Customer Reviews for

The Widow of the South

Average Rating 4
( 132 )
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(60)

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(27)

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(19)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(16)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

a very real lady...

The Widow of the South takes place during and after a bloody Civil War battle in Franklin, Tennessee. The title refers to a very real lady who's plantation house becomes a make-shift hospital for the confederate troops. When a neighbor man wants to plow his field under,...
The Widow of the South takes place during and after a bloody Civil War battle in Franklin, Tennessee. The title refers to a very real lady who's plantation house becomes a make-shift hospital for the confederate troops. When a neighbor man wants to plow his field under, the same one where the battle took place, Carrie takes it upon herself to dig up the 1,500 soldiers that lie in that field and bury them in her own. She creates a cemetery where she keeps watch over the dead and remembers them so that others can forget. This novel tells Carrie's story but also adds a fair share of fictional characters that add more element to the book for entertainment's sake.

The Battle of Franklin is over and done with in the first hundred pages. The rest of the novel is dedicated to relationships. The relationship between Carrie and a certain soldier who makes her feel alive after so many years of mourning for her three dead children. The relationship between Carrie and her slave Mariah who have been together since birth. The relationship between confederate and union, slave and freed slave, husband and wife. Maybe most importantly this is a story of introspection....Carrie's relationship with herself. She craves meaning and the significance of life and she finds it in Zachariah, a worn out hero of the war who loses a leg in the battle and finds life again at the McGavock plantation hospital.

This is a well researched historical novel surrounding a not-so-well-known lady who devoted her life in caring for the wounded and then the dead in the aftermath of the five bloodiest hours of the Civil War. The Widow of the South is a beautifully written story with characters who have real emotional depth. I'd really like to see more books come from this author!

posted by songcatchers on October 25, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Widow of the South

Most of this book is fiction which may mislead many about the real Carrie McGavock. The writing style of Mr. Hicks is tedious and tiring. I found myself skimming many of the pages just trying to finish the book. I don't recommend this book.

posted by Anonymous on August 24, 2005

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2012

    I stopped reading this book when Carrie McGavock, a character ba

    I stopped reading this book when Carrie McGavock, a character based on a real person, beat a wounded soldier with a crutch. This rambling tome insults the memory of the McGavock family, and of the men and women who lived in Williamson County during those turbulent years. Sullying the life of Mrs. McGavock by having her engaging in an affair with a man outside of marriage was just too much for me to stomach. Mr. Hicks should be ashamed. He, at least, should have changed the names and location.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2010

    Ugh, worst book I read this year

    Dewy-eyed, sentimental, badly written romantic trash. It never rang true. And his portrayal of contented slaves on the plantation and in town is just awful. I finally understood why he wrote this gooey southern apology - the plantation still exists and Mr. Hicks is on its board of directors.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Disappointment

    I was disappointed with this book. I didn't see the need for the "romance", if that's what you can call it, between the main character Carrie and Zachariah Cashwell. The author never really shows what caused the connection between Carrie and one of the soldiers, Zachariah Cashwell, or what exactly the connection between Carrie and Zachariah was. Also, the way the author wrote the Carrie character made her seem like she wasn't all there, mentally. She lost three out of five of her children, which is incredibly sad, but she seemed to forget that she still had two living children. The author tried to show that having the Canton house become a hospital and Carrie having wounded men to take care of somehow brought her "back to life" but I didn't really see that in the writing. It would make more sense for her to realize that she still had two living children to take care of to bring her "back to life."

    It's as if the author wanted to tell the story of Franklin and Canton during the Civil War but ruined it with his rendering of Carrie, which probably doesn't do the real Carrie McGavock justice, and thought that throwing bits and pieces of a so-called romance into the book would make it more interesting. For me, it didn't.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2006

    Not exciting

    Mr. Hicks wrote a story about a manic/ depressive woman who only came out of her shell when her plantation house was turned into a hospital. She is mourning the loss of two of her children while she ignores her other two living children. While this book is based on a true story, I cannot fathom why it took 388 pages to get to the point! It was not exciting, it wasn't even entertaining. It was merely a story about some really disturbed people after one battle in a small town in Tennessee. The main character did accomplish one good thing-the burial of the soldiers killed in the Battle of Franklin. The authors note is the best part of the book. I was sorely disappointed!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2005

    Boring Book

    The writing style is absolutely boring. The story is simply a tired redo of many stories retelling the 'horrors' of slavery, and generally degrading the South and a culture long dead and buried. Another 'beat up the Old South' book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2005

    Widow of the South

    Most of this book is fiction which may mislead many about the real Carrie McGavock. The writing style of Mr. Hicks is tedious and tiring. I found myself skimming many of the pages just trying to finish the book. I don't recommend this book.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013

    Disappointment!

    I am a real fan of books taking place in the south and during the Civil War. This book is a total disapointment. The writing goes on and on and the story seems to go no where fast. The fact that this story is based on a real character makes it even sadder.
    Unfortunately, I also purchased another one of Mr. Hick's books, A Separate Country. I have not read it yet, but I am not excited to start it. I really enjoy reading all the books a author writes, one after the other.
    Signed a disappointed reader.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2012

    great book!

    I really enjoyed this book. Thought provoking and very interesting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2005

    A sheer waste of time

    Our Book club choose this book after reading reviews and we were disappointed, with many not even attempting to finish the book...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2005

    Widow of the South

    As a civil war buff and familiar with the story of Carrie McGavock and the Battle of Franklin, I find this book to be an insult to the lady, her family, and the battle.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2010

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