Author: Laird Hunt
Genre: Historical Fiction
The book is about a wife who leaves behind her husband to be a soldier for the Union army during the Civil War. It is written in the first person through her eyes. She gets captured and jailed by the Confederates but she outsmarts them and escapes. Then she gets betrayed and thrown into an asylum by the Union where she’s tortured. So much happens to her that she doesn’t know whom to trust anymore. There is humor and sarcasm and great details of war. The prose is wonderfully done. The author did amazing research work creating true to life characters and atmosphere.
At first I was hesitant to read this story because when I read the synopsis, and it mentioned the Civil War, I just wasn’t ready to read into that part of history again, even if it was a fiction story. But, what intrigued me was the fact that women went into the war secretly in disguise. I wanted to know how they were able to do it and so the journey with this book began.
I find it odd that I never learned about this part of American history throughout my schooling. I was very touched by it all that I felt compelled to do additional researching. Not only were the women brave in making this choice but so many young boys (not even men yet!) fought for the emancipation of slaves in the South. Over 620,000 lives were taken. I think there could have been another way. Not war. Not all those lives. It tears at my heart.
Overall, this was a wonderful read. I cried and laughed and I came out with a whole new respect for the women who fought in the Civil War. The only downside to this book was that it was too short. I would have loved an additional 300 to 400 pages.
A quote from the book:
“You stand in a line in your bright blues with your filthy face and your lice and all the dead you now know and get shot at regular, your thinking takes a change. You get to where you can do things you couldn’t have dreamed up the outline of before.”