New Historical Best-Selling Author Reviews & Blurbs
“The Last Laird of Sapelo is a heart-wrenching and beautiful story of a man and his family brought to its knees by the Civil War. Life-changing choices must be made and personal integrity brought to bear during the nineteenth century when the south was swept into a brutal and complicated war. T. M. Brown brings the history of the Spalding family to vivid life with a sure and clear voice, an eye for southern landscape, and an ear for captivating narrative. Based on a true story, this is historical fiction at its finest.” Patti Callahan Henry, NYT Bestselling author of The Secret Book of Flora Lea
“T. M. Brown’s new historical novel, inspired by the life of Randolph Spalding of Sapelo Island, Georgia fame, portrays the difficulties he and his family face after Georgia secedes from the Union. Exploring the complicated dynamics that engulf this storied family in the Civil War, Brown illuminates the unavoidable challenges and realities of a nation at war and ultimately, the consequences of the hard choices. Fans of Civil War-era fiction won’t want to miss this book!” ~ Rebecca Bruff, author of Trouble the Water
I absolutely loved your book. It fulfills all that I need as a lover of historical fiction. Bravo to you!! Thank you for inviting me to read and review this wonderful book.
“T. M. Brown’s The Last Laird of Sapelo takes us on an unforgettable journey, one marked with uncertainty, turmoil and tragedy, and fierce, unyielding loyalty. We travel with hope and caution along the barrier islands of Georgia through a brief, but maybe somewhat forgotten, period of the Civil War. The result is a brilliant fusion of history and fiction. As a gifted researcher and storyteller, Brown delivers an experience. Lifting the curtain on the daily lives of Randolph Spaulding and his family and Sapelo workers, he invites us into their intimate conversations, revealing their doubts and thoughts and dreams. Ultimately, we are moved and inspired by both fear and bravery. The Last Laird of Sapelo comes alive through the rich details of true events and a well-developed cast of characters. Even Brown’s beloved Sapelo Island is a character, teaching us about her history and the people who love and protect her. There is so much to learn from this journey, and all its lessons are embedded in the pages of this book. As soon as you meet Colonel Randolph Spaulding, you will understand.” –Helen Stine, author of A Truthful Story
“T.M. Brown’s meticulous research and weaving of story within The Last Laird of Sapelo delivers coastal Georgia and the saga of Colonel Randolph Spalding vividly and deftly to the page.” –Robert Gwaltney, award winning author of The Cicada Tree
“As you walk the beaches, dunes, and maritime forests of Georgia’s barrier islands and gaze over the vastness of their pristine marshes you will almost certainly sense the history that permeates this unique area. Author T.M. Brown has a taken a small but vital part of that history and brought it to life in The Last Laird of Sapelo, a fictional work based on actual people and events as the Civil War comes to coastal Georgia and South Carolina.
“The story centers on Randolph Spalding, a wealthy landowner on Sapelo Island, who, as a Confederate officer in the early stages of the conflict, must prepare his beloved island paradise for the ravages of a war he had hoped could be avoided, while finding ways to protect his family and slaves from the growing threat of Union attack.
“Brown paints a portrait of a man who must fill a number of essential roles: commander of inexperienced and sometimes unruly troops, family patriarch who must send his wife and children inland for safety, and paternalistic master feeling responsible for his slaves who are endangered by the troops camped on Sapelo yet resist leaving the only home they’ve ever known. The weight of duty is almost more than he can bear.
“Spalding and most of the major characters in The Last Laird of Sapelo are actual historic figures, and though their thoughts, actions, and experiences have been fictionalized, the narrative rests on a solid historical foundation.
“As I read this novel, I was impressed by the amount of research required to bring authenticity to every page. Brown made me feel as if I were there, feeling the ocean breezes, smelling the tide-washed mud of the marshes, experiencing the chaos of battle, listening in on the dialog of a wide range of characters caught up in the life-shattering event that was the Civil War.
“The Last Laird of Sapelo is an impressive achievement that brings great insight to the impact of war on the normally serene and always beautiful Georgia coast. It’s a story that needed to be told, and T.M. Brown has done it in a masterful way.” — John Pruitt, author of Tell It True