For the Colleys of southeastern Missouri, the War between the States is a plague that threatens devastation, despite the family's avowed neutrality. For eighteen-year-old Adair Colley, it is a nightmare that tears apart her family and forces her and her sisters to flee.
The treachery of a fellow traveler, however, brings about her arrest, and she is caged with the criminal and deranged in a filthy women's prison. But young Adair finds that love can live even in a place of horror and despair. Her interrogator, a Union major, falls in love with her and vows to return for her when the fighting is over. Before he leaves for battle, he bestows upon her a precious gift: freedom.
Now an escaped "enemy woman," Adair must make her harrowing way south buoyed by a promise ... seeking a home and a family that may be nothing more than a memory....Continua
I had some mixed feelings about this book. Usually I really enjoy a book that takes place in an area that I'm familiar with because it really brings the setting alive for me. However in this case I was perhaps too familiar with St. Louis city because when the author took literary license (more than once) with the geography of downtown St. Louis, it immediately threw me out of the story. I really enjoyed the quotes from various historical documents and civil war texts at the beginning of each chapter and learned a great deal I didn't know about the civil war, however I found the author's technique of moving the plot ahead using a series of marvelous coincidences slightly annoying....Continua
This is a grim story, necessarily so, due to the theme of survival during the American Civil War. However, it is also a love story between a man and woman on opposite sides of the conflict, between a woman and her horses, and the propensity of the human spirit to persevere when the world around is cruel and unflinching. The format was at first a little difficult, but soon augmented the tempo of Jiles' prose. I loved it. Also recommend Doctorow's The March....Continua