Jocelyn Green has written a wonderful book in her new "Heroines Behind the Lines" Civil War book series. This is a work of fiction, but is heavily based in fact. It was a fascinating read on the trials and horrors of the time. Charlotte wants to be more than just an empty-headed, pretty woman on some man's arm. Her greatest desire is to have her life count for something. She fights with everything she has against overwhelming obstacles to be able to work as a nurse during the civil war. She endures incomprehensible circumstances to be able to do that work. She can be overly strong and opinionated, but as the book progresses, you start to see some growth. I very much appreciated when Alice (her sister) calls her on her attitude towards men in authority, though I wish she had not let Charlotte get away with a couple of her nastier comments.
This is a hard review to write without giving spoilers. The author wrote a very gritty, realistic book, but there were times when it felt she was pushing a little too hard--going for shock factor. I also had a hard time with the fact that Charlotte stands there while her fiance verbally attacks, with no discernable reason (at least to Charlotte at the time) Ruby, the woman she has taken under her wing and she doesn't really do anything. This from the girl that stands up to everyone--sometimes to her detriment. Ruby's story is woven throughout the book adding even more depth to the story.
I love a book that makes me root for the characters, and this one certainly did. The added bonus is the "History Behind the Story" at the end that gives a short sketch of the characters that were taken from history, and the bibliography to help anyone who would like to read more on the subjects in the book. Very well done book. I look forward to reading the sequels as they come out!
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.