Ida Alice Shourds is a simple woman. She has lived a simple life, she lives in a simple town, and she wears simple (beyond simple) clothing. She is positively plain, though she does have a red-hot temper which flares up occasionally.
Her simple life takes a turn when she decides to apply for a job caring for Mrs. Flagler, wealthy Henry Flagler's wife. Mrs. Flagler's health is failing, and she needs a nurse to dress her, take her for short walks, prepare her for dinners, and even care for Mr. Flagler when it is needed.
Not far into the book, Mrs. Flagler's illness starts wreaking havoc with her body, and Ida starts to realize that soon it may just be her...and the enigmatic Henry Flagler.
Talk about book hangovers! Not only did The Czarina of Florida have me rubbing my bleary eyes from an unsuccessful night's sleep, it had me waking up the next morning thinking, "What in the heck just happened in that book?!"
And to this day, about two weeks after I finished the book, I am STILL thinking about how mind-boggling the story is. Living somewhat near where the story takes place doesn't help, either. I can't help but cringe every time I see a railroad track.
My dear readers, this book is GOOD.
Tami Lynne's exceptional writing has reached new heights in The Czarina of Florida. In this book, she shows off her true talent of story-telling. Her impeccable way of describing scenery, her character progression, and her plot growth are just remarkable. I don't understand why this book hasn't been read and enjoyed by more people. It was five stars in my book!
Every time I read one of Tami Lynne's novels, I think, "Oh, no way. THIS one is my favorite!" (Which is how I'm currently feeling about The Czarina of Florida.)
Without going into too many details, I do have to say this... There is a certain character (and plot) progression that slowly shows its head at the beginning of the book, which then rapidly slews into a downward spiral of chaos that made me shout, "OH MY GOSH."
It was that good.
It should be required that all Floridians read this book, and it should be a strong suggestion for all others. The Czarina of Florida is a gem.