Simply mention the word Gettysburg and most likely everyone will have something to say on the subject. From history and movie buffs to re-enactors and school teachers, the legacy of that infamous battle and its soldiers will continue to stun and silence each passing generation.
But what about the legacy of its citizens before, during, and after the fight? Who were they and what did they experience? What did the town of Gettysburg look like before it became a historical tourist destination?
With the 151st anniversary of the battle itself looming right around the corner ( July 1-3 ) and having just recently welcomed author Jocelyn Green as a guest on my blog ( If you missed our chat, click here ), I wanted to share my review of her second installment in the Heroines Behind the Line series – Widow of Gettysburg
Beautifully-bittersweet and honest, this book immediately transports readers behind the scenes of one of the most pivotal battles of the Civil War. There was a small part of me at first that was nervous to “travel” there. I knew it would be quite a journey through the pages and it was. In fact, it turned out to be – and give – so much more than I expected. I began reading and could hardly stop.
Inspired by first-person accounts and accompanied by a genuine cast of authentic characters, the story follows nineteen-year-old Liberty Holloway, recently widowed, who is struggling to find herself and provide a living in the tumultuous year of 1863 in a tumultuous town called Gettysburg. Fighting prejudices and reputations, Libbie must face the enemy on her doorstep, the mysteries of her past, and a surprising affection for a man with his own secrets.
The book covers many various aspects of the time period, everything from emergency amputations to slavery with great tact and respect. Trust me when I say it will hold you in its grip from the first page to the end. I actually burnt the pancakes I was cooking for my hubby one morning because I was standing in the kitchen with my nose buried in the book. 😉 Thankfully my sweetie is very patient with my cooking and my distracted reading habits. In that moment, I was far away on the outskirts of Gettysburg, standing in Libbie’s front yard with her as she nursed the wounded Confederates.
I can’t help but love riveting stories about life’s crossroads. The kindred ties between historical fact and fiction are skillfully combined and hard to distinguish between. The seeds of romance are planted in all the right places and on purpose, without over-threatening and stealing too much away from the rest of the plot. Readers will undoubtedly be intrigued and surprised along the way. If you haven’t read anything by Jocelyn Green yet, I know you’ll be an avid fan after reading this story. 😉
This book made such a difference to my visit to Gettysburg last year. It was my first time there in person and yet the grounds already felt so familiar to me in a way. That’s the beautiful thing about finding favorite historical novels. They may carry you away to another place and time for a little while, but you’ll carry them with you way beyond that in your heart. Widow of Gettysburg was one of those books for me. I won’t forget it and I hope you’ll read and remember it fondly as well.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publisher for my copy.