Several participants in the U.S. Civil War Reading Challenge 2011 and the recent challenge read-along have posted reviews of Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles. Here are excerpts from those reviews, and you can click the links to read the full reviews.
Scrappy Cat said:
While I mostly enjoyed the story, I found parts to be unbelievable and thought it was not very well written. But I learned about the imprisonment of women during the Civil War that I didn’t know about before.
Irene’s desk said:
If I had to cast these two major roles, the Major would have to be Johnny Depp, Adair would have to be Penelope Cruz. I know she has that accent, but maybe she could act it away.
All in all I enjoyed this book, I loved the relationship with horses Adair had. I was so very sorry that the war robbed her of her health, wealth and happiness.
Savvy Verse & Wit said:
Questions also are raised about whether Adair would have fallen in love with a union soldier had the war not taken place and they were not thrown together. Readers may enjoy the plight of Adair, but they also may grow frustrated with her lack of growth and the plodding nature of the prose throughout the book. War scenes only occur once or twice in the book, and while most of the book is about Adair and her journey, there are a couple of chapters thrown in that focus only on Major Neumann after he is sent to the war front from the St. Louis prison where Adair is held.
Diary of an Eccentric said:
Paulette Jiles’ writing comes alive in the few chapters that focus on Neumann, and I really enjoyed the scenes dealing with the skirmish he’s involved in as he’s joining up with his new unit. But Neumann is scarcely seen in the last third of the book, and since I found him more interesting than Adair, I’m not surprised that the book lost steam for me. The lack of quotation marks to distinguish the dialogue also made reading the book a chore.