina and follows the lives of the Jansan family, their friends and neighbors during the 40's and 50's.
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What did you think of Todd by Cynthia Ulmer? Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: I received monetary compensation for this honest review.