Posts Tagged ‘Civil War’

On the cusp of the Civil War, Virginia’s Colonel Jeffrey Jordan and his daughter Jenny know they will likely face the decision of where to place their allegiances. Before war breaks out, newly elected President Lincoln makes the choice to appoint Colonel Jordan the military expert on the Senate Military Committee. What President Lincoln didn’t know then, despite asking outright, was that Colonel Jordan has decided to stand with the South. In fact, his position puts him just in the right place to act as a spy.

Jenny, Colonel Jordan’s daughter, also feels pulled as a southerner. She’s caught between a rock and a hard place, though, because she enjoys President Lincoln and his family, particularly his two young boys. And, she’s working in the White House as a receptionist.

Falling in love with a Yankee soldier- a Zouaves no less- was not on her agenda. When her father forbids her to see any soldier, but particularly one in the Union, she is heartbroken.

At the onset of the war, a spy ring is formed, using a few people situated in delicate positions to gain the information which is then passed across enemy lines using the most unsuspecting of spies- young women. Lieutenant Colonel Jordan obligates Jenny to act as one of the spies, which tears her heart apart, as she tries to steer clear of any involvement that might harm her beloved soldier.

On Jenny’s first spy mission, she is caught. The commander in charge of her execution is none other than her love, the newly promoted Colonel Buck Brownell.

Can Buck save her from the firing squad? If he can, is it possible for their love to survive, now knowing of her traitorous act?

I thought the plot was sound. I’ve read one other Al Lacy book, and said then that I would be interested to read another or two of his titles. This book follows a very similar pattern to the previous title, less the use of scripture.

This book took forever to get moving. The first few chapters felt like a history lesson. I love history, as you know, but this one focused more on the situation than the relationships, which were ultimately the point of this story.

I intensely disliked the father, who not only interfered with her relationships, but then also demanded she become a spy. The analogy of being a soldier on the field and being in harm’s way does not equate, in my opinion, to the actual execution of a spy if caught. I thought the father was deplorable. It would have been totally different if it was her idea and she wanted to be a willing participant, but that’s not what came across.

Nonetheless, towards the end, I did want to plough through, to see what happened. We already knew (via the bit on the back of the book) that Jenny gets caught in Buck’s territory. It seemed like it took forever to get to the actual point of the book. Although I understand the ground work that needed to be laid for the resolution, it just seems that it could have been done in a more engaging manner.

I’m going to give this one 3 out of 5 stars because it wasn’t terrible.  It was average. You need to like history, though, because if you don’t, you will most likely be bored enough to put this one down before it gets interesting.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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Is she out of her mind? New bride Marielle Bishop wonders if she made the right choice, moving to Holly Oak. 

Holly Oak. Home to her new husband and his two children. Home of her new husband’s tragically and unexpectedly deceased first wife’s childhood. Home where they lived as a family when she died; where her husband and two children continued to live in the years after her death.

Home to Adelaide, the grandmother of the deceased first wife, who raised Sara from infancy.

Home to rumor and superstition from the locals. Home to a long history from the Civil War. Home to a curse of the women who live in the house?

Susan Meissner is one of my absolute most favorite authors. Her storytelling has a way of sucking you in, while twining together the past and the present. In this case, I do think the characters each could have been a little more developed. This is one of those books that easily could have been twice as long without leaving the reader feeling fatigued.

When I got to the portion near the end (I won’t spoil it for you), it was so well written it gave me total appreciation of how Susan’s mind works. That little bit there gave huge insight into one character. At the end of the book, I found myself thinking the book might have been better had those bits been woven in throughout, so that both stories were being told at the same time.

That being said, I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. I would definitely recommend this book (along with her others, some of which are out on loan) to friends.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.


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