Saturday, February 24, 2018

Civil War Novel an Ode to Strength and Spirit of Women Warriors

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

With constant talk of the war, it's no surprise that the boys of Flat Creek, New York, are eager to join up.  Rosetta knows it's only a matter of time before Jeremiah Wakefield, the boy she's always loved, enlists. She  can't stand the thought of her beloved in harm's way, even if the money he'll earn will get them a whole lot closer to their shared dream of marrying and buying a farm of their own.  Even though they wed before Jeremiah leaves, Rosetta is still plagued by anxiety and worry.  She can't sit at home idling her days away, so she disguises herself as a boy and secretly follows her husband into battle.

Jeremiah isn't exactly thrilled when he discovers what Rosetta's done, but she's determined to see it through.  With both of them earning a soldier's pay, they can buy their farm even faster.  If both of them survive the war, which grows increasingly more desperate and bloody by the second.  As Rosetta works to prove herself as capable as any other soldier, she'll have to face the greatest dangers and struggles of her life.  With comrades dying all around her, Rosetta fears she'll never make it home alive.  Will Jeremiah and the other Flat Creek boys ever return to their farms and families?  What of the glittering dream that's driving Rosetta on?  Will it come to pass?  Or will everything—and everyone—she loves become just another casualty of war?  

Inspired by the hundreds of real women who served in the Civil War in various capacities, I Shall Be Near to You by Erin Lindsay McCabe honors the strength and spirit of female warriors who fought for the right to battle alongside their husbands, sons, and countrymen.  And held their own.  Rosetta embodies everything admirable about those real-life women—she's brave, loyal, compassionate, and tough.  Her story is an intriguing one, with lots of tension and adventure to keep the reader turning pages.  For me, the most fascinating part of a historical novel is often the Author's Note at the end which talks about the real stories behind the fiction and this one was no exception.  I had no idea how many women served in the war—I'm definitely planning to read more about these real-life heroines (starting with the reading suggestions McCabe offers on her website

(Readalikes:  Um, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (a dozen or so F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, blood/gore, and mild sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of I Shall Be Near to You from Amazon with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.

3 comments:

  1. I like historical fiction books, especially when you learn something you didn't know before. If you do read more books like this, I hope you post about the good ones! :)

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  2. If done right, these types of stories can be so good. Sounds like this one gets it right. I’ll have to keep my eyes open for this one

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  3. This sounds interesting. I'm not sure it's my cup of tea, but it still sounds interesting.

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