Marvin V. Blake

“WHY”, is an epic story, 1838 – 1863, chronicling the lives of two sisters, one white, the other black, both born in 1847, three days apart, on Virginia’s wealthy Rosewood Plantation.

The white sister is the child of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Billings, Master and Mistress of Rosewood, one of the richest cotton plantations in the state of Virginia.

The black girl is the issue of the mating of Henry Billings, the Master of the Rosewood Plantation, and one of his female black slaves.

While growing up together, one a slave the other her mistress, in the slave holding antebellum South, sharing many childhood experiences, the girls are forced to adhere to the harsh rules, and laws that separate white from black.

Henry and Margaret Billings, Master and Mistress of the plantation, hire a recent college graduate, Miss Eleanor Leary, a young progressive, Irish immigrant, to tutor their children, Rebecca and her brother, Jesse.

Despite her fear of breaking the laws that prohibit the teaching of slaves to read and write, Eleanor, at Rebecca’s request, decides to include the black slave girl Mandy in their sessions.

A whole new world is opened for Mandy. Through the teachings and the eyes of the white teacher, Mandy slowly, gradually, discards her insidious, lifelong feelings of racial inferiority, and self-loathing. Feelings and assumptions that Mandy had harbored and accepted from birth were now being replaced by developing feelings of racial pride and personal self-esteem.

The novel examines three co-existing 19th century American Cultures. The privileged world of the South’s antebellum slave holding, White Planter Society; The oppressed communities of the black slaves; and the noble, nomadic hunter-gatherer society of the plains Indians.

The turbulent events of this time in American History, results in the two sisters finding themselves living in, and experiencing the three cultures, and one sister is forced to choose between her life-long love for her sibling, or the love that develops between her and a Comanche Warrior.


1) Remember son, “A thinking Nigger, is a dangerous Nigger!”


2) The words of the black-slave Mandy; “After all is said and done, the black General Othello remains a black man of statue and achievement that existed only in the vivid imagination of Mr. Shakespeare. General Othello was a figment of a white man’s imagination. He was not a real man.”


3) “Others have tried and failed to take the People’s hunting grounds. The Apache, have tried and failed; the Pawnee have tried and failed; the Arapaho and the Utes. All have tried, non-have succeeded.” “We must fight and kill these filthy hair-mouths. We must drive them from the land of the Comanche.”

Dear Mr. Marvin V. Blake, Filmways Pictures Agency explores the literary world of different forms from distinct talents of various levels in search of a meritorious piece. We meticulously appraise thousands of submissions and referrals worthy to compete in the film market during our Annual Submissions. As a gesture of good faith, we are pleased to honor your Certificate of Book Excellence Seal Award as a merit of your outstanding skills as portrayed in your masterpiece “WHY”Please download the attached Certificate. In cooperation with the Literary Prestige Award giving body notable for their strict scrutiny, we have made it possible to bring out the finest material in the competitive literary world. Cheers, Filmways Pictures LTD


Kat Kennedy

“No matter how hard he tried to avoid making comparisons between the girls, his eyes and his mind… seemed to be inextricably drawn to their similarities.” This epic story follows the lives of half-sisters Rebecca Billings and the slave girl Mandy, born within weeks of each other on a Southern plantation fifteen years before the start of the Civil War. As they grow, the two girls are inseparable. Rebecca teaches Mandy how to read and write, skills that are illegal for slaves in their home state of Virginia. As it becomes evident that the South will face defeat, and the Billings fortune will be lost, the girls leave with their father to begin a new life in the West. However, fate intervenes when their westward-bound wagon train is attacked, and a Comanche tribe captures Rebecca and Mandy. Their time with the Comanche proves a very different experience for each girl, thrusting them into roles they would never have imagined. Blake’s novel delves into the deeply disturbing aspects of slavery in the antebellum American South. There are graphic incidents of whippings, rapes, and cruelty, which are truly disturbing. The close relationship between the two main characters, Rebecca and Mandy, is an intriguing plot twist in the familiar story of slavery. The storyline’s reversal of fortune in the girls’ lives—Mandy’s experience in the Comanche camp affording her the freedom she has never known and Rebecca becoming the slave of a Comanche woman—is an unexpected psychological twist. The novel includes many surprising and, at times, disturbing plot twists that stay with the reader long after the book is finished. Though a lengthy read, it is one worth the time. https://www.theusreview.com/reviews/Why-by-Marvin-V-Blake.html


June 5, 2015 Format: Paperback – Verified Purchase A beautifully written novel about the coming of age of two sisters during a time of extreme turmoil in American history. The sisters experience two seemingly diverse cultures that in reality are quite similar. This novel at times is heart-wrenching and thought-provoking. The author intertwines various aspects of differing cultures in a cohesive and descriptive manner (Southern plantation slavery and American Indian history. Great story – loved it!! [5 Stars]

Kindle Customer

September 26, 2015 Format: Kindle Edition – Verified Purchase Excellent read!!! The book is a definite page turner filled with history, romance and suspense. What an ending!!! I’m anxiously awaiting the sequel. MUST READ!


May 11, 2015
Format: Paperback – Verified Purchase

The author does an excellent job of making the characters appear so real.

Ruth B.

August 24, 2015 Format: Paperback – Verified Purchase “WHY” was an intriguing reading selection about Antebellum Southern White slaves owner, African American slaves, and Native American Indians. Mr. Blake did an excellent job with in his research bringing these three cultures together for this fantastic novel! This is an excellent book from first page to the last page I highly recommend this book!!!!! Looking forward to author’s next book!!!!!!

Ruth B.

November 16, 2017 Format: Paperback Fantastic historical fiction. the action never stops. I really enjoyed it.

Brenda S.

July 28, 2015 Format: Kindle Edition – Verified Purchase “WHY” is a must read for fans of historical fiction with a twist. The author does a great job showing us the lifestyles of three different cultures i.e.; the Antebellum Southern White aristocracy; the Black slave community and the Plains Indians. What a fantastic job!! I can’t wait for the authors next book!!!! I highly recommend this book it’s a page turning!


August 28, 2015 Format: Kindle Edition – Verified Purchase “Why” is an excellent read that introduces 2 racially different sisters born on a plantation. Although their life status is quite opposite, this story takes us through their shared experiences and interactions as they experience life through 3 different cultures. [5 Stars] BedstuybookenzA-Z Book Club August 23, 2015 Format: Paperback – Verified Purchase WHY is a wonderfully researched story set in antebellum south. The story is intriguing and enlightening. It gives insight into the description and the intermingling of the African and Native American cultures during slavery. A must read!


August 27, 2015
Format: Paperback – Verified Purchase

Great read with surprising twists. Excellent storytelling. You will not be able to put it down. “Why” is a fantastic choice for any book club meeting; as the read invokes spirited discussions.

Anthony Avina

Pacific Book Review One of the best things about growing up is coming of age and deciding what kind of person you are going to be. As Cilla Black once said, “The nicest thing about coming of age is that I can do whatever I like.” Yet what if you grew up in an era when coming of age and becoming your own person was not a right given to you, simply because of the color of your skin? In author Marvin V. Blake’s novel Why, two sisters find themselves asking this question when they find themselves divided by color and the era they live in. In this book, two sisters born to different mothers during the 1800s in Virginia, experience life differently as one is born into the rich white Plantation Owner’s rich society while the other is born into slavery. Defying her parents, the white sister invites her sister to be taught alongside her by the new Irish immigrant tutor her parents have hired. Soon the sister born into slavery begins to learn about pride in her ethnicity and self-esteem and sheds the years of self-loathing she felt. However, as the tumultuous times begin to come crashing down on the sisters, one sister must choose her love for her sister or her growing love for a young Comanche Indian man who is a warrior for his tribe. A heartbreaking, beautifully written yet tragic story that carefully studies and examines the complex nature of the South in the mid 1800’s, author Marvin V. Blake has created a brilliant read that examines several important themes; from the horror that is slavery and racism to the division between our fellow man and the different ways in which people view the world at large. The characters draw the reader in immediately, highlighting the difference in culture between the characters and how so many horrors of that era occurred. This is a novel for anyone who enjoys drama, historical fiction and complex examinations of human nature and the bonds that tie us to one another. As a fan of historical fiction, it was great to see the author’s deep dive into the era and write a story that felt real, no matter how tragic or painful at times the narrative became. Overall this was a breathtaking journey that was both lengthy and emotional all at once. The story of these two sisters bonded by blood despite having two very different backgrounds and the weight of the world around them threatening to tear them apart, felt real and powerful all at once. Why by Marvin V. Blake is a must-read novel that will give readers a firm understanding of that era and the reason why racism still has a painful grip on our modern-day world. Be sure to grab your own copy today.