It's November 30, 1864, Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee. Lizzie is the Governess to two children there. They look out and see an army forming between their house and the neighbors. The southern army here, federal army drenched in there. Around 20,000 men. The battle was fought over 2 1/2 miles, with nearly 10,000 killed, wounded or taken prisoner. Read that last sentence again. Can you really imagine it?
Their house quickly fills up with wounded. They tear up all the cloth they have - clothes, bed linens, towels, even underwear and Lizzies wedding dress, for bandages. She has skills learned from her father who is a pharmacist, and is able to help the surgeon. She learns that her fiancé is somewhere on the battlefield and goes to look for him - getting an even bigger shock of her life. The hem of her dress is soaked 6 inches with the blood. (Yet just a fraction of what Armageddon will be.) It literally came to their doorstep. Even the children join in helping the wounded in the house. The depth of sorrow and pain, and the eventual joy and love of the living.
Roland was one of the soldiers who had been battered, both legs and much of a hand. He and Lizzie have a special bond that grows through the story, as they both learn how to live with all the changes to their world, their lives. Since they lost the battle there, all of the soldiers on the losing side are supposed to go to Federal prison. They are given permission to stay until better healed, in the care of the McGavocks and local Catholic Sisters. Their mending is difficult, and gives them all a chance to know each other better. Relationships are forged between them all, including two black slaves. An incredible story telling from different angles of those involved. Well done, illustrating an incredible number of people.
#WithThisPledge #TameraAlexander #NetGalley #ChristianHistoricalFiction
"Odd how war had a way of leveling out life. Of making what once seemed so important— such as propriety and decorum in conversation—not quite so significant. And in turn, it made what truly mattered— people, taking care of one another, life—of utmost urgency."
“For those who are in Christ Jesus, the best is always yet to come. Believe that.”