It's not often I give a book five stars but this book was outstanding. Nor do I enjoy reading history books but this book showed another side to the battle of Gettysburg. Jocelyn Green does a fantastic job of weaving a story around the historical facts. This is definitely one of my favourite reads!!!
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 Rebel 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?
Widow of Gettysburg is inspired by first-person accounts from women who lived in Gettysburg during the battle and its aftermath.
The best element of this story was how Green wove a little bit of a character from her last book, Wedded To War in this novel. I was rather hoping Charlotte would make an appearance, and I was not disappointed. The biggest contrast in this second installment to Heroines Behind The Lines is that while Charlotte was medically trained for her nursing duties, Liberty was not. Liberty is a very likable heroine as you can relate to her struggles to learn how to care for the men brought to her farm.
And of course, what would a Civil War novel be like if there wasn't the North-against-South story line? Plenty of that tension in this novel, as Liberty is the widow of a Union soldier, and her home is converted into a Confederate field hospital. Surprisingly, this commonly portrayed theme did not keep it from being a wonderful novel with fantastic research, made complete by the fact that Green revives the history of the almost forgotten women who valiantly aided the doctors during the four year conflict. The theme of faith was strong, which makes a winner for me. Recommended for personal reading of anyone who loves history, and a perfect title for Christian book clubs.
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
Liberty Holloway is a young Union widow she was fortunate to inherit a farm in Gettysburg from her aunt. Liberty was raised by her aunt but was shown no love . She was a burden to her aunt, at least that is what her aunt told her so many times. Now Liberty is in charge of her own life and her own farm. Her husband was one of the first casualties of the war between the north and the south making her a widow at the age of seventeen.
The war is rumored to be making it closer and closer to Gettysburg. Surely they would not bring the battle so close to a town of women and children. People cried wolf so many times that when the battle arrived at their doorsteps they were not prepared.
The home Liberty hoped to turn into an Inn was now a makeshift hospital for wounded and dying rebel soldiers. Liberty was forced to help the doctors with the wounded. One rebel soldier that had stopped for food at the farm returns again after the rebel hospital took over the farm . Why was she so drawn to this man, as far as she knew he was the cause of her being a widow, when in truth all he wanted to do was protect her.
The author writes using facts and fiction to tell the story of the Widow of Gettysburg. She writes it in the minds eye of the widows. things they never thought they would see, wound soldiers, amputations and horrific unsanitary conditions. So much loss of life and limbs. Most of the people had faith in God and lived His Word to show love toward their enemy in such a devastating war. It is amazing that some even found love, romance and hope for the future.
Book two was not a disappointment and I look forward to the next book in this series.
I highly recommend this book.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishers Newsroom for review. I was in no way compensated for this review.
I absolutely cannot believe how much Jocelyn Green packed into 360+ pages. Not only the detailed history, but the raw emotion, and valuable lessons that left me convicted.
Once again the author takes us on a journey through history that is so detailed and rich that the reader feels like they are there. You can smell the smoke, feel the fear and horror, see the lines of the injured, and taste the sweat and hunger. All of the senses are engaged and the reader finds themselves to immersed in the story that when they you to put it down for awhile you find yourself thinking about the characters.
Honestly, I was so emotionally wrung out after reading that I didn't pick up another book for awhile. Instead, I thought on the book and wondered what I would have done in the character's places. That was part of the story that convicted me the most, could I have done what they did? Could I help with amputations like Libbie? I rather realized what a modern wimp, and even coward, that I really am. But a recurring theme that several of the characters repeated gave me a little hope for myself, it is a quote from a diary entry made July 7th, 1863 by Sarah Broadhead, a housewife and volunteer nurse in Gettysburg. "...We do not know until tried what we are capable of." Another convicting theme is; will we be defined by tragedy and be victims of circumstance or will we rise above, and as the characters say "Go forth"?
The vast amount of research done and a love of history are evident on every page. Jocelyn Green is a master of historical fiction. It was hard to believe that Wedded To War was her debut novel and that Widow Of Gettysburg is only her second. The reader feels as if they are a part of life during the Civil War and not just reading a bunch of dry and boring dates in a history class. Pieces of history that the average modern person might not think about. For instance, I had never thought of the fear a former slave would feel when the Confederates entered Pennsylvania, a Free state, and yet Bella hides for hours in a barrel in the cellar.
Readers will get a taste of the true horrors of war and yet the author manages to tell it without leaving readers in complete shock. Truly told but thoughtfully and sensitively written.
Widow Of Gettysburg is both entertaining and inspiring. A must read for any fan of historical fiction or the Civil War. This reader is anxiously awaiting the next book in the Heroines Behind The Lines: Civil War, Yankee In Atlanta.
Note: Due to some of the historical facts I wouldn't recommend this book for anyone under 16. Life wasn't easy for slaves nor is war a cakewalk.
(I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishers (River North) in exchange for my honest opinion.)
Prepare to be shocked by this next statement: I read a book about the Civil War and I loved it. It's like me saying I love Del Taco. You know, like I've never mentioned that before to the internet.
Here's why I liked it:
1. I really enjoyed the first book in the series Wedded to War.
2. Jocelyn Green bases her stories off of real people. I love that.
3. It deals with the Civil War.
4. There was mention of the Massachusetts 54th.
Widow of Gettysburg is a fantastic and wonderful second book of Jocelyn Green's Heroines Behind the Lines series. A tale of sacrifice, love, family, war and strength all mixed together beautifully by Green's writing. If you love historical fiction, you'll love this one.
Once the book hit the start of the battle I couldn't put it down. As much as I talk about history and the Civil War, I've never studied or read much about those who lived in Gettysburg. Maybe because my research never dealt with the battle at Gettysburg, but what a story that city holds. Oh man, what that must have been like! Green's descriptions and storytelling brought to life how it was for those who lived there.
Plus there were a few things that I didn't see coming AT ALL. About 35% in_.wha???????????????????????? That is all folks. If you've read it, you have to tell me what you thought!
One thing I shouldn't have done was read this before work. Stories of mamas losing their sons_there went my makeup.
I ended the book wanting to watch Glory again and felt better for reading the story of those who were just as brave as the soldiers who fought for freedom.