Review: PEMBERLEY RANCH by Jack Caldwell

Savvy Verse & Wit reviewed Pemberley Ranch by Jack Caldwell for the U.S. Civil War Reading Challenge 2011.  Here’s an excerpt:

Pemberley Ranch by Jack Caldwell is a re-imagining of Pride & Prejudice set during the U.S. Civil War and opens during the battle of Vicksburg, Miss., which was the final surge of the war between union or Yankee troops and southern confederates.  Darcy is a captain in the confederate army and readers are dropped right into the action of war as the novel opens.  He’s commanding his troops as union soldiers pin them down, but then they suddenly withdrawn.  Caldwell’s prose is descriptive down to the sidearms used by the battling troops.

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Review: THE EVER-AFTER BIRD by Ann Rinaldi

Diary of an Eccentric reviewed The Ever-After Bird by Ann Rinaldi for the U.S. Civil War Reading Challenge 2011.  Here’s an excerpt:

I read The Ever-After Bird in just a couple of hours, and it blew me away.  Rinaldi based this book on Dr. Alexander Ross, a Canadian physician and renowned ornithologist who sketched birds on the Southern plantations and also was involved in the Underground Railroad.  Because little is known about Ross, much of The Ever-After Bird is fiction, but her version of the doctor is both charming and captivating.

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Review: A SEPARATE COUNTRY by Robert Hicks

Lit and Life reviewed A Separate Country by Robert Hicks for the U.S. Civil War Reading Challenge 2011.  Here’s an excerpt:

Hood was bitter and conflicted about what he had done in his years in the army and deeply disappointed with the legacy that he had left. He spent much of the rest of his life writing a book attempting to set the record straight. On his death bed, however, he tells Griffin that he wants that book destroyed and a more recent accounting of his life published. This is the story of his life with Anna Marie Hennen, a New Orleans beauty who was inexplicably drawn to the shattered man, who gave birth to his eleven children and who introduced him to people who could only have lived in New Orleans.

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Review: COME JUNETEENTH by Ann Rinaldi

Diary of an Eccentric reviewed Come Juneteenth by Ann Rinaldi for the U.S. Civil War Reading Challenge 2011.  Here’s an excerpt:

Come Juneteenth is a fast-paced novel that grabbed my attention right from the start.  Why are Luli and Gabe making their way across the prairie in search of a young woman they both love?  Why did they have to conceal Sis Goose’s freedom, when she loved them and wasn’t likely to leave?  The answers to these questions pulled at my heart, and Rinaldi doesn’t pave the way for a happy ending this time…but that’s what makes this book so good.

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Review: SARAH’S GROUND by Ann Rinaldi

Diary of an Eccentric reviewed Sarah’s Ground by Ann Rinaldi for the U.S. Civil War Reading Challenge 2011.  Here’s an excerpt:

Mount Vernon, the Virginia plantation and family home of George Washington, was the only neutral ground during the American Civil War.  I had the pleasure of touring the home and the grounds more than a decade ago, so it was interesting to read about the home when it was being restored and war was being waged all around it.  Sarah’s Ground is based on the true story of Sarah Tracy, a young woman from New York who took a job at the estate as a caretaker of sorts.  Ann Rinaldi used historical information in Sarah’s letters to Miss Cunningham of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association in writing the book, but Rinaldi imagined much of Sarah’s story because her journals and other papers from her years at Mount Vernon were destroyed after the war when her home near Fairfax burned.

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Review: PETTICOAT SPIES: SIX WOMEN SPIES OF THE CIVIL WAR by Peggy Caravantes

Diary of an Eccentric reviewed Petticoat Spies:  Six Women Spies of the Civil War by Peggy Caravantes for the U.S. Civil War Reading Challenge 2011.  Here’s an excerpt:

Caravantes brings these women to life in Petticoat Spies.  The book is comprised of six chapters, giving each woman their own chapter and making it easier for readers to follow their stories.  She provides a lot of information about each woman, from their childhood before the war to how they fared after their spying careers ended.  Caravantes enables readers to really get to know these women as people and as spies.  Not every woman had a happy ending, of course.  Some did not live to see the end of the war, some were recognized and honored for their service, and some found themselves penniless.

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Review: WHEN WILL THIS CRUEL WAR BE OVER? THE CIVIL WAR DIARY OF EMMA SIMPSON by Barry Denenberg

Diary of an Eccentric reviewed When Will This Cruel War Be Over? The Civil War Diary of Emma Simpson by Barry Denenberg for the U.S. Civil War Reading Challenge 2011.  Here’s an excerpt:

One could call The Civil War Diary of Emma Simpson a homefront novel of sorts.  While the men are off fighting, Emma and her cousin, Rachel, are pondering hair styles, clothes, and marriage.  But those conversations come to an end when Emma confronts death, hunger, cold, and Yankee soldiers.  The war actually comes to her doorstep, though what she experiences is nowhere near as horrible as what the men experienced on the battlefield.  It really drives home the point that war is a hardship for everyone, though at different degrees.

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**Attention participants: Remember to email us a link to your reviews, and we’ll post them here so we can see what everyone is reading!**

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