Join us for a virtual conversation with North Carolina author Denise Heinze. She will be discussing her newest novel, The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew, on October 14th at 6PM! Great for fans of The Hamilton Affair and The Engineer's Wife, this novel explores a fictional account of two women in America's first colony.
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Determined to set the historical record straight, and clear her conscience, Temperance Flowerdew -- the wife of Virginia's first two governors -- puts quill to paper, recounting the hardships that nearly brought the Jamestown colony to its knees, and the extraordinary sacrifice of her servant girl, Lily.
''In this vividly imagined historical novel, Denise Heinze gives voice to one of the few survivors of the darkest period (1609-10) in the life of the Jamestown colony. The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew is not only an unforgettable account of the extreme hardships faced by the colonists but also the moving story of two remarkable young women who faced the challenges with courage and ingenuity.'' --Nancy Grayson, executive editor emeritus, University of Georgia Press
When she steps aboard the Falcon in 1609, Temperance Flowerdew was not only setting sail from England to the distant shores of America, she was embarking upon a future of opportunity. She didn't yet know how she would make her mark, but in this new place she could do or be whatever she wanted.
Willing as she is to brave this new world, Temperance is utterly ill-equipped to survive the wilderness; all she knows is how to live inside the pages of adventure and philosophy books. Loyally at her side, Lily helps Temperance weather pioneer life. A young woman running from lifelong accusations of witchcraft, Lily finds friendship with Temperance and an acceptance of her psychic gifts. Together, they forge paths within the community: Temperance attempts to advise the makeshift government, while Lily experiences the blossoming of first love.
''Denise Heinze skillfully resurrects a forgotten life, and puts her heroine where she belongs -- at the center, not the sidelines, of early Jamestown history. Wonderfully inventive, briskly plotted, and rich with historical detail, this fact-filled novel will delight readers of historical fiction and women's history alike.'' --Kate Bolick, bestselling author of Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own
But as the harsh winter approaches, Lily intuitively senses a darkness creep over the colony and the veneer of civilized life threatens to fall away -- negotiations with the Indians grow increasingly hostile and provisions become scarce. Lily struggles to keep food on the table by foraging in the woods and being resourceful. Famine could mean the end of days. It's up to Lily to save them both, but what sacrifice will be enough to survive?
A transporting and evocative story, The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew is a fiercely hopeful novel -- a portrait of two intrepid women who choose to live out their dreams of a future more free than the past.
Denise Heinze, a former literature professor and a PhD graduate of Duke University, writes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. She is the author of the novel Sally St. Johns and her work has appeared in Now and Then, Thought and Action, Reunions, Wow! Women on Writing, THEMA literary journal, and Gemini Magazine; her story The Grid, was a quarter-finalist for the Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award. The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew is her second novel and was a finalist for the University of New Orleans Press Publishing Lab Prize. A descendant of Louisa May Alcott, she lives in North Carolina.