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13 January 2010

Book Tour & Review: Corrigans' Pool by Dot Ryan

Title: Corrigans' Pool
Author: Dot Ryan
Publisher: iUniverse
Publication Date: April 28, 2009
Paperback: 424 pages
ISBN: 978-0595487417
Genre: Historical Fiction


About the Book:

Bitter with thoughts of the darkly handsome stranger who promised to marry her and then left town without a word, Ella Corrigan hastily weds a neighboring planter—a man whose cold indifference is merely a disguise for cunning insanity. His cruelty to his slaves horrifies her and, even though her family has owned slaves for generations, she questions the concept of human bondage for the first time while desperately missing her cherished Greenpoole plantation and Corrigan’s Pool … a beautiful phenomenon of nature that the slaves call “Conjuring Pool” for reasons they cannot explain when asked.

The South is embroiled in a bitter Civil War by the time Ella Corrigan discovers that Corrigans’ Pool is much more than the exquisitely beautiful pond she had thought it to be all her life. But by the time she learns its dangerous secret she is deeply entangled in a secret of her own … one that has made her a virtual prisoner, hopelessly trapped in a world dreadfully different from her previous existence as mistress of her gentle father’s palatial plantation home along the Savannah River. Stunned by what she sees, she must harden herself to her new surroundings or perish … along with the cowed and scarred Negroes who toil in her husband’s rice swamps and cotton fields. Always in the back of her mind, are memories of the man who loved her and left her, the man she has long blamed for her misery.

My Review:

As I shed tears of joy, exasperation, grief, injustice, and faith while reading this magnificent novel, I kept thinking how Corrigans' Pool is an absolute must read novel. Until approached to host a tour for Corrigans' Pool, I had neither heard of the novel nor the author, which was my loss and I am ever so grateful I was introduced to this stunningly beautiful, historical novel which takes place in the Civil War era. Unlike some Civil War books, this novel focuses primarily of the lives of those who live at Greenpoole and the inhabitants of Moss Green and the disparity between the two. Interspersed throughout the novel, the reader's attention is divided between Savannah, Georgia, Green Poole and Moss Green. In Corrigan's Pool, Ryan has the reader view the Civil War as the country prepares, enters, and ends the war, through the eyes and strength of mainly the women and their ever-faithful servants. There is so much I want to write about Ella and Honoria Corrigan, their husbands, the Matriarch Beatrice, Hannah, Baker Ben, Cricket as well as those who helped and those who betrayed them along they way. However, I shall refrain as I do not want to give too much of the story away. The Corrigan's have lived at Greenpoole for generations, known for their kindness, compassion and kind treatment of the servants. Sadly, this was not the case of all plantations, especially Moss Creek and the tyrannical Victor Faircloth. Corrigans' Pool is about love, family, redemption, emancipation and the struggles faced before, during, and after the Civil War. The reader, upon reading the first page, will immediately be transported to 1860s Georgia through detailed and beautiful prose, dialogue, and history. Corrigan's Pool, Greenpool's treasure, is a turning point in the novel and one of true beauty. Without hesitation I recommend Corrigans' Pool and believe it would be such a wonderful book for book groups to discuss, as Ryan has filled every page with poignant moments that linger with the reader.

About the Author:

Dot Ryan, born and raised in Bee County in South Texas, makes her home in “the sparkling city by the sea,” Corpus Christi, Texas, with husband, Sam. Corrigans’ Pool is Dot’s first novel. She is busy writing her second and third works of fiction. To learn more, please visit herwebsite.

Dot Ryan’s CORRIGANS’ POOL VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR ‘09 will officially begin on Dec. 1st and end on Jan. 30. You can visit Dot’s blog stops at to discover more about this great book and its talented author.

I received a copy of Corrigans' Pool by Dot Ryan from Pump Up Your Book Promotion as part of the tour. Receiving a copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.



pam said...

Historical fiction is my favourite! I bet this is a great book.

Genny said...

I have to read this now! (And I'm not even a huge fan of historical fiction.) Your review is great and the book sounds awesome. Thanks, Jennifer!

stacybuckeye said...

I'd never heard of this one, but it sounds like one I'd like.

Dot Ryan said...

I know I've thanked you for the wonderful review, Jennifer, but thanks again!

Pam, Genny, Stacybuckeye . . . thanks for your comments. I hope you read Corrigans' Pool and love it!