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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Book Blog Tour Stop - The Bequest of Big Daddy by Jo-Ann Costa


Publication Date: April 1, 2013
Koehler Books
Paperback; 280p
ISBN:  978-1-938467-27-1

Ratio Janson is the crusty patriarch with an infamous background and a hair-trigger temper, reverently referred to as Big Daddy by his family clan. His feisty great-granddaughter, Jo-Dee, overhears shocking gossip at Big Daddy's funeral and is determined to plumb his murky past, spanning the Civil War, Reconstruction and forging head-on into the twentieth century.

From a vast turpentine industry to the ruins of a decaying plantation with its feudal order a memory, Jo-Dee explores the complex nature of family and self, only to make a startling discovery. Will she betray her great-grandfather and disgrace the family name, or will she preserve his shameful secret? And on the ancient grounds of the family mansion destroyed in the Civil War, will Big Daddy's spirit claim her even from the grave? 


“Costa’s expressive voice effortlessly guides the compelling story… Costa’s debut novel tells the engaging story of a man whose tumultuous life provides an even greater tale than the grand myths that surround him.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Anyone who enjoys Southern fiction or picaresque novels will love this one!” — Lisa Alther, Author of four New York Times bestsellers

“All families have secrets, some darker than others. In her richly imagined debut novel, Jo-Ann Costa explores the impact of one family’s secret down through the decades and generations. The Bequest of Big Daddy marks the arrival of a fresh new voice in Southern literature.” — Will Allison, Author of the New York Times bestseller Long Drive Home.

My Thoughts:

I found "The Bequest of Big Daddy" an intriguing and very interesting look at a multi-generational family of the South.  Author Jo-Ann Costa takes her readers on quite a fascinating journey through time as she tells the story of the Jansen family from the beginning of the Civil War to present time.

This story is a very frank, often very gritty look at one man's battle to establish himself and his family in times that were very rough and very gritty.  This is a very mature story with some explicit situations and language, but it lends realism to the story that is very necessary to the plot.  The characters are fascinating and the plot moves along quickly, making this novel a lively and quick read.

I loved that Ms. Costa took inspiration for this book from her own family's legacy of storytelling. As a fellow Southerner, I can appreciate taking those mesmerizing old stories and creating new ones.  This is the first book in Ms. Costa's Longleaf Legacy series, and I look forward to the next book to see what the rest of her "family" gets up to!

I highly recommend this novel to anyone who is interested in the history of the Civil War-era, both pre and post, and in tales of family. 

About the Author:

Jo-Ann Costa studied her craft at the knees of her clannish Alabama kin, who are among the most accomplished at fabricating outlandish tales. Thus trained as a storyteller, Ms. Costa honed her compelling voice while serving in executive roles for a mega-corporation founded by the late Howard Hughes.

Along with the wildlife, Ms. Costa now makes her home at the edge of Colorado's Weminuche wilderness, where she writes historical fiction and mysteries. She is a graduate of California State University, the University of Southern California's Managerial Policy Institute, Leadership Southern California and the Public Affairs Institute. She also studied at the UCLA Writers’ Extension Program.

The Bequest of Big Daddy is the first book in her epic saga, Longleaf Legacy.
Link to Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/bequestofbigdaddytour/

Twitter Hashtag: #BigDaddyTour

My thanks to Historical Fiction Virtual Tours for including me on this tour and to the author for the review copy of the book. 

I was not compensated for my opinion.

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