Rainbow Plantation Blues
Fiction/Historical Novel by Robert L. Sheeley
Available on Amazon or in paperback
Sheely has written this novel with incredible historical detail, as if he is reflecting on his own past, although not possible since the story takes place in the 1850’s. There is just enough drama in the novel to keep you turning pages, but not so over dramatic that it seems an unbelievable tale. The story depicts equality issues, such as slavery, women’s rights, and gay liberation – from the perspective of life in a pre-civil war era.
Not only do the characters in this book undergo a self-discovery process, but they also discuss their uncertainty for the future of America, which is ironically similar to what many of us are presently going through. While reading, I was filled with a sense of hope -- learning where we were as a segregated nation, and knowing where we are today. Change is inevitable. My so-often feelings of despair in this-age society in America were given a short break during this read, and I felt a greater appreciation for my life and the freedom I have been granted.
In a brief conversation with the author, here is his response to my most important question: "Yes, there will be a sequel but not for about a year."
As featured in Connextions Magazine. Click here to view this editorial.
"In 1850, Jonathan Thomas, a young, personable, and aristocratic Southern gentleman, has returned to his antebellum home from an Ivy League school in the North. His father is dying and Jonathan is sole heir to the family's lavish prosperous, and renowned Rainbow Plantation. While up North, two major revelations had seriously shaken his self-image. His exposure to Northern abolitionism had permanently shaken his outlook on slavery, the South's peculiar institution. Worse, he had begun to believe he might be a sodomite, a most wretched creature reviled by the customs of nineteenth-century American society.
When he tours the plantation grounds for the first time in years, he sees that his boyhood playmate, a slave named Kumi, has matured into a black Adonis. Jonathan is instantly captivated. Now he is convinced he is a sodomite, and even worse, he is hopelessly smitten over a slave.
As he grapples with his sexual proclivity and the peculiar institution, he befriends Steven Wentworth, a social non-conformist living an esoteric lifestyle, who has a deep, hidden connection to him. Under Steven's progressive influence, and from another unlikely source-the Bible-Jonathan is able to unravel his demons and triumph in the end."