Book Review

Review: Wedded to War by Jocelyn Green

I’m always slightly amused when I have something in common with a character. Sometimes it might be something similar that has happened in our pasts, or it might be a favorite food or hobby (reading is a common one that shows up). Other times it is a pet.

The main character of Wedded to War happens to have a cat. I have a cat, well two actually. Even more interesting, we both have a cat named Dickens. The thing that kept bugging me in this novel, though, is that I would read the name Dickens, and picture my cat:

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and then the novel would precede to describe the fictional Dickens as Orange, marmalade, or cream. The cat would be mentioned and then it would be just long enough for me to forget before it would be mentioned again. The cat in the book also had a very different personality. My Dickens would NEVER jump up on anyone’s lap nor rub up against someone’s legs. He’s not the most social cat, but he is loving. Someday, I might share his story of how his mother cat picked our family to adopt him. It’s a good one.

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**I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review**

It’s April 1861, and the Union Army’s Medical Department is a disaster, completely unprepared for the magnitude of war. A small group of New York City women, including 28-year-old Charlotte Waverly, decide to do something about it, and end up changing the course of the war, despite criticism, ridicule and social ostracism. Charlotte leaves a life of privilege, wealth-and confining expectations-to be one of the first female nurses for the Union Army. She quickly discovers that she’s fighting more than just the Rebellion by working in the hospitals. Corruption, harassment, and opposition from Northern doctors threaten to push her out of her new role. At the same time, her sweetheart disapproves of her shocking strength and independence, forcing her to make an impossible decision: Will she choose love and marriage, or duty to a cause that seems to be losing? An Irish immigrant named Ruby O’Flannery, who turns to the unthinkable in the face of starvation, holds the secret that will unlock the door to Charlotte’s future. But will the rich and poor confide in each other in time? Wedded to War is a work of fiction, but the story is inspired by the true life of Civil War nurse Georgeanna Woolsey. Woolsey’s letters and journals, written over 150 years ago, offer a thorough look of what pioneering nurses endured. Jocelyn Green’s debut novel is endorsed by historians and professors for its historical accuracy and detail, by award-winning novelists for its spell-binding storytelling, and by entertainment journalists and book club leaders for its deep and complex content, perfect to share and discuss with others.

Wedded to War takes readers into one of the most tragic and horrendous aspects of the Civil War. It takes readers into the ill-prepared hospitals and medical centers that existed to care for the wounded. Through this novel, we are given a glimpse of the inefficiencies of the medical help offered to soldiers, and how poor the conditions truly were.

One thing that really impressed me about this novel was the depth of research that must have gone into it. Along with that, is also it’s portrayal of New York City, both for the wealthy and the impoverished, for the time. It’s so easy to isolate particular portions of history and not seeing how in reality, events were connected. Jocelyn Green connects some of these dots in this novel.

Charlotte is a great heroine for the book. She is determined, compassionate, and has a deep faith. She is pitted against hard situations and has to rely on faith and her own determination to succeed. Transformations also take place in her life.

While I did enjoy this novel overall, I found keeping track of characters a bit confusing. There were a lot of them, and the narrative was told through various perspectives. Some of the narrative was told by main characters, while others from some of the more minor characters. This didn’t help my confusion. However, it was quickly identifiable who was the narrator for the different portions.

This novel really didn’t sugar-coat any aspect of the war. It was quite descriptive and painted vivid pictures. The characters were not given and easy time, and were challenged as much as they could probably take. I enjoyed this book quite a bit, and am looking forward to reading more from this series.

I would love to hear from you! What characters have you had things in common with? (whether it is a possession, character trait, life event, etc.)?

For more on the author or this book, please check out the following links:

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9 thoughts on “Review: Wedded to War by Jocelyn Green

  1. I enjoyed this one too. It’s one of those great fictional reads that actually double as research. 🙂 She did an outstanding job researching for this novel. It really shows. I like how you pointed out how she was able to connect the dots of real moments and figures of history throughout her story. I haven’t read the rest of the series yet either. It’s on my ever extended reading list. Lol

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      1. My online library has them both now so I know I can get them when I’m ready. I look forward to it. I’d offer to read together, but I think you read much faster than I do! Lol I noticed that she has a 4th one coming out next year and it sounds as good as the other 3 do!

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      2. I just sent in a request for Widow of Gettysburg. The last time I requested books from Moody it took about 2 months to get them, but they said they were working on some transitions so we’ll see how soon I get it. But we could read it together, by saying how far we would read by a certain day. I’ll probably just read other books at the same time, but I do that anyways sometimes.
        I can let you know when I receive the book.

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      1. I might have to go on a waiting list before I can get my copy, but I’ll wait till you have yours since I know you can be more flexible than a library list. I’m looking forward to it. It’s been a while since I read with a friend!

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      2. I’m excited too! I don’t think I’ve read a book along with someone in a long time. It’s definitely been years (well, my hubby and I have done that with a couple of marriage-type books, but that’s a bit different I think).

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