Publication Date: March 8, 2021
A forbidden love.
An impossible dream.
And a daring venture to open America…
The year is 1810. For decades men have dreamed of reaching west of the Hudson – of unlocking the untold riches in America’s heartland. Yet, these visionaries lacked the necessary skill, willpower, and political might.
Enter: DeWitt Clinton, mayor of New York City.
Ignoring naysayers and cynics, Clinton vows to construct an audacious waterway through the wilderness to Lake Erie. For this he needs support from the highest echelons of New York society. And there is only one woman with the talent and connections for the job.
Eleanora Van Rensselaer, an aristocratic widow, rules a vast Hudson Valley estate, but her wealth and power will vanish if a dark secret is revealed. Clinton enlists her charm and intelligence to battle his formidable opponent Martin Van Buren. When Eleanora encounters Daniel Hedges, a dashing ship captain with frontier ingenuity, she knows he is the key to this massive project. Eleanora’s social savvy and Hedges’ skills make them an ideal team – if they can fight the powerful feelings growing between them.
But as America plunges into the war of 1812, they could lose all that they have built.
From America’s stunning naval victory on Lake Erie to the British invasion of Washington, D.C., Daniel and Eleanora persevere through tragedy and deep personal loss. Despite Van Buren’s plot to sabotage Clinton and expose Eleanora’s secret, Daniel and Eleanora won’t stop until they make their colossal dream a reality.
And somewhere along the way, they might just find a love that will change them, and America, forever.
INTO THE HEARTLAND is historical fiction based on the building of the Erie Canal and all the politics and arguments that went with it from historical author Jack Casey. Having been to many of the areas mentioned in the book and growing up in New York City, I found the story fascinating.
It started a little slowly for me as I got the lay of the land and all the characters straight in my mind. Once it picked up, the story had a nice flow, and I was utterly immersed and didn’t want to put it down until the final page.
The story begins in 1810 and is primarily set in New York. The characters have a depth to them, and Eleanora and Daniel are just two of many. When they meet, there is an attraction, but Eleanora can’t act on it for reasons she is unwilling to share. Eleanora and Daniel work together over the years on committees to get the canal built, and she’s cold one minute and hot the next. For me, Eleanora was a difficult character to like. She definitely was more involved in politics than most women for that time period.
Daniel rose to the occasion on anything he put his hands or mind to, and he was honorable and trustworthy for the most part except for a few activities he was involved with to make money. Many characters were actual people who lived in that time and had something to do with the canal. The descriptions of the lands, the homes, the sea, and the politics made me feel like I was there. There are dreams, wheeling, and dealing, back-breaking work, the war, and its battles, politicians, servants, prisoners, travel, illness, death, sadness, tears, anger, elation, happiness, family and friends, and some love and romance too.
The author did a fantastic job weaving many storylines together from various places along the east coast. There is nice closure with the epilogue and a wonderfully portrayed happily ever after. I liked that the book was broken up into sections, and I liked the cover.
Mr. Casey is a new to me author. I love historical fiction, especially when I can visualize where I am. I may give other books he’s written a try.
JACK CASEY is an attorney who has handled civil, criminal and constitutional matters for thirty years in his solo practice. In HAMILTON’S CHOICE, Casey dramatizes the last three years of Alexander Hamilton’s life, and plausibly explains why he went to his first and fatal duel. Casey’s newest release, INTO THE HEARTLAND, is a sweeping saga of adversity and triumph around the building of the Erie Canal (1810–1825). His other published historical novels are LILY OF THE MOHAWKS and THE TRIAL OF BAT SHEA.
Casey graduated with honors from Yale University and Albany Law School, and has studied literature at Edinburgh and Cambridge Universities. He lives in Troy, NY and Raleigh, NC with his wife and editor, Victoria.
Monday, April 19
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Tuesday, April 20
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Thursday, April 22
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink
Friday, April 23
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