In The Wind’s Eye by Charlotte Boyette-Compo

In The Wind’s Eye” by Charlotte Boyette-Compo tells the story of Sinclair McGregor and his return home after fighting in the Civil War. He discovers that his fiancée has married another, and that his inheritance was sold for back taxes. Robbed of the one true love of his life, he is forced into a marriage he does not want. At night, nightmares of battles lost and a bullet piercing his chest rule his mind. Sinclair is a tortured and haunted man, living out his days in fear, illness, and continual strife. Boyette-Compo weaves an interesting and complex plot around Sinclair. The story is full of twists and turns, keeping the proverbial late night oil burning for the reader, who just has to find out what happens to this unfortunate soul.

While Boyette-Compo succeeds brilliantly with the plot, a few inconsistencies were troubling to a reader familiar with the post-Civil War South. If the family had to sell the plantation for back taxes, how could they afford such an extravagant dinner for Sinclair’s return and the luxurious wedding, complete with French champagne? The wealth displayed in the novel undermines the struggle of post-Civil War Southern families and weakens the motivation of the main character.

Women figure prominently into the design of the novel. Different women are continually passing through, and, at times, dictating the course of Sinclair’s life: a controlling grandmother, the woman he could never have, the harlot who comforts him, the wife he is forced to marry, the mother who betrayed him. The reader will ask why this man is so suspect to the whims of so many women, and so few men figure prominently into his life?

While the complexity of Sinclair McGregor as a character was at times perplexing, the novel is quite entertaining. It is a perfect novel to curl up with on a quiet, rainy afternoon.

One Response to “In The Wind’s Eye by Charlotte Boyette-Compo”

  1. Mary Loftin says:

    I loved this book and wrote to the author complimenting her on the story. I was surprised to learn that the characters were based upon family members of hers from that era. I asked about the extravagant party and as it was explained to me, the wedding was paid for through the generosity of friends and family who needed a celebration to help rid them of all the unhappiness to date.

    Being from Alabama, I can tell you southern men tend to be at the ‘whim’ of their womenfolk. My own brothers are such men. Perhaps it is the strength of the southern matriarch that lends itself to the situation. I think in Sinclair’s case he was simply too beaten down by war, personal loss, sorrow, and his overwhelming grandmother to put up much of a fight. The only men who were role models were not unlike himself.

    I agree with you. This was a delightful novel with a good strong voice. I have since read many of Ms. Boyett-Campo’s novels and found them all to be just as well-written and enjoyable.

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