by D.L. Rogers
Publication Date: June 1, 2013
Paperback, AudioBook, & eBook
Genre: Historical Fiction
Read the complete first chapter here.
In a time when raiders, bushwhackers, and Redlegs rode the Cass County, Missouri, countryside bringing fear and destruction with them, Elizabeth Miers and her family barely survived into the next day. When the enemy, in the form of Elizabeth’s neighbors, comes a-calling more than once with mischief on their minds, Elizabeth fights back to keep her children safe against men she once called friends.
On August 25, 1863, following the issuance of General Order No. 11 by Union General Thomas Ewing, thousands of women, children, and the elderly were forced to vacate their homes in the brutal summer heat within fifteen days. With determination and a plan, Elizabeth sets out on a sixty-mile trek toward St. Clair County. Carrying enough prepared food and water on a rickety built sled to reach her aunt and uncle’s farm, she prays her kin are there to welcome them, not knowing whether they lived through the burning of Osceola two years prior—or not.
Facing more than just the lack of food and shelter and the unbearable heat, they’re set upon by raiders and foraging soldiers who try to take more than just their meager provisions. Much more. Left with little after their supplies are stolen and their property destroyed, Elizabeth and her fellow travelers continue south, facing more indignities before their journey is done.
Through Elizabeth and the thousands of other refugees that traveled ahead of and behind her, feel what they felt in the wake of General Order No. 11, an order that took everything and left them destitute and afraid they wouldn’t live to see one more day.
I have never read a book about the Civil War quite like this before. I have read books from the Northern perspective, from the perspective of Southern abolitionists, and exactly one from the perspective of a “Southern Belle” daughter of a slaveholder. Never before have I read one about a neutral Southern family that just wanted to protect themselves and their land. And this really changed my perspective on the entire war.
For starters, they were a family who had already had arguments about the issue of slaves, but they didn’t own slaves. The brother did not want to fight for the Confederacy for the right to own slaves. He wanted to fight to protect the home that he had grown up in, especially since the Union started invading before they had officially even declared a war. Elizabeth and her children were left alone as her husband James went into hiding to avoid being drafted, but being a border state meant that they were being attacked by both sides. The Union soldiers came to try to steal food for their men, the Confederate soldiers were never really there to protect the citizens, and “bushwhackers” would run around trying to protect who they could. But all three groups needed food and were determined to take it nearly by any means possible, even if it meant leaving a family to starve.
Nora was my absolute favorite character in the book. As the oldest girl, when her brother and father left, she had to step up to help her mother. Sometimes her mother would go into full fight mode, and she would have to calm her down and make her see reason again. I wish that there was a sequel just about the rest of her life, She was one of the strongest teenage characters that I have ever seen in writing, but she still managed to be realistic.
This story talks about the horrors of war from a more personal perspective. Usually, the South is portrayed as the “enemy,” but this book showed that there were bad soldiers on both sides. Elizabeth just wanted to protect her family, and she would do anything to keep them alive. I felt like I was living in the hell that the family was living in, keeping watch at night and trying to protect what little food they had. Then, they were forced to move out of their houses, and their situation only got worse. I felt as if the characters were real, and as if I was living their life story, as I was reading this fictional novel.
There was not a dull moment in this book. Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down. I was reading the first few pages around 11 PM one night, and I was only trying to get through around a third of the book before I went off to bed. Before I knew it, the clock read 1 AM, and I had completed the entire thing. It was simply that good!
If you are a fan of historical fiction books, you absolutely have to pick this one up. This one is just incredible.
I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.
Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 stars
About the Author
Although born in New Jersey of parents from New Jersey and Tennessee, it was just a matter of time before Diane’s “southern” blood revealed itself. And reveal itself it did, in a passion for all things western and related to the Civil War. Having learned a great deal in her research since her historical journey began, especially in the midwest, Diane has attempted to portray both the west and the war from numerous points-of-view, which is not always the same history as what has been previously portrayed–or taught.
As a kid, Diane played Cowboys and Indians more than she did Barbie, and as she got older, she and her cousin (whose parents were reversed) gave themselves the moniker of “Yebels.” The question of what it would have been like during the Civil War years, when friends and family fought on opposite sides of the war, festered inside Diane until she answered her own question in the form of the novels she writes of the west and Civil War, where everyday people, regardless of what “side” they were on, when faced with difficult situations, rose to the challenge, and survived.
Now living south of Kansas City, Missouri, on fourteen acres of property, when Diane’s not writing or marketing, she enjoys sitting on her front porch, reading when she can or just watching her horses in the pasture and multitude of cats in the yard. When she does venture into town, it’s to work at a lawfirm on the Plaza, or visit her two children and five grandchildren.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, November 5
Review at Pursuing Stacie (Elizabeth’s War)
Tuesday, November 6
Interview at Passages to the Past
Thursday, November 8
Review at Locks, Hooks, and Books (Elizabeth’s War)
Friday, November 9
Review at Bri’s Book Nook (Elizabeth’s War)
Monday, November 12
Review at The Reading Woman (Elizabeth’s War)
Tuesday, November 13
Feature at Book Nerd
Wednesday, November 14
Excerpt at Passages to the Past
Friday, November 16
Review at Pursuing Stacie (Crossfire in the Street)
Monday, November 19
Review at Bri’s Book Nook (Crossfire in the Street)
Tuesday, November 20
Review at Locks, Hooks, and Books (Crossfire in the Street)
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
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