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Journey back to a time when the foothills of Northeast Georgia were scarcely more than a frontier, a summer retreat for the state's wealthy coastal elite, verdant watercolor vistas where the footprint of the Cherokee remained. Where one half-Cherokee, orphaned girl grows up in the shadow of a mystery. Who killed her father, and what happened to the gold he mined from the S Journey back to a time when the foothills of Northeast Georgia were scarcely more than a frontier, a summer retreat for the state's wealthy coastal elite, verdant watercolor vistas where the footprint of the Cherokee remained. Where one half-Cherokee, orphaned girl grows up in the shadow of a mystery. Who killed her father, and what happened to the gold he mined from the Sautee Valley? And with whom does she belong, the adoptive farm family who raised her, or her white inn-keeper grandmother? Forced from the only life she's ever known and molded into her grandmother's idea of a proper young lady, Mahala Franklin finds life in Clarkesville lonely and full of challenges. But there are at least pieces of the puzzle of her past to be fit together, and relationships that will shape her future ... with Clay Fraser, her Cherokee friend who wants to be so much more, with wealthy entrepreneur and competitor Jack Randall, with whom Mahala doesn't dare to dream of more, and with Carolyn Calhoun, unwilling socialite caught between her feelings for two very different brothers. As the lives of the coastal "summer people" mingle with those of Habersham's natives, a tapestry of love, friendship and intrigue unfolds, a tapestry laced with a brilliant thread that will lure you through all four books of The Georgia Gold Series.


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Journey back to a time when the foothills of Northeast Georgia were scarcely more than a frontier, a summer retreat for the state's wealthy coastal elite, verdant watercolor vistas where the footprint of the Cherokee remained. Where one half-Cherokee, orphaned girl grows up in the shadow of a mystery. Who killed her father, and what happened to the gold he mined from the S Journey back to a time when the foothills of Northeast Georgia were scarcely more than a frontier, a summer retreat for the state's wealthy coastal elite, verdant watercolor vistas where the footprint of the Cherokee remained. Where one half-Cherokee, orphaned girl grows up in the shadow of a mystery. Who killed her father, and what happened to the gold he mined from the Sautee Valley? And with whom does she belong, the adoptive farm family who raised her, or her white inn-keeper grandmother? Forced from the only life she's ever known and molded into her grandmother's idea of a proper young lady, Mahala Franklin finds life in Clarkesville lonely and full of challenges. But there are at least pieces of the puzzle of her past to be fit together, and relationships that will shape her future ... with Clay Fraser, her Cherokee friend who wants to be so much more, with wealthy entrepreneur and competitor Jack Randall, with whom Mahala doesn't dare to dream of more, and with Carolyn Calhoun, unwilling socialite caught between her feelings for two very different brothers. As the lives of the coastal "summer people" mingle with those of Habersham's natives, a tapestry of love, friendship and intrigue unfolds, a tapestry laced with a brilliant thread that will lure you through all four books of The Georgia Gold Series.

30 review for Sautee Shadows

  1. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    Full disclosure: I was chosen a First Reads winner, and received a paperback copy of Sautee Shadows, signed by the author, in the mail. She even personalized her note, as both us are named Denise. Here is my honest review: What an inspiring historical novel! This is the first installment in a set of four, and I am already looking forward to purchasing the second one. (All four novels are currently available, the fourth having just been published this month.) There are quite a few diverse and fasc Full disclosure: I was chosen a First Reads winner, and received a paperback copy of Sautee Shadows, signed by the author, in the mail. She even personalized her note, as both us are named Denise. Here is my honest review: What an inspiring historical novel! This is the first installment in a set of four, and I am already looking forward to purchasing the second one. (All four novels are currently available, the fourth having just been published this month.) There are quite a few diverse and fascinating characters, some who are historical persons and some who are fictional, and they are well-integrated into this moving story, set in both Georgia and the American northeast beginning in 1835 and progressing into 1855. Fortunately, Denise Weimer has provided a genealogical chart for four of the main families in the story. I initially referred to it several times, as I was getting the cast of characters firmly in mind. My favorite character is a young half-Cherokee girl (Mahala) with a feisty streak that gets her into trouble more than once. But the southern belles and their Yankee cousins are well-painted, too, as are the hoteliers and shop-keepers, the shipping tycoons, and their servants and slaves. Of course, one could not write a historical novel of this era without touching on the issues of slavery and forced emigration of the native American tribes. Weimer, a native of Georgia herself, seamlessly integrates her love of history as well as her experiences in period dance research into the well-crafted tale. It's always exciting to discover the voice of an enjoyable new author. Here is one who clearly knows the south and writes well about it! I found only one proof-reading error in the entire book (a place where a three word phrase was repeated within a sentence) and no misspellings or other typos. That in itself was refreshing! I debated overnight, before writing this, about whether to give it four or five stars, and finally settled on four, only because I can't really say that this works as a stand-alone novel. There are basic questions from the very start of the novel that remain unanswered at its close. I would, however, highly recommend this lyrical start to an intriguing story -- there's history, romance, and even a bit of mystery in it -- and am so grateful for the opportunity to have read it. If you're a fan of historical fiction, this will not disappoint!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Mcknight

    I liked hearing of the mountain areas I'm familiar with (Clarkesville, Sautee, etc) and the historical side of Savannah and the upcoming war. Overall a good read! I kept picking up other stuff so I'm glad I finally picked this up and committed to it. Looking forward to the other books in series. I liked hearing of the mountain areas I'm familiar with (Clarkesville, Sautee, etc) and the historical side of Savannah and the upcoming war. Overall a good read! I kept picking up other stuff so I'm glad I finally picked this up and committed to it. Looking forward to the other books in series.

  3. 5 out of 5

    zane deann

    3.5 rounded up to 4

  4. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    Denise Weimer has woven a magical tapestry of history and fiction around the lives of four families in the hot, sultry climate of southern Georgia during a volatile time when differences between the North and South over slavery are threatening to come to a boil and the Cherokee people are being forced off their land and made to relocate. In this first installment of her Georgia Gold Series, she introduces and provides background for three standout characters: Mahala Franklin, a beautiful young w Denise Weimer has woven a magical tapestry of history and fiction around the lives of four families in the hot, sultry climate of southern Georgia during a volatile time when differences between the North and South over slavery are threatening to come to a boil and the Cherokee people are being forced off their land and made to relocate. In this first installment of her Georgia Gold Series, she introduces and provides background for three standout characters: Mahala Franklin, a beautiful young woman who endures prejudice and rejection because she is half-white and half-Cherokee; Jack Randolph, the son of a wealthy shipbuilder who abhors slavery and longs to return to his original homeplace in New York; and Dev Rousseau, a true Southerner who plans to enter the military if the perceived war between the North and South becomes reality. Chocked full of history, with dialogue true to the time, characters that intrigue and beguile, and what promises to be an adventurous and exciting journey, this is certain to be an interesting, entertaining series.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Sautee Shadows (The Georgia Gold Series #1) by Denise Weimer I have read plenty of historical novels before, but none prepared me for such an extensive history lesson. I was extremely impressed with the author’s knowledge of history concerning Georgia, the gold rush, the plight of the Cherokee Indians, slavery and the various opinions about it from Southerners to Northerners. She had to have done extensive research in writing this book. If you are a history buff, then you will really enjoy this b Sautee Shadows (The Georgia Gold Series #1) by Denise Weimer I have read plenty of historical novels before, but none prepared me for such an extensive history lesson. I was extremely impressed with the author’s knowledge of history concerning Georgia, the gold rush, the plight of the Cherokee Indians, slavery and the various opinions about it from Southerners to Northerners. She had to have done extensive research in writing this book. If you are a history buff, then you will really enjoy this book. The novel jumps all over (New York, NY; Princeton, NJ; Newport, RI; Savannah, GA; Sautee Valley, GA; Habersham County, GA; Chatham County, GA; Montpelier, GA; Clarkesville, GA) from 1835 to 1855. And follows four families as their lives eventually begin to intertwine with each other. It did take me a while to get into the book, sorting out the different families and where they were from and going back and forth from families and towns and States. But once I got the hang of it, I really got interested in the story. If you live in North Georgia or Savannah you’ll find this novel interesting, because you’ll recognize the locations and historical landmarks. I’m a Georgia girl and have visited Savannah and North Georgia, but now would love to go back and see if I can find some of the historical places mentioned in the book. This is Book 1 in a series of 4. The second book, The Gray Divide, will be coming out in September 2013 and will continue the story of these families as the States prepare for war. I met the author, Denise Weimer, at a book signing at The Carpenter’s Shop in Athens, Georgia and she was positively delightful. I enjoyed talking to her about her books. I could tell she was really excited about Georgia history. Now I know why...she’s very smart!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Meagan

    Fiction with some history mixed in This book is interesting to read, especially if you like learning about history in the US in the mid-1800's. It mostly takes place in Georgia, with a little in New York. The book alternates mostly between two people's lives, Jack and Mahala. It felt like I was reading two different stories, so I was very glad when those two people finally met in the end. Unfortunately, at that point, there were other "main" characters introduced, so the other books in the seri Fiction with some history mixed in This book is interesting to read, especially if you like learning about history in the US in the mid-1800's. It mostly takes place in Georgia, with a little in New York. The book alternates mostly between two people's lives, Jack and Mahala. It felt like I was reading two different stories, so I was very glad when those two people finally met in the end. Unfortunately, at that point, there were other "main" characters introduced, so the other books in the series may switch back and forth between each of their point of views. I was disappointed in the unanswered questions at the end, especially about what happened to Mahala's father. I'm sure it will be answered in one of the other books, but it almost seems like it's too late now for her to ever find anything out (it had been sixteen years, after all). I did receive this book in a Goodreads giveaway and wanted to leave my honest opinion.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brittany Tolleson

    If you love historical fiction, especially historical fiction based around the settings of the Civil War, then the Georgia Gold series is a MUST READ! The characters come alive and you are transported in time with them, drawing into their emotions and experiences page-by-page. In fact, the character development and plots are so well-written with adventure, intrigue, romance, suspense, and more that you’ll not want the stories to end. Truly, a wonderful series! The first novel in the series, Saut If you love historical fiction, especially historical fiction based around the settings of the Civil War, then the Georgia Gold series is a MUST READ! The characters come alive and you are transported in time with them, drawing into their emotions and experiences page-by-page. In fact, the character development and plots are so well-written with adventure, intrigue, romance, suspense, and more that you’ll not want the stories to end. Truly, a wonderful series! The first novel in the series, Sautee Shadows, does an excellent job of setting up the series by introducing key characters, creating intriguing plots, and making you want to read more and more as you follow the characters and their lives before, during, and after the Civil War. This series really is gold - it’s a story you’ll treasure!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joan Arning

    One of the main characters of Sautee Shadows is a half Cherokee girl, Mahala, whose parents both die while she is an infant. Author Denise Weimer makes you feel the struggles this young child faces while being raised by a white couple. You will learn history of the Cherokees in northern Georgia during the mid 1800s. Another character is Jack Randall, the son of a New York man and a Georgia mother. Jack doesn't seem to fit into the north or south in this pre Civil War era. Sautee Shadows is full One of the main characters of Sautee Shadows is a half Cherokee girl, Mahala, whose parents both die while she is an infant. Author Denise Weimer makes you feel the struggles this young child faces while being raised by a white couple. You will learn history of the Cherokees in northern Georgia during the mid 1800s. Another character is Jack Randall, the son of a New York man and a Georgia mother. Jack doesn't seem to fit into the north or south in this pre Civil War era. Sautee Shadows is full of history but does leave you hanging at the end so I will be looking for Book Two in this Georgia Gold Series. I recommend Sautee Shadows to anyone who likes historical fiction. I won Sautee Shadows from a Colonial Quill giveaway.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Laura Powell

    Historical fiction is my favorite. I especially enjoy tales of places familiar to me. This book was thoroughly entertaining even though there are so many characters I got confused at times. The story reveals how hard life was in early America even among the wealthy. Many political views are explored along with prejudices that still exist today.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Beverly Mccollum

    Thoroughly enjoyed this novel- the first in an expected series of four books. It takes place in the early/ mid 19th century in northeast Georgia. The characters were well-drawn and the setting is truly another " character". I am anxious to continue the saga in the following books. I would recommend this. Thoroughly enjoyed this novel- the first in an expected series of four books. It takes place in the early/ mid 19th century in northeast Georgia. The characters were well-drawn and the setting is truly another " character". I am anxious to continue the saga in the following books. I would recommend this.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Delana

    I enjoyed this first book of the Georgia Gold series by Denise Weimer and look forward to hearing more about the inspiration for this novel when Denise visits the Clarkesville Library on Saturday, April 20 at 10:30 AM!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    I won this book from Goodreads. This was decent. It read at times like a history lesson and I question the authenticity of the language. The story itself was enjoyable and you finish reading wondering what is next in store for the characters.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    many stories that intertwine... really cool!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Dingwall

    The story and characters draw you right in. Learning the history of the period in this colorful setting is a big plus!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

  16. 4 out of 5

    Open Book

  17. 4 out of 5

    Katrina

    #MMDReading #MMDChallenge A Book About A Topic Or Subject You Already Love - the North Georgia mountains

  18. 5 out of 5

    Clara Ellen

  19. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

  20. 4 out of 5

    C Gaik

  21. 5 out of 5

    Janette Wilkerson

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Pendergrass

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl M

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dana

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Harris

  26. 5 out of 5

    Pat Stafford

  27. 4 out of 5

    sherilon ward

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  29. 5 out of 5

    Luisa

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

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