Swerling, Beverly 1949–
Swerling, Beverly 1949–
Born 1949, in Boston, MA; married.
Writer, consultant, and amateur historian.
City of Dreams: A Novel of Nieuw Amsterdam and Early Manhattan, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2001.
Shadowbrook: A Novel of Love and War, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2004.
City of Glory: A Novel of War and Desire in Old Manhattan, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2007.
A self-proclaimed amateur historian, novelist Beverly Swerling has produced three books that center on the lives of early Americans. City of Dreams: A Novel of Nieuw Amsterdam and Early Manhattan traces the lives of six generations of early Manhattanites, beginning in 1661. Judy Meserve wrote in Glide Magazine.com that "even those who aren't history buffs will find this book hard to put down…. City of Dreams, an entire world created by a gifted storyteller, should top your list of reading choices." Writing for the Green Man Review Web site, Donna Bird called City of Dreams "one of those sweeping historical novels that delivers good adventure from start to finish…. Would that all professional historians conducted their research so thoroughly and wove their findings into so compelling a tale!"
Shadowbrook: A Novel of Love and War follows the inhabitants of eighteenth-century Ohio in the midst of the French and Indian War. In a review for Booklist, Margaret Flanagan commented: "This spellbinding historical adventure highlights an often overlooked episode on the road to American independence." Cynthia Johnson remarked in Library Journal that the book "offers a riveting narrative whose drama is somewhat diluted by the constant switching back and forth of locales and narrators," but deemed the novel "highly recommended all the same." Calling Shadowbrook a "masterful treatment of the hardship, brutality and treachery of America's colonial war," a reviewer for Publishers Weekly concluded that readers would be "captivated by Swerling's intricate plot, colorful characters and convincing descriptions of colonial life."
City of Glory: A Novel of War and Desire in Old Manhattan, described by a Publishers Weekly reviewer as an "enthralling" sequel to City of Dreams, is set during the War of 1812, when the hardships resulting from the British blockade of U.S. ports leads to much talk of secession. The novel's protagonist, Joyful Patrick Turner, is a surgeon and patriot who loses a hand to a British cannonball during a naval battle and returns to New York City to find new work. He runs up against the wealthy and powerful Gornt Blakeman, leader of the secessionists and also Joyful's rival for the affections of the lovely Manon Vionne. Swerling "brings old Manhattan vividly to life," observed the Publishers Weekly reviewer, who hailed City of Glory as an "evocative and entertaining" story. Sarah Johnson, writing in Booklist, also admired the rich period detail in the novel, which she described as "smartly executed" and "highly entertaining."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 15, 2004, Margaret Flanagan, review of Shadowbrook: A Novel of Love and War, p. 126; December 15, 2006, Sarah Johnson, review of City of Glory: A Novel of War and Desire in Old Manhattan, p. 24.
Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2006, review of City of Glory, p. 1101.
Library Journal, March 15, 2004, Cynthia Johnson, review of Shadowbrook, p. 109.
Publishers Weekly, March 1, 2004, review of Shadowbrook, p. 53; October 23, 2006, review of City of Glory, p. 31.
Beverly Swerling Home Page,http://www.beverlyswerling.com (July 6, 2007).
Glide Magazine.com,http://www.glidemagazine.com/ (August 3, 2004), Judy Meserve, review of City of Dreams: A Novel of Nieuw Amsterdam and Early Manhattan.
Green Man Review,http://www.greenmanreview.com/ (December 30, 2004), Donna Bird, review of City of Dreams.