I am blown away by how Karen Abbott was able to take a non-fiction book, over 4 years of real life events, intertwined with 4 real people’s live’s stories during the Civil War and make it read like a story. A story that I could not get enough of. I do believe this was brilliantly told and I would hold it up to the likes of Killer Angels.
You get a comprehensive experience of every year of the war from the naivety and narcissism in the beginning where the belief was the war would only last 30 days to the destruction of the South and the true hardship this cost everyone in the 13 states. It gives you a realistic look at what ideas actually motivated the start of the war and what ideals were cemented by the end of war. With this you see America change as the story and war progresses. You get the innocence of the characters, their maturity and hardening that comes with war, and feel their bitter turmoil by the end of it.
This is a fantastic read for someone who wants to see how women were powerful in their own ways during the Civil War. Women who were precursors and most likely influenced and inspired the women who would become Suffragettes and fight for our right to vote. A great showcase to see how women who were respected for their strengths as females, and used their being underestimated as advantages in power and yielded this as a successful weapon in war. Truly inspiring stories of grit and heart. A valuable read.
I hope that this book is not just read by women, and that is read by men as well. If you are a person who really enjoyed learning about Gettysburg through the writing of Michael Shaara’s Killer Angels, then I feel like this is a natural choice for your next Civil War read. It briefly goes over Gettysburg and comprehensively discusses the rest of the war.
This book is worth reading every page.