Apalachicola Gold

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
225 Pages
Reviewed on 03/31/2017
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

“If years ago you had told me that this Illinois farm boy, who started writing at age 59, would have two award winning novels by 61, I’d have said you are crazy. It is an exciting moment when a publisher calls to say your manuscript is about to become a novel and surreal when you see your name on the cover of the first book. It was an honor to be recognized at Florida Authors and Publishers Association awards banquet with two silvers and one bronze medal but the real honor comes from those who have invested their time reading my novels and find value in my work.”
Apalachicola Pearl and Apalachicola Gold are the first two books in a three part series and it is my pleasure to be working on the final book.
Both books are available at SYPPublishing.com, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Apalachicola Gold is an historical fiction novel written by Michael A. Kinnett. Kinnett was instrumental in the creation and is an ongoing curator of the Orman House Historic State Park Museum in the historic city of Apalachicola in the Florida panhandle. While Apalachicola Gold is the second book in the Pearl saga, it can be read and enjoyed on its own. Baptized LaRaela Retsyo Agnusdei, Pearl would swear that she remembered seeing her mother's face in the moments before she passed after having given birth to her daughter. Pearl was never quite sure in what year she was born; her father hated her for having been the proximate cause of her mother's death and had refused to even give her his name, leaving her a bastard in the eyes of the law. He was a drayman by trade, and together, the father and daughter traveled along the coasts from New Orleans to Pensacola and up into Georgia. He was known simply as Dray, rather than his given name of Guillaume Gauthier Verheist, and his propensity for violence and cruelty was a thing well known to his daughter, as well as to those who had the misfortune to come in contact with him. For a short while, they stayed with Pearl's Aunt Zetta and her two cousins, but that was an unpleasant and frightening experience for the young child. In all their travels, one city stood out in Pearl's mind as the place she loved the best, a home for the virtual orphan who was, for the most part, homeless. Apalachicola was the place that drew her in most strongly.

Michael A. Kinnett's historical fiction novel, Apalachicola Gold, reads beautifully. This fictional journal of a young girl who somehow manages to survive the toxic hatred her father has for her is uplifting and inspirational. I loved imagining how that four-year-old made her way to the city of Apalachicola and found those people who would so change her life: Miss Charity, Miss Caroline, and Basher, the innkeeper where Dray drank, gambled and fought, and his daughter, Bella. Kinnett gives the reader a real sense of the tropical nature of that part of the Florida panhandle and the perils facing those early inhabitants, especially the yellow fever. He also uses his characters to give readers a fuller sense of the everyday interactions of the inhabitants of the city and the impact that slavery and the Civil War had on the area. The genesis of Pearl's friendship with Old Hickory, the giant alligator, is an unforgettable scene in which the small girl masters her fear to help a fearsome and powerful reptile. Apalachicola Gold is a fascinating historical fiction journal that kept me involved in Pearl's story and has given me new insights into and an understanding of the history of that part of the South. It's most highly recommended.

Judy Seaman

After reading Apalachicola Pearl, I just had to have this one! I received it for a Mother's Day gift. It is an interesting story that blends history with some colorful people and stories woven through. It tells some of the events from Apalachicola Pearl, but told from the child's perspective--her memories of what transpired. This chronicles life in Apalachicola during the War Between the States. It deals with hard issues of yellow fever, bullying, murder, drunks, and even sexual abuse. But this strong spirited girl believed there was good in most people, and she demonstrated unconditional love to others, no matter what their skin color or status in life. She had a strong sense of fairness and loyalty. Her maturity was far greater than most people her age.
I enjoyed reading this story so much that it was hard to put down. Now I find myself wanting more. As another reader suggested, how about a book 3? It could even be a memoir of Pearl's daughter, Olivia! How 'bout it, Michael?