Billingsby pens second book; first in trilogy

Billingsby pens second book; first in trilogy

Posted: Thursday, October 2, 2008 4:22 pm
By: By Sara Reid, Staff Writer

Billingsby pens second book; first in trilogy
Last year, local author Joyce Billingsby sought to pen a book dealing with history, family and ancestry all rolled into one and after completing the project, she realized the story was far from finished. “Wildwood: Confessions of a Moon Wife,” released last February, served as just the tip of the story-telling iceberg Billingsby created, so this year, she released another portion of the Rainbow trilogy — the first book of the series, titled “Song of Elizabeth.” In “Wildwood,” Billingsby conveyed her story through the eyes and perspective of Sharon Rainbow, a “moon wife” whose pale gaze often turned backwards to her ancestors and the “what ifs” of the past. Those same ancestors who Rainbow frequently visited in spirit have now been brought to life in “Song of Elizabeth.” Sharon harbors a great respect for her Rainbow ancestors and in reading “Song of Elizabeth,” it’s easy to see why she respects them as she does. As the title suggests, Billingsby’s new book is told from the perspective of Elizabeth, a very static character possessing a fiery temper and will to match her red hair yet forever believing herself to be much more unattractive than her older sister Jenny. Upon the death of her mother, a woman who had trouble showing love, yet had no problem revealing strong opinions on most everything else, Elizabeth’s father expresses a desire that he and his daughter should pack up and leave North Carolina to join Jenny, her husband Tom and their growing family in the new territory of west Tennessee. Before Elizabeth leaves, she is confronted by someone who asks for her hand and upon being turned down, promises her she’ll find nothing but danger and heartbreak in the new land. Ironically, for the most part, the prophecies hold truth in them as Elizabeth’s father drowns in the river in an accident occurring not long after they reach their destination. Elizabeth’s will to survive is quickly diminished before she’s even had time to truly get to know the area, but her rescuer — a half-Indian, half French man named Joshua Rainbow — soon steals her heart and replenishes her hope and will to live. They are soon married and though Joshua’s past harbors many secrets, he and Elizabeth face the dangers and excitement the land brings them head on through both laughter and tears, through death and life. Elizabeth turns from being someone insecure about her looks to a confident wife, mother and survivor. Her strength comes from her family, her appreciation of her and Joshua’s ancestry, her love and respect for nature and the ever-changing world around her and the adoration of her Joshua. Part historical fiction, part story of survival and part romance, “Song of Elizabeth” answers the questions “Wildwood” posed to the reader — Who really are the Rainbow ancestors? Why does Sharon Rainbow harbor such deep respect for them? When Elizabeth and Joshua travel to Reelfoot Lake to meet up with Joshua’s uncle Etowah, the wise old Indian fascinates Elizabeth with his stories and songs of his ancestors and the history of their land. Inspired by his strength and knowledge, Elizabeth sets out to write her own song and she succeeds in creating her own unique ballad by simply living and using the sound of nature to guide her notes and her voyage. And by taking the walk with her, the reader soon learns that after all is said and done, there is indeed gold at the end of this Rainbow. “Song of Elizabeth” can be ordered through www.authorhouse.com/bookstore for $17.40 including UPS shipping fee or purchased directly from Billingsby.wcp 9-30-08

None

Leave a Comment