Margaret Anne: Child of the West Wind
Ronan James Cassidy
Xulon Press (2022)
Reviewed by Lily Andrews for Reader Views (01/2023)
“Margaret Anne: Child of the West Wind” is a taut rendition by Ronan James Cassidy that artfully mirrors 19th-century America. It’s the year 1859, and America is on the brink of the brutal Civil War. On a cold hibernal night on February 24th, in the woods of the Carolina midlands, Margaret Anne was born in a hidden cabin. As an illegitimate daughter to a Haitian woman, Miss Jeanne, and a wealthy plantation owner, Mr. Edward Calhoun, Margaret was determined to survive against all odds.
However, for the little girl, danger lurked in the shadows as many socio-political battles break out peripherally as she comes of age, including dark family secrets that have long been kept concealed. As colonial estates strive to shape an identity as a nation under God, moral depravity, enduring societal and economical clashes, and spiritual conflicts play out as light and darkness contend with each other to shape the direction of a country severely torn by injustice. Against the backdrop of this tumultuous era, is a woman determined in helping restore dignity and honor to the Black community against the cruelty and oppression that they had long suffered for decades under the brutal hand of slavery even if it meant putting her life on the line.
Expertly told, “Margaret Anne: Child of the West Wind” is a captivating tale that ably captures the courage and determination of a remarkable woman during such an uncertain time in history. Marked by careful research and adroit storytelling, Cassidy’s work serves as a reminder that the pursuit of liberty is always worth the risk. At turns heartrending and poignant and elsewhere, beautiful and spiritually uplifting, this text is a triumph in its own right. Historically precise and vividly written, the author goes beyond common literature to unveil the soul of a nation in need of redemption, healing and rebuilding.
Although quite detailed as it stares into complex issues during the Civil War period, Author Cassidy’s novel brings history to life with a story that is not only as intimate as a lullaby but also one that evokes a period that still resonates with many. Readers that seek to know more about American history weaved in an affecting and intricate story will find “Margaret Anne: Child of the West Wind” an ode worth poring over.