Awhile back, I read Jocelyn Green’s novel Wedded to War. I adored the book and loved the realities of the Civil War that she captured. Though I adore Civil War movies (and Gone With the Wind is one of my favorites) they are often glamorized. The reality is that the war was a difficult time in so many ways. While the nation was torn apart, families were as well. Not only did men leave battle fields with physical scars, but there were emotional ones on their hearts. Green’s novels capture these hardships but also wraps them up with elements of faith and hope.
**I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**
When a horrific battle rips through Gettysburg, the farm of Union widow Liberty Holloway is disfigured into a Confederate field hospital, bringing her face to face with unspeakable suffering-and a Confederate scout who awakens her long dormant heart.
While Liberty’s future crumbles as her home is destroyed, the past comes rushing back to Bella, a former slave and Liberty’s hired help, when she finds herself surrounded by Southern soldiers, one of whom knows the secret that would place Liberty in danger if revealed.
In the wake of shattered homes and bodies, Liberty and Bella struggle to pick up the pieces the battle has left behind. Will Liberty be defined by the tragedy in her life, or will she find a way to triumph over it?
Inspired by first-person accounts from women who lived in Gettysburg during the battle and its aftermath, Widow of Gettysburg is Book 2 in the Heroines Behind the Lines
series. These books do not need to be read in succession. For more information
& resources about the Heroines Behind the Lines series, visit heroinesbehindthelines.com.
“God’s instruments are never perfect. If we experienced no pain in our own lives, had no need for healing, we would be tragically irrelevant to the rest of the world. Preaching grace and forgiveness falls flat if we are not desperate for it ourselves.”
-Dr. O’Leary, Widow of Gettysburg
Characters: This novel is home to quite a cast of characters. The main character, Liberty, is wonderful. Through the story, we see her trying to figure out her own identity and to claim it for herself. There is Bella, a black woman with secrets that she is hiding. The hero of the book is Silas who is also hiding secrets. Add in a few more eccentric characters and it is hard to see what will be coming next in the story.
Storyline: The story in the pages of this book is complicated in all the best ways. There is mystery about the history of different characters. There is romance between some of them. There is the war in the background. With so many things going on, there is hardly a dull moment in this book. I was quite wrapped up in the story and anxious to learn how it would all end.
My Thoughts: I’m impressed with this novel. Green does a wonderful job of capturing the horrors of the Civil War, sometimes a bit too well, but this is perhaps one of the best novels I’ve read doing so. She does not shy away form the details of what occurred in the hospitals–from stealing medical supplies to amputations during the war. Within the history of the book though, is a story that is fascinating to read and understand as it unfolds. The characters are emotionally involved and the reader is as well. I adored this book and can’t wait to read another book by Jocelyn Green.
About the Author:
Award-winning author Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage in her readers through both fiction and nonfiction. A former military wife herself, she offers encouragement and hope to military wives worldwide through her Faith Deployed ministry. Her novels, inspired by real heroines on America’s home front, are marked by their historical integrity and gritty inspiration.
Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, with a B.A. in English, concentration in writing. She is an active member of the Christian Authors Network, the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Military Writers Society of America.
She loves Mexican food, Broadway musicals, Toblerone chocolate bars, the color red, and reading on her patio. Jocelyn lives with her husband Rob and two small children in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
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