Customer Reviews for

The Widow of the South

Average Rating 4
( 132 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(60)

4 Star

(27)

3 Star

(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.

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, Zachari...
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.

posted by SmashingSplendor on October 28, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2013

    Anonymous

    Frequently there are well-written historical novels that are a pleasure to read. Unfortunately this fictional novel was not. I found the story tedious.

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  • Posted August 15, 2012

    Would not recommend but

    It is not necessarily a bad read. Just not my cup of tea. Did not care for the storyline.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Good Story, Poor Writing

    The fact that this was a true story was the only reason I trudged through the terrible writing. The author got caught up in the unimportant fictional details and let the beauty of the true story fall through the cracks. The Widow of the South is the true story of a woman who, unwillingly at first, gives her house over as a hospital and later a graveyard for the fallen soldiers in the Battle of Franklin.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2009

    Would not recommend!

    Did not like this book at all. Hated the main character, what a horrible woman! Depressing & tedious. Glad I read it before his new one, which I will not bother with.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2005

    not worth the hype

    Being a native Tennessean, I was majorly disappointed with this endeavor. There was no 'flow' to the writing and the storyline was at times far-fetched and, I thought, off subject.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2005

    not as good as chess b-tch

    Seriously, Jennifer Shahade's pioneering book, Chess B-tch, is so much better than this. I'm not even a chess player. Anyway, I say this because I just read both at the same time, and this book was pathetically bad in comparison. Although to be fair, there were some good parts of this book, like the amputation scene.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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