Widow of Gettysburg grabs you right from the beginning and takes you back in time to war, love, and the pain that comes with it.
Just like Wedded to War Jocelyn's tale is haunting and glaringly, historically correct. There are times when I needed to take a break from reading because the story is just so heavy I need to digest some of it before moving on. This time she completely threw me for a loop with her twists and turns in the plot. I love that she always takes a character and shows you that until you walk in their shoes you don't know them at all and they can always change. Most of them are beautifully complex, and the growth of these people is also beautiful to behold. I really enjoyed the short return of Charlotte from Wedded to War as well as all of the new characters that fill these pages. If you want to know how the Civil War really was and felt then this is the series for you! From the battle field to the surgery table the good, the bad, and the down right haunting are painted with a fabulous story of strength and courage. I can't really even fathom what these poor women felt as they endured the horrors of war though Jocelyn gives wonderful examples and expressions their emotions. These people truly got their strength from The Heavenly Father watching over them because otherwise they would not have been able to go on and on. I love that Jocelyn always wraps up in the end with the history behind her stories. There she tells you who is real and you is fictional. With amazing twists and true trials that had to be faced Widow of Gettysburg is a wonderful sequel and stand alone book. I can't wait for more.
Songs from the pages of Widow of Gettysburg: "Yankee Doodle Dandy - American Classic with Fife and Drum" performed by Patriotic Fathers, "Wade in the Water" sung by Kathy Mattea, "Battle Hymn of the Republic" sung by Judy Collins, "Hallelujah Chorus" performed by The Church Organ All Stars, "Be Still My Soul (In You I Rest)" performed by Kari Jobe, "Weeping Sad and Lonely (When the Cruel War is Over)" performed by Craig Duncan
A riveting story of civilians during the Civil War
July 15, 2013
The Widow of Gettysburg is a riveting, real-life portrayal of how the Civil War impacted the lives of several women. Liberty's life takes a drastic turn when her home is confiscated for a Confederate hospital. Bella, Liberty's employee and a former slave, finds it nearly impossible to be around the men she loathes. And Amelia, whose lost her son and husband, searches for a reason to go on.
Jocelyn Green has expertly penned a stunning portrayal of survival amidst tragedy, personal triumphs in the face of a vicious war, and faith in God when all seems hopeless. Complex characters act out the story of civilians who face their limitations and must rise above them to survive and make a difference. The Widow of Gettysburg is a book you'll not soon forget.
I have always been intrigued by the Civil War era, hence my love of Gone with the Wind. So when I saw this book I knew I had to read it.
Jocelyn (the author) does a wonderful job of building up to the war in Gettysburg and then when it unleashes it does so with full force and you can feel that in this book.
Liberty (great name by the way) is thrown into nursing the men that killed her husband, with her mother-in-law living under the same roof, judging her for what she is doing. And that is the last thing Liberty needs. She has been judged and verbally beat down all her life. She has never know what real love looks likes and hasn't hard many uplifting or encouraging words.
Because of what she endured as a child she struggles with making the right choice in different areas of her life. She is afraid of messing things up because that is what she always does. Hm, I can so relate to this character, how about you?
There are some parts that aren't for the faint of heart, with descriptions of limbs being sawed off and thrown out the window. But if you can stomach that and enjoy a historical with some romance thrown in, then this could be the book for you.
A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for an honest review.
Widow of Gettysburg is the second in the Heroines Behind the Lines series, preceded by Wedded to War, both excellently crafted by Jocelyn Green. When I first started the series, it was due to the setting being in the Civil War timeframe. Here is a portion of the review I wrote for Wedded to War in 2012: "This particular novel begins with an explanation about the Sanitary Commission. As we read about the characters and places, the author does a masterful job of portraying the geographical area so we can see it in our minds as we read. Perhaps when we look at our nation's capital and the area around it, we tend to forget it hasn't always looked as it does now. Several times we are drawn back to how medicine, ambulances, war, people, immigrants, and more lived as well as died during this time frame."
I am sure I could tell you about the story at least enough to whet your appetite, but I never would feel as though justice was done. Why? The novel seems t o hold more than can be shared in a review plus there are many ways to view a particular work. The writing here seems to be very well researched and there are some quotes shared from women who actually lived during this particular time during battle. I cannot imagine the hardships they faced, smells encountered as well as life-altering events that came across their lives in Gettysburg. Jocelyn does a wonderful job transporting her readers to the time and with the use of such apt descriptions that help the reader formulate a mental picture of the scene in the story.
Times were very different then than they are now and many changes have occurred. Women were called to or sometimes forced to help the doctors, soldiers and sometimes civilians from either side of the conflict. Sometimes this meant to care for the wounded long after the battle was over. Even when the all the accoutrements of war were moved, including the wounded and prisoners, there was so much work left to be done. Also included in the tale are threads of what life was like for slave and free: The hatred, forgiveness, healing, revenge and many other emotions that are aptly felt by characters. What I enjoyed too was the element of faith that both sides had and displayed by prayer, Scripture memorization, singing of hymns and more. Patriotism was not the central part of the war, but instead the abolishment of slavery regardless of race, creed or for any other reason.
Widow of Gettysburg took me a whole day to read including breaks and all, but what a way to spend the time lost in masterpiece of literature! Gladly I learned too that there are other stories planned for this series that I am sure will enthrall audiences. Abraham Lincoln was a man used by God to lead our nation in one of its' most perilous times; his words still echo in the wind today. May we today continue to show the courage of those who loved, lived and died in service to God and this country.
Historical accuracy, engaging characters that make me want to cheer for them, villains that make me want to yell, "Boo!" when they come across the page and great stories - these are the things that set my reader's heart on fire in historical fiction. All of these qualities are present and beautifully woven together in Jocelyn Green's "The Widow of Gettysburg."
Reading this book gave me new insight into the life of women during the Civil War. Their lives of raw courage in the face of circumstances they never asked for encourage me to attack the challenges that I encounter in daily life. For a read that thrills, encourages and inspires - buy "The Widow of Gettysburg."