Growing up, our house never had air conditioning. My mother was frugal, and never saw the sense in it when there were only a few days out of the year that were uncomfortably hot even if we let in the cool air in the mornings and shut the windows and pulled the blinds in the afternoon. We also had a basement that stayed nice and cool. It was on one of these unbearably hot days (and muggy!) that I spent an afternoon in our basement. The walls and floors were concrete and it was an unfinished basement used for the washer and dryer and storage. Part of the storage was some of my mom’s books. One of her favorites was Gone With the Wind.
As a kid, I had an intense fear of fire. Every time it seemed my mom would be watching Gone With the Wind, I would always wander in at the “Burning of Atlanta” scene. It quickly lost it’s appeal. But on that hot summer day, I picked up Mom’s copy of the book. I curled up on the stairs and just started reading. That day, I fell in love with historical fiction. More specifically, Civil War fiction.
Now that I have a blog that I review books on, I rarely pass up an opportunity to read a review a novel set during the Civil War. It also helps when I’ve learned over time that the author of this book has similar tastes in novels as I do. I was sure from page one I would love the book, and I did.
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War is on the horizon during the spring of 1861. It will be an event that will change the lives of everyone in its path. The Harper family included.
Frank Harper is a young man full of dreams and ambitions. Even when the country is split and war breaks out, Frank will do whatever is necessary to see his dreams come true, even when that means putting on a uniform and leaving home.
For the first time, Claire Harper is forced to consider the reasons behind such a conflict. Should slavery be abolished? Which side should she be on, and what does God have to say about this? Claire is torn between her own opinions and those of her family. The struggle within her only increases when she repeatedly runs into a kind and handsome Union soldier. She longs to see her brother turn to Christ before it is too late. Desperate to reach her brother with the gospel, Claire pens a series of inspiring letters. Will she be able to handle all the obstacles of war and continue to be a witness to those around her?
How long can Claire last when her heart is torn in half and she is burdened for her brother’s soul? How long can Frank resist his sister’s urgent pleas or the gentle tugging from within? Can a man outrun a holy God?
Where Can I Flee is a novel that captures the everyday of the Civil War. So many times, when we look at the wars the battles become a focal point. A.M. Heath does a wonderful job portraying what life was like day to day for the women their husbands, sons, and brothers left behind as they moved to war, along with the everyday that the soldiers faced.
Told from multiple perspectives and through letters, the reader embarks on a journey of faith with the Harper family. Claire is an extremely likable character. It was easy to laugh with her and have your heart break alongside hers. Her brother, Frank, is admirable. He is passionate about the confederacy and stands behind his convictions. Through the letters back and forth between Claire and Frank the reader shares in the journey of faith that the characters embark on in the novel.
While the novel shines in capturing history and well-developed characters, the aspect of faith shines even brighter. The message of salvation is a focal point of the novel. It is woven into the characters and in the plot of the story. Claire’s witness to her brother feels authentic and captures the type of conversations that many people may have had while trying to share the love of Christ.
I truly enjoyed this novel. It was filled with everything I love in a book: Wonderful characters, a picture of history, a message for my heart and soul, all wrapped up in a well-written story.
A.M. Heath is also hosting a giveaway for Where Can I Flee. you can head over to her page HERE to get the details. Contest is open until August 21, so you only have a couple of days left to enter!
I would love to hear from you! What are your favorite eras for historical fiction? Any favorite books or authors?
For more on the author or this book, please check out the following links:
- A.M. Heath’s Website
- Visit A.M. Heath on Facebook
- Read what A.M. Heath is reading on GoodReads
- Check out Where Can I Flee on Amazon
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**I received a free copy of this book from author in exchange for my honest review**