Publication Date: 08 Jan 2019
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Bethany House Publishers
“What is a man supposed to do, Lizzie when an army shows up to occupy his land? His home? His possessions? He fights, that’s what he does!”
Tamera Alexander takes us back to the Carnton Plantation, south of Nashville, to relive the night of November 30, 1864 and the Battle of Franklin along with the ensuing aftermath left by the brutal battle that resulted in a loss of approximately 8500 men. The story is an amazing mingling of historical facts, documents and letters, interspersed with threads of fiction filling in the blanks. The primary characters are based on real people, which add to the depth of the novel.
Let me introduce you to Captain Roland Ward Jones of the Mississippi Sharpshooters and Miss Lizzie Clouston, governess at Carnton and friend of John and Carrie McGavock, owners of Carnton. Their introduction occurs during some of the worst fighting of the battle when Roland is brought in among the wounded to Carnton for surgery. He stands to lose a good portion of one hand and his right leg until Lizzie, serving as the untrained surgical assistant, steps in on his behalf and advocates for him. During the long process of healing, Roland and Lizzie fall in love. However, Roland is a plantation owner with slaves and Lizzie is learning how she really feels about slavery.
Is there a future for these two very different souls? Can they come to terms with what the war has done to them physically, spiritually, and mentally? This story carries strong themes of freedom, freedom of choice and freedom to make one’s own decisions, as well as promises one makes and the price we pay when we honor them.
It is a difficult task to take such a tragic event and turn it into a story that evokes positive emotions and instills life lessons. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this detail rich story sprinkled with inspirational reminders. The characters are genuine and real. If you enjoy inspirational historical fiction or historical fiction, this book is a must read.
This ARC copy was received from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley.com. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.