BelleBooks, Feb 2008, $16.95
In 1849 twentyish educated and wealthy Anne Tracy loathes the stifling lifestyle of an affluent southern belle as her late father, Macon’s second mayor, prepared her for a grand world tour, but he died before they went. Anne enjoys her hometown, but perhaps it is her daddy’s Connecticut Yankee roots that battle with her Georgia peach momma’s blood, but she also detests her social position requires her to marry as that is all a woman can hope for.
Her family arranges for Anne to wed self-made wealthy businessman William Butler Johnston, who is over two decades, her senior. In 1850 they travel to France on their honeymoon and continue on to Italy. When the pair returns to Macon, they are in love, but hide their feelings from one another. They are also determined to build an Italian neo-Renaissance style mansion in the heart of Georgia. The construction begins in 1855, but soon after its completion, the Civil War intrudes as every male is drafted to fight for the Confederacy even someone in his fifties. Anne prays everyday he comes home to her so she can confess to William how much she loves him; something she neglected to tell him before he left for war.
SUNRISE is based on the true story of the marriage between Anne Tracy and William Johnson; in fact their mansion Hay House is called the "Palace of the South" and is on the historical register. Fans of historical biographical fiction will enjoy this interesting tale based on the genuine mid nineteenth century romance whose legeacy remains a strong part of Macon.