Weaving heartfelt historical fiction requires a masterful touch. Donna Meredith’s experience and hours of thorough research paid off. The inclusion of actual correspondence and photographs from Margaret’s life bolsters the story of a woman who lived and loved during a pivotal time in U.S. history. Margaret: The Rose of Goodwood reminds the reader of the importance of looking back, taking time to reflect on how far we’ve come and how far we still must go.

—Rhett DeVane in the Tallahassee Democrat

​​​​​"Maggie Wilson has a rapid rise from daughter of a tenant farmer to leading political wife in early 20th century Florida, but faces many heartaches before she finds her way at last to herself. “I will be happy” she vows, and like the grand Goodwood estate she cherishes, she stands firm through war and depression and personal loss. With a chorus of voices adding depth to the story, Margaret: The Rose of Goodwood is a deeply researched work of historical fiction about a beloved home, the people who made it, and its place in a developing Tallahassee."
 —Valerie Nieman, author of In the Lonely Backwater

"What is the cost of being a rose? With skill and humor, Donna Meredith traces the rags-to-riches life of historic figure Margaret Wilson, caught in an all-too-common trap known to women of the twentieth century’s first half.  Meredith explores issues of fidelity, freedom, and societal expectation in the setting of upper-class Tallahassee. Rich in colorful fabrics, rife with the scents of flowers and home-cooked meals, and thick with Southern gossip, Margaret: The Rose of Goodwood takes readers on a delightful romp with a woman who graces an entire community when she dares to be herself."
—Betsy Reeder, author of the “New River trilogy” and Tupper’s Coins

What Others Are Saying About Margaret:

League of Women Voters President Sally Butzin with Donna Meredith.

In 1917 eighteen-year-old Margaret Wilson works in a department store when a wealthy man more than twice her age comes in to buy a pair of gloves. From that chance meeting, a whirlwind courtship ensues—despite the overwhelming disapproval of Tallahassee’s aristocracy. As the wife of soon-to-be senator William Cabot Hodges, Margaret is swept into a life she could never have imagined, playing the gracious hostess to 

governors, supreme court justices, and the wealthy elite of Florida. To observers, her life seems like a fairytale. But the elegance of Goodwood, the Hodges’ antique-filled mansion, hides darker truths and sorrows. When the senator dies, Margaret has a second chance at happiness with a man eleven years her junior. But does he love her—or is he only after her money and her grand estate? 

The opening reception at Goodwood was

a sell-out event!

Margaret: The Rose of Goodwood

Captivating Historical Fiction !

Upcoming Appearances

  • July 9 at 2 p.m. at Red Hills Village
  • Sept. 17 at 6:30 p.m. Gardenia Garden Circle meeting
  • Oct. 16 at 10 a.m. Magnolia Garden Circle meeting
  • Oct. 17 Florida Humanities Council book club
  • Nov. 6 Butzin book club
  • ​Nov. 21 Tallahassee Garden Club Horticultural Program 9:30 a.m.

Where to find Margaret: The Rose of Goodwood

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