Enemy Women [NOOK Book]

Overview

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...

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Enemy Women

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
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Set in war-torn Missouri during the Civil War, Enemy Women is a timeless story of a heroine who perseveres as the world around her crumbles.

Three years into the war, the Union militia is burning homes throughout the eastern Ozarks in retaliation against the families whose men fought for the Confederacy. Although Squire Colley, a justice of the peace, has maintained neutrality in the conflict, his family does not escape the militia's wrath -- their home is burned, their possessions stolen, and Colley himself is arrested for "disloyalty" and taken away.

Colley's 18-year-old daughter, Adair, joins her sisters, who set out on foot to find their jailed father and demand his release. But before long the stakes are raised, and Adair herself is accused of espionage. Her interrogator, Major Neumann, urges her to confess, but Adair refuses to admit to crimes she did not commit. Eventually, the major is transferred to another jurisdiction, but not before a romantic interest in Adair has been kindled. He helps her plan an escape from prison and promises to find her when the war is finally over. In poor health, and with virtually no possessions other than two gold pieces, Adair sets out to find her family and rebuild her life. (Spring 2002 Selection)

Janet Maslin
This is a book with backbone, written with tough, haunting eloquence by an author determined to capture the immediacy of her heroine's wartime odyssey. And Ms. Jiles, in her debut novel, has brought spellbinding intensity to the process of leading readers backward through time.
New York Times
Publishers Weekly
HFor Adair Randolph Colley, at 18 the eldest daughter of a widowed Missouri Ozarks schoolmaster and justice of the peace, the Civil War becomes personal when her father, who has remained neutral in the conflict, is arrested by the Union militia, their home is nearly burned and their possessions stolen. At the start of this spirited first novel, Adair and her two younger sisters try to follow their father's captors, but Adair is falsely denounced as a Confederate spy. At the prison in St. Louis, upright commandant Maj. William Neumann is embarrassed to be interrogating women and has requested a transfer to a fighting unit. He's touched by Adair's beauty and spirit and asks her to give him some information so she can be released. Instead, she writes the story of her life, augmented by folk tales and fables, and he finds himself falling in love. When he gets his reassignment orders, he proposes marriage and asks her to escape, promising to find her after the war. Thus begins a long and terrible journey for each of them. Poet and memoirist Jiles (North Spirit) has written a striking debut novel whose tone lingers poignantly. Not a typical romantic heroine, Adair has the saucy naevete of an unsophisticated countrywoman and the wily bravery born of an honest character. Jiles's strengths include a sure command of period vernacular and knowledge of the social customs among backwoods people, as well as a delicate hand with the love story. Sure to be touted as a new Cold Mountain, this stark, unsentimental, yet touching novel will not suffer in comparison. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Poet and memoirist Jiles (North Spirit) enters new territory, both historically and stylistically, with her first novel, which is set in the Missouri Ozarks during the Civil War. Adair Colley is 18 years old and leads a happy, untroubled life with her father, brother, and younger sisters on the family homestead in southeastern Missouri until the war, in the form of the Missouri Union Militia, touches them. After taking the family's possessions, the militia sets fire to the house and barn. Brother John Lee escapes to the woods, but patriarch Marquis Colley is accused of disloyalty, badly beaten, and taken away, leaving the three girls on their own. Though innocent, Adair is soon arrested for spying and sent to prison in St. Louis. How she survives that institution's abominable conditions, falls in love with the major in charge, and manages to return to her old home make for an enthralling narrative. Very little has been written about the degrading condition endured by female prisoners, who were often unjustly accused, and the details that Jiles unearthed via her research add much to our knowledge of the Civil War. Recommended for all public libraries. Ann Fleury, Tampa-Hillsborough P.L., FL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-A well-told historical novel related by a young woman who was imprisoned during the Civil War. The story begins in southeastern Missouri where spoiled, outspoken Adair Colley, 18, lives with her bookish father, crippled brother, and two younger sisters. When Tim Reeves's Union militia burns their house and barn, taking her father prisoner, Adair and her sisters set off on horseback to plead for his release. Their brother has escaped both the army and Reeves's band by hiding out with Southern guerrillas. Adair is denounced as a spy and taken to prison, where she shares a cell with prostitutes. Soon she comes in contact with Major William Newmann, who tries to convince her to turn in her brother so she can be released. Instead of a confession, Adair composes an elaborate fairy tale. The major is unable to deny his feelings for her, and urges her to escape just before he is transferred to the front lines. The rest of the book deals with her risky trek home and the major's exploits in battle and subsequent release from the army. Similar to Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain (Atlantic Monthly, 1997), this love story gives vivid descriptions of the dangerous countryside and glimpses into the horrors of war and its aftermath. Chapters begin with contemporary journal entries, letters, and news stories. Magical, lyrical, and hauntingly beautiful, this title is a must read for its strong female protagonist and a side of the Civil War not usually dealt with in history books.-Pat Bender, The Shipley School, Bryn Mawr, PA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A remarkable debut chronicles the challenges a young woman, falsely imprisoned as a spy during the Civil War, faces when her home is destroyed and her heart given to the enemy.
Entertainment Weekly
"Jiles has created an unsentimental yet tender world of destruction, despair, and hope that’s a joy to inhabit."
Toronto Globe and Mail
"ENEMY WOMEN deserves the Pulitzer Prize."
New York Times
"This is a book with backbone, written with tough, haunting eloquence."
New York Times Book Review (cover)
“…remarkable happens...it becomes inspired… Adair becomes a storyteller in order to survive. And so - triumphantly - does Paulette Jiles.”
People
“Jiles paints the struggles of the era with the same intensity as Charles Frazier’s 1997 bestseller Cold Mountain …”
Booklist
"...[G]ifted Missouri historian...acutely portrays Missouri’s logistic misfortune as a hotbed of both Union and Confederate violence."
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"…beautifully written passages…a real page-turner."
Washington Post
"Comparing Enemy Women to Cold Mountain doesn’t quite do Jiles’s novel justice."
(cover) - New York Times Book Review
"…remarkable happens...it becomes inspired… Adair becomes a storyteller in order to survive. And so - triumphantly - does Paulette Jiles."
Anna Quindlen
"I loved…it provides the greatest suspense a story can offer: will someone we’ve come to love persevere and prosper?"
People Magazine
"Jiles paints the struggles of the era with the same intensity as Charles Frazier’s 1997 bestseller Cold Mountain …"
Kaye Gibbons
"Enemy Women is all strength and poetry, as are history’s grandest ordinary women and extraordinary writing."
Gordon Lish
"You know what it means when there is Paulette Jiles inside? Be smart. Open the book."
Carolyn Chute
"ENEMY WOMEN...has a Homeresque feel to it. Like something written by an old soul."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061741692
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/17/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 107,076
  • File size: 471 KB

Meet the Author

Paulette Jiles

Paulette Jiles is a poet and the author of Cousins, a memoir, and the bestselling novels Enemy Women, Stormy Weather, and The Color of Lightning. She lives on a ranch near San Antonio, Texas.

Biography

Poet, memoirist, and novelist Paulette Jiles was born and raised in the Missouri Ozarks and moved to Canada in 1969 after graduating with a degree in Romance languages from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. She spent eight years as a journalist in Canada, before turning to writing poetry. In 1984, she won the Governor General's Award (Canada's highest literary honor) for Celestial Navigation, a collection of poems lauded by the Toronto Star as "...fiercely interior and ironic, with images that can mow the reader down."

In 1992, Jiles published Cousins, a beguiling memoir that interweaves adventure and romance into a search for her family roots. Ten years later, she made her fiction debut with Enemy Women (2002), the survival story of an 18-year-old woman caged with the criminally insane in a St. Louis prison during the Civil War. Janet Maslin raved in The New York Times, "This is a book with backbone, written with tough, haunting eloquence by an author determined to capture the immediacy of he heroine's wartime odyssey." The book won the Willa Literary Award for Historical Fiction (U.S.) and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize (Canada).

In her second novel, 2007's Stormy Weather, Jiles mined another rich trove of American history. Set in Texas oil country during the Great Depression, the story traces the lives of four women, a widow and her three daughters, as they struggle to hold farm and family together in a hardscrabble world of dust storms, despair, and deprivation. In its review, The Washington Post praised the author's lyrical prose, citing descriptions that "crackle with excitement." Stormy Weather became the fourth selection in the Barnes & Noble Recommends program.

A dual citizen of the United States and Canada, Jiles currently lives on a ranch near San Antonio, Texas.

Good To Know

Some interesting outtakes from our interview with Jiles:

"When I lived in Nelson, British Columbia, there were three or four of us women who were struggling writers; we were very poor and we had a great deal of fun. We shared writing and money and wine. Woody (Caroline Woodward) had a great, huge Volkswagen bus -- green -- named Greena Garbo. When any of us managed to publish something there were celebrations. It was a wonderful time. They always managed to show up at my place just when I'd baked bread. One time Meagan and Joanie arrived to share with me a horrible dinner they had made of cracked wheat and onions -- we were actually all short of food. I had just made lasagna -- and they ate all of my lasagna and left me with that vile dish of groats and onions. And then we all got married and went in different directions."

"I have a small ranch that keeps me busy -- two horses, a donkey, a cat, a dog, fences, a pasture -- I and spend lots of time preventing erosion, clearing cedar, etc."

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    1. Hometown:
      Southwest Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Romance Languages, University of Missouri

Read an Excerpt

Oct. 29, 1864
Dear Wife and Children; I take my pen with trembling hand to inform you that I have to be shot between 2 & 4 o'clock this evening. I have but few hours to remain in this unfriendly world. There are 6 of us sentenced to die in retaliation of 6 Union soldiers that was shot by Reeves men. My dear wife don't grieve after me. I want you to meet me in Heaven. I want you to teach the children piety, so that they may meet me at the right hand of God. . . . I don't want you to let this bear on your mind any more than you can help, for you are now left to take care of my dear children. Tell them to remember their dear father. I want you to tell all my friends that I have gone home to rest. I want you to go to Mr. Conner and tell him to assist you in winding up your business. If he is not there then get Mr. Cleveland. If you don't get this letter before the St. Francis River gets up you had better stay there until you can make a crop, and you can go in the dry season. It is now half past 4 a.m. I must bring my letter to a close, leaving you in the hands of God. I send you my best love and respect in this hour of death. Kiss all the children for me. You need have no uneasiness about my future state, for my faith is well founded and I fear no evil. God is my refuge and my hiding place.

Good-bye Amy

Asey Ladd

--Asa Ladd, a Confederate prisoner of war in Gratiot Street Prison, St. Louis, who was selected along with five others by the Union command of that city to be executed in retaliation for Reeves's execution of Major James Wilson of the Union Militia. Ladd was from southeastern Missouri. It was the third year of the war and by now there was hardly anybody left in the country except the women and the children. The men were gone with Colonel Reeves to live in the forests, and many families had fled to Texas or St. Louis. Abandoned house places looked out with blank windows from every hollow and valley in the Ozark mountains so that at night the wind sang through the disintegrating chinking as if through a bone flute. Adair Colley had just turned eighteen in early November of 1864 when the Union Militia arrested her father and tried to set the house on fire. Her sister Savannah saw them first; a long line of riders in blue trotting in double column as they turned into the road that led to the Colley farm.

All through the last three years of the war Adair's father had tried to keep his children close to home. Because he was a justice of the peace, he was called Squire, and the newspapers he subscribed to came addressed to Squire M. L. Colley. Her father had determined to stay out of the war and keep his children out of the reach of soldiers of either army and he had succeeded in this for three years. He read in the Little Rock paper that the Missouri Union Militia was being thrown together out of troops dredged up from the riverfronts of St. Louis and Alton, from the muddy Missouri River towns. Men who joined up for a keg of whiskey and five dollars a month.

The trained and disciplined Union troops had long ago been sent to the battlefields of the East, to Virginia and Tennessee, while the hastily recruited Militia had been sent down into the Ozarks to chastise the families whose men had gone to the Southern Army, to catch and arrest them when they returned from their six-month enlistments, and to punish those who might be suspected of harboring Southern sympathies.

Adair's father did not know what the law was on this matter, concerning men who had been in the Southern Army and had returned home and were soldiers no longer, or those who had never joined up at all but had no means of proving it. But it was no matter, for the Union Militia knew no law. After they burnt down the courthouses they then began to ambush the mail carriers, so the southeastern Ozarks seemed a place cut off from the entire world.

Adair's father read to them in the evenings out of the rare newspaper he managed to acquire, the Memphis Appeal and the St. Louis Democrat. Adair sat on the clothes trunk to stare at the fire and listen to the inflamed prose of the Democrat. She would rather he read the racing news from the Nashville paper, for she wanted to hear if Copperbottom's sons were running but the war consumed everything, even human thoughts and horse races.

There are four main rivers coming down out of the southeastern Missouri Ozarks into the Mississippi. They are the Eleven-Point, the Current, the Black, and the Saint Francis. For three years Adair had seen at a distance soldiers of both armies riding up these river valleys in search of one another. Her brother, John Lee, rode to the ridges to stand watch for them every morning, for the Fifteenth Missouri Cavalry under Colonel Reeves would take your horses as quick as would any Militia. He watched for their smoke, at dawn when the soldiers would be lighting their breakfast fires. He did not go to war himself for he had a withered arm. So the Union Militia raided and set fire to the outlying places all around the Colley farm but continued somehow to miss them.

All through this time Adair's father remained absorbed in his books of law, his newspapers passed from hand to hand down the Wire Road or the Nachitoches Trace by neighbors or one of the few travelers. The light fell from the twelve-paned windowlights onto the harvest table as he wrote, arguing to editors the causes and the Constitutional points of the war in letters that became harder and harder to mail.

As the war dragged on, Adair began to hear from her cousins and from what neighbors remained to them that women were being taken by the Union Militia and sent to prison for disloyalty, that the women were accused of supplying clothing and food to their brothers, their fathers, husbands, sons, or cousins who rode with Timothy Reeves. That the Union had arrested and sent away the Blakely sisters and the Sutton girls and old Mrs. Holland from Jack's Fork. Nobody seemed to know where it was that the women were being held in that far city, but after a while word came back that it was in places called Gratiot and the St. Charles Street Prison for Women.

In stained coats of Federal blue the Militia came upon the towns of Doniphan Courthouse and Alton, the Crites homestead and all the house places down Pike Creek and the Current River, carrying away jewelry and horses, quilts and silver, to be sold on the black market in St. Louis. They burned houses and shot whoever got in their way. They beat Adair's father in the face with such force Adair thought they had put his eye out. They used a wagon spoke and afterward they threw it away stained with his blood and hair.

The Militia got the horses and then broke their way inside the house. One soldier started shoveling the coals from the fireplace out over the floors and onto the big harvest table, while another tipped over the china cabinet and started dancing up and down in the dish fragments, singing, Oh sinner, come view the ground, where you shall shortly lie. . . .

There was a thin November snow coming down at that time from behind the Courtois Hills, light skeins of snow unwinding themselves over the valley of Beaverdam Creek. Then it turned to a hard rain. It was this that saved the house. The cold rain came down driving like hail, and steam blossomed hot out of the fireplace where water was streaming down the chimney. A strong wind came up out of the southwest and blew off Adair's bonnet and tore at her bonnet strings until she thought they would cut her throat.

While the girls fought the fire the Militia carried out everything from the house in the way of food or valuables that they found. They came out of the house with their coat collars turned up against the rain, their arms loaded, and between the door and their wagon was a trail of spoons and bobbins and trodden paper. Then they went on, taking her father away in their commissary wagon with his arms tied behind him and without a hat. The rain beat into his face, and the blood ran draining down in thin streams. Then the tilting wagon and the soldiers went off into a world of hammering water and the iron tires were surrounded by a thin halo of spraying mud. By evening the Little Black River had risen to flood stage.

So it was in the third year of the Civil War in the Ozark mountains of southeastern Missouri, when Virginia creeper and poison ivy wrapped scarlet, smoky scarves around the throats of trees, and there was hardly anybody left in the country but the women and the children.

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Reading Group Guide

Plot SummaryThe Civil War Era was one of the most divisive and heart-rending in our nation's history. For 18-year-old Adair Colley it brought about intense personal change as well. Although the Colley family was neutral on the issues of secession and slavery, many men from their area in Missouri Ozarks had joined the Confederate army. One day in November 1864 the Union Militia swept in on their mission to rout Confederate sympathizers. They set the Colley homestead on fire, and arrested Adair's father, a mild-mannered justice of the peace. Adair and her two younger sisters gathered together what they could and set off to find shelter. Along the way, however, Adair herself is arrested on charges of "enemy collaboration" and sent to a women's prison in St. Louis. There she meets a Union major, William Neumann, who is to be her interrogator, and the two fall in love. Before he is sent back to the front, Neumann helps Adair plan an escape and, not long after he leaves, she makes her break. Weakened and alone, Adair must now travel through dangerous territory as she makes her way home -- not knowing who or what she will find there. Questions for Discussion
  • The first chapter of the book paints the Civil War in the Ozarks with a very broad brush. It is a short chapter, and yet the emotional tone of the chapter shifts between the beginning and the end. How does the tone change, and what techniques does the author use to change it? What is the tone in the beginning of the chapter; what is it at the end of the chapter?
  • The scope of the novel is larger than Adair's personal relationships with her family and the Major. There are battle scenes and longjourneys, depictions of the city of St. Louis and its wartime waterfront. What technical choices does the author make to distinguish the "larger picture" scenes from the narratives that deal exclusively with personal relationships?
  • Although Enemy Women is a novel, many of the historical events it describes are real, and the author includes snippets from letters, journals, newspapers, and military dispatches at the beginning of each chapter. Do you like this technique of mixing the actual with the imagined? How does it affect your reading and/or enjoyment of the narrative? Is there a thread or ongoing story unfolding through the historical quotes themselves?
  • Do you think the author has succeeded at portraying 19th century personalities and attitudes through her characters? Or do you feel she has simply transposed late 20th century attitudes and behavior onto the Civil War era? What's the difference?
  • The author goes against convention by not using quotation marks throughout the book. How did this unusual technique make you feel? Were you immediately comfortable, or did it take you a while to get used to it? How did it affect your experience of the dialogue?
  • Adair, and other characters in the book, reveal their inner lives through their actions rather than through devices such as interior monologue or omniscient description or flashbacks to childhood. How is this different from methods usually employed in other novels? Does the author use dialogue to reveal character?
  • There are no flashbacks in the novel. Where and how does Adair impart some information about the Colley family's life before the war? The author then doubles back and casts doubt on the authenticity of the information. How and why does the author do this?
  • At one point, the Major says to Adair, "Had you met me at a social gathering, you would probably not even have spoken to me, because I am a Yankee officer." Had Adair and the Major met under other circumstances, would she have ignored him?
  • Enemy Women has a rich array of minor characters. Among them are Christopher Columbus Jones (the ostler at the Major's boardinghouse), Lt. Brawley, Mr. and Mrs. Greathouse (the couple who argue over the hat), Greasy John, the "botanical steam doctor" in the town of Valles Mines, Jessie Hyssop, Colonel Timothy Reeves (who only appears at the very end of the book, although we hear about him from the beginning). Who are your favorite minor characters, and why?
  • Rivers play an important role in Enemy Women, both as symbols and as actual barriers. In the 19th century, rivers were far more than symbols; they were dangerous crossing points that had to be negotiated at some risk. What significance is there in the name of each river? Does a change occur to the hero or heroine as he or she meets new tests or enemies on the far side?
  • Adair changes over the course of the book, from an audacious, outspoken, fearless young woman to someone more inner-directed, cautious, quiet, even frightened. Where are the crucial scenes that demonstrate this transformation?
  • When Adair finally returns home, she finds a family of traveling players has occupied her empty house. What purpose does this serve in the narrative? Is the author being lightly satiric through the player's explanation of the roles of the "aristocratic girl" and the "saucy girl"?
  • At the end of the book, when the Major stands before the empty Colley homestead and calls out to Adair, saying he has kept his promise, what famous early 20th century poem do these lines evoke?
  • In the beginning of the book, Adair seems dubious about marriage, and reluctant to give up her freedom. By the end of the book, though, she has apparently changed her mind. How do we know that Adair has fallen in love with the Major, despite her doubts and confusions?
  • At the end of the story, Adair is weak, in many ways as faded and ragged as the Confederacy itself. What small, sneaky symbol at the very end gives the reader hope that Adair may recover and flesh out to become her old self again? (Hint, hint: It's up in the sky.) About the Author: Paulette Jiles is an award-winning poet and memoirist. The idea for Enemy Women, her first novel, sprung from research she was conducting into her own family's past during the Civil War in the Ozarks. An avid horsewoman (who learned how to ride sidesaddle as part of the research for this novel), Jiles lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband, and is currently at work on a new novel.
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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 105 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2012

    The historical fiction novel, Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles, giv

    The historical fiction novel, Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles, gives an extraordinary description of the Civil War with an entirely different perspective than other war novels.  In Enemy Women, there are many historically correct facts regarding the Civil War and the entries at the beginning of each chapter make it even more accurate.  However, this book goes deeper than just the obvious facts.  It gives the believable story of an eighteen-year-old girl (Adair) and her incredible journey during the war.  It provides details about the personal struggles individuals faced living in the Civil War era.  This book is perfect for historical fiction addicts and/or anyone who can enjoy a worthy romance novel that is not too overpowering and mushy.  
    The unique young women Adair Colley, and main character, lived in the border state of Missouri.  This creates a conflict with the Union militia who abruptly kidnap her father.  Her quest to find him turns into a mess and she ends up in prison for being falsely accused of spying for the Confederate army.  In prison, Adair meets Major Neumann, a Union soldier, who becomes a very important part of the book later.  The Major and Adair fall in love and within a few days, these two lovebirds decide they refuse to be cooped up inside a rotten prison.  With help from the Major, Adair escapes with only $25 and sets out on a suspenseful journey to find her father and return home.   Through the struggles faced by both of the main characters, the author brilliantly used third person to tell the story giving every opinion and thought of Adair and the Major.  The eager mood of this book definitely makes it a page-turner and out of five, I give this book a four.  It was an extremely amusing and credible, however, there were a few parts where it irked me.  For instance, Adair was annoying at times and Major Neumann should have been more romantic, but there was a constant passion between the main characters, which I loved.  Overall, this book is skillfully written and I recommend it to anyone.  

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 26, 2008

    Two Thumbs Up!

    Enemy Women was written by Paulette Jiles in 2002. This book takes place in Missouri during the time of the Civil War. This book is a story of freedom, love, and duty. Jiles shows that women are not weak and small minded, but rather they can accomplish and overcome many things. <BR/> During the Civil War, the men that made up the Missouri Sate Guard were sent to the Virginia, Tennessee, and the Southern part of the country, leaving only women and children at home. Meanwhile the other state militias soon began to invade Missouri, and with no men there to protect the women, these militias began to take and use whatever they wanted from these women. During the Civil War many women were arrested and convicted of being spies for the Confederate Army, these women were placed in special camps until the end of the war. These camps were harsh, cold, and a very poor environment for anyone to live in. <BR/>In the beginning we meet the Colleys, the father Squire, Adair, Little Mary, John Lee, and Savannah. The Colleys live on a farm in Missouri and their father is a Justice of the Peace. Their family has chosen to remain neutral in the war against the states and the men do not go to war, voluntarily anyway. Eventually Adair¿s father and brother are pulled into the war leaving Adair to care for her younger sister¿s. When the Union soldiers start taking over their land Adair and her sister¿s must leave. <BR/>Along the way, the girls meet up with some other migrants and travel with them. When Adair is betrayed by a member of the party she is arrested for giving information to the Confederate Army and placed in a camp. This novel tells of Adair¿s trying time in the camp, how she survived the interrogations and fell in love with one of the interrogators, and her journey as an escaped ¿enemy woman¿ to find her family. This plot appealed to me because it was very lively and was realistic. The plot was just complicated enough to keep me interested, but not so that I was confused. <BR/>This story is amazing and I recommend it to all who are interested in suspense, romance, or adventures. The Denver Post called it, ¿A remarkably engaging story¿.¿ I give this book two thumbs up. This book is full of suspense and adventure and left me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire time I was reading it.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2012

    Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles is, quite possibly, the best Histo

    Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles is, quite possibly, the best Historical Fiction written during the Civil War. The book carries an overall hopeful tone despite all of the tragedies that befall the main character, Adair Colley, and casts a dark mood. It is told from a third-person point of view, mainly following Adair throughout the novel. During the Civil War, women played a huge role. Because women were constantly being underestimated, groups began to use them as spies in addition to their support at camps through cooking and cleaning. Once the use of women became common knowledge, armies started to jail women on account of spying, cutting telegraph lines, and aiding the enemy. Adair Colley has her father taken away from her at the age of 18 by Union Militia and, in attempting to get him back, gets thrown into jail on false charges, the same being charged to women across America at the time. She meets Major William Neumann with whom she falls in love, and is forced to escape becoming an “enemy women.” Jiles did an excellent job in writing this novel which was extremely accurate due to her years of extensive research on the subject. At the beginning of each section are placed excerpts from old letters dating to the Civil War to provide the happenings in the story with some historical basis. The only downfall to this book would be the lack of quotations. It does take a little longer to comprehend, but one can get used to unique grammatical strategy. This book is targeted at young adults, especially with an interest in the Civil War. Enemy Women is different from most books about the Civil War in the Adair, the main character, is not directly involved in the war per say, but she is affected by it in such a way that makes her a part of it without the boring, repetitive battles that one would have to endure reading about if the main character were a soldier. This is a new breed of historical fiction.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2012

    ¿Enemy Women¿ by Paulette Jiles is a historical narrative as wel

    “Enemy Women” by Paulette Jiles is a historical narrative as well as a great read for everyone. The overall tone of the novel is serious and at some points suspenseful. The point of view is from a third person stance. The mood is definitely that of an adventure, the whole time you follow the character on their journey and you get just about every mood there is. At some points, it is suspenseful, and then the romance can kick in. At other times, you may even feel scared or worried. The two main characters are Adair Colley and Major Neumann, but throughout the story you meet multiple minor characters that play some pretty crucial roles. The intended audience for this novel is most definitely anyone. It is a good read for people who are interested in the history, or the story. This novel can attract people of all ages for sure. In general, I liked this book because it gave a little bit of everything. Specifically I liked the technique of using no quotation marks; this gave a better sense of being told a story. I thought it was very unique and creative the way it was written technically. Overall, I believe Paulette Jiles did a fantastic job because you can tell she worked really hard with all the historical evidence and accuracy, and it played a great role in the story. Also, she did an incredible job incorporating it into a story people of all ages would love. It could have been improved by giving it a slightly more realistic plot. While it is intriguing, it is just very unlikely for Adair to of accomplished so much. Things were different in that time period; women were unable to vote and participate in war. Therefore, it is likely that Adair would have been less successful. Although, &quot;Enemy Women&quot; is definatly a good read for all and I give it two thumbs up!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2012

    Paulette Jiles does an excellent job writing a historical fictio

    Paulette Jiles does an excellent job writing a historical fiction novel set during the Civil War. Most books written regarding this time period are strictly about the battles of the war or someone who fought in it. In this riveting novel, the story is told in the point of view of an eighteen year old girl, Adair Colley, and her forbidden lover Major Neumann. To make the story as accurate as possible, Jiles places letters or documents that were written during the Civil War to show that what was happening in the story truly did occur during that time period. The author did an excellent job at balancing the budding romance between Major Neumann and Adair with the hardships they both faced during the war. There was just enough romance to leave me wanting more. There were some dull points in the book, and the only reason I kept reading was because my curiosity got the best of me. I had to know if Adair would ever get her happily ever after. Because of the romance as well as the history in Enemy Women, many different types of people could find reading it enjoyable, such as romantics or history fanatics. The author’s tone changed throughout the book. At the beginning of the book, her tone was one of anger and melancholy, but during some parts her tone was even one of love and fear. The mood of the reader changed drastically as well, but for the most part the reader was anxious to find out what would happen next in Adair’s journey. The only thing I believe Jiles could have done better on was the ending of the novel. The ending did not specifically say what the future held for Adair and Major Neumann, or if there was even a future for them at all. Since the romance was my favorite part of the novel, the ending was a huge disappointment. Other than that, I found reading Enemy Women to be an enjoyable experience, and I would even recommend this book to others.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2012

    ¿Enemy Women¿ by Paulette Jiles entertains civil war addicts thr

    “Enemy Women” by Paulette Jiles entertains civil war addicts through the use of nonfiction; however, the book is based off of true stories. Present are excerpts and other factual information in the book before each scene or chapter, so there is high reliability towards the book. The book demonstrates the conflicts of the civil war through multiple view points of people both in the war and not in the war. The book is written in third person point of view in hopes to excite and offer readers suspense through the use of unfortunate events and lethal battles. The main characters in the book are Adair Colley, an eighteen year old courageous and ambitious girl on a mission to save her father from the Union militia, and Major William Neumann, a bold member of the Union Army who is Adair’s lawyer at first, but then looks to avenge the capturing of Adair’s father Marquis after Neumann realizes the Colley’s have done nothing wrong. The book demonstrates Adair’s perilous quest to find and save her father, and Major Neumann’s desire to start a new life outside of the war. The book is not all violence and dangers though a love story is evident throughout the book between Neumann and Adair with hopes of marrying each other one day after the war. Jiles set out to portray attitudes and actions of common people affected by the civil war in the 1860’s and that is exactly what “Enemy Women” demonstrates. Attitudes of common people, Adair, soldiers, Major Neumann, and other people looking for the right opportunity to strike, Tom Poth are all demonstrated in “Enemy Women” and little to no other books offer the same information. I personally enjoyed the book because of the unexpected results among characters listed throughout the book that adds large amounts of suspense to the story. I specifically enjoyed the personality change of Adair throughout the book. At first Adair is conceded and gullible, but through personal experiences Adair becomes cautious, brave, and alert at the end of her journey. Personally I did not like how the book never really offered information about the south or the Confederate States of America and their attitudes on war. This is really the only defect of this book along with potential improvements. Overall if one is looking for a suspenseful civil war book, “Enemy Women” is the one for you.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2012

    Unlike many other books about the Civil War, ¿Enemy Women¿ by Pa

    Unlike many other books about the Civil War, “Enemy Women” by Paulette Jiles is a thrilling story that keeps the reader’s attention throughout the book and leaves him wanting more. The events in the book are historically accurate, but they are told in a way to keep the book from becoming boring. It is told through the life of eighteen year old Adair Colley who was arrested by the Union and separated from her family. Although she is never in the midst of the fighting, the reader is able to follow parts of the war through Adair’s journey. As “Enemy Women” follows Adair’s point of view, it also becomes intertwined and told from Major William Neumann’s point of view. Major Neumann is one of the most important characters in the book because he not only helps Adair escape, but he provides her with another reason to finally finish her journey. Because the book is filled with scenes of action, adventure, and romance, it is appealing to the teen audience as well as the adult audience. These aspects of the book give it an exciting plot that allowed me to enjoy reading it. One of the parts I found especially enjoyable was in the end she did not lose everything. Although Adair lost all of her land, belongings, and became separated from her family, she did not lose hope and found her horse and the man she loved. At the end of the book, the author showed this hope and new life by describing the small sliver of a new moon peeking out from behind the clouds. However, despite all of the positive aspects of the book, there was one part that I believe the author should have done differently. She did not describe exactly what happened to the rest of Adair’s family and left me wondering about her brother and sisters. “Enemy Women” went above my expectations for a Civil War novel by combining historically accurate events with a meaningful and exciting plot. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys this adventurous time in American history.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2012

    ¿Enemy Women¿ by Paulette Jiles is a wonderful fiction novel tha

    “Enemy Women” by Paulette Jiles is a wonderful fiction novel that has real historical events. Majority of the novel is told through Adair Colley who is one of the main characters, so the tone is mainly based off her attitude and how it changes throughout the novel. Besides Adair, the other main character that we get to live the novel through is Major William Neumann, which shows his change as a character just like Adair. The focus of the novel is during the Civil War (1861-1865). The main characters show us the point of views of a civilian, Adair, and by a Union military officer, Neumann and how the war affected and changed them both. The novel was written for any Civil War fanatic or any person looking for a good read about war, but what makes “Enemy Women” so unique for the other Civil War novels is that it is fiction, yet it contains events from what happened during the war. After completing the entire novel, I found myself disappointed that it was over because the more I read the more I found myself continuing to read even when I finished what the class assignment required. The main plot of the story was well written and was easily able to grab the attention of the reader. I loved the fact that even though the novel was fiction, it was able to tie in real events about the Civil War. Also, in the beginning of each chapter, Jiles inserted quotes, letters or information about events that took place during the Civil War by real people and made it go with the main plot. The biggest negative about this novel is that when the characters have dialogue there are no quotations, so at times during the conversation you might think it is the same person talking when it is someone else. Overall, Jiles does an outstanding job constructing the novel. The story she made is on point with how the people during this era acted and showed how the men, women, and soldiers were changed and treated during the war. All the research that Jiles did learning about the Civil War era to make this novel was as accurate as possible even though it is fiction, but truly did pay off in the end. Finally, I give this book 4 stars mainly because the author did not use the quotations during the dialogue which made it a little harder on the readers, but besides that one change the book was absolutely fantastic.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2012

    ¿Enemy Women¿ by Paulette Jiles is a thrilling historical fictio

    “Enemy Women” by Paulette Jiles is a thrilling historical fiction set back in the 1800’s in the time of the Civil War. Jiles perfectly depicts a passionate, courageous, and suspenseful tone throughout her book. The story was told in third person; however, the characters spoke in first person. The main characters in the book are Adair Colley and William Neumann. Adair is a seventeen year old girl living with her father, brother, and two sisters in Missouri. The Union Militia come and capture her father.Her and her sisters set off to find him along dangerous roads. From the time she sets off she is met with misfortune. She is separated from her sisters and sent to prison. While in prison however, she meets William Neumann, Major Neumann is to be her interrogator; however the two fall in love and he helps Adair escape. This book is primarily about Adair travelling alone on her way home. We see her struggles as she wanders through the dangerous territories of the Civil War. The intended audiences for this book are those who enjoy reading historical fiction and those who want to get a different take on life during the Civil War. So many books based on the Civil War are from the perspective of a soldier however; this book is different in that it is shown form a civilian’s perspective. I generally enjoyed reading this book however; there were some parts in it that the reader would need a background in Civil War to understand what was going on. This book was an easy read but Jiles did not use quotation marks. For the first few chapters the reader has to really pay attention to the book because it gets confusing but as the book progresses it gets easier to understand. Jiles did an excellent job in portraying the life of a civilian woman during the Civil War and the fact that she used real events made the book even more interesting to read. This book could be majorly improved by adding quotation marks to it to make it more understandable. Also adding a more detailed ending to the story could have made the book a more memorable piece of literary work.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2012

    Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles is a lovely, informative historica

    Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles is a lovely, informative historical fiction piece set during the American Civil War. Although for a majority of the piece the tone is sad and rather pathetic, towards the end of the book, things begin to look up for the main characters, and leave the reader filled with hope. The main characters in Jiles’ story are the striking Adair Colley, who, when taken from her home and forced to endure the long, bump-filled road back to home, meets one Major William Neumann-a handsome Union military man who is bored of his every day, run of the mill desk job. Jiles writes her story for those who are interested in a side of the Civil War that does not involve battles day in and day out, but rather focuses on the more day-to-day journeys of the Civil War. In general, I did like Enemy Women, and Paulette Jiles did do a decent job at writing the book. Historically speaking, she did an excellent job in her writing. Unfortunately, her lack of quotation marks is extremely annoying, and although exciting, Adair’s story is one that is highly unlikely in the real world. I did enjoy, however, the literature excerpts from the time period at the beginning of each chapter, and the subtle love story woven throughout the book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    Paulette Jiles¿s ¿Enemy Women¿ is a historical fiction book that

    Paulette Jiles’s “Enemy Women” is a historical fiction book that revolves around the struggles of eighteen year old Adair Colley throughout the end of the Civil War.  Jiles wrote with a formal, serious tone that describes events in a blunt, unexaggerated way. It is narrated from a third person omniscient perspective, which allows readers to view both Adair’s thoughts as well as the thoughts of her lover, Major William Neumann. The storyline and character development gives readers an anxious and adventurous mood with hints of romance and sadness sprinkled throughout.  The main characters are Adair and her lawyer, Neumann, who later becomes her lover and avenger for her father. The intended audience could be anyone because it is not written with excessive historical jargon, which makes it understandable for the young or old. That being said, it would, however, benefit the reader to have background knowledge of the Civil War and its effects on society to get the complete picture. Overall, I enjoyed this book because of the interesting series of events and the dynamic relationship between Adair and Neumann. Specifically, I liked how gritty and real Jiles displays the events and struggles of Adair’s journey. The graphic details, such as the corpse’s hand she saw while at Lila’s house, kept me on the edge of my seat.  The major drawback from an ultimate experience was the annoyingly stubborn and prideful characteristics that Adair portrayed, even when it caused her trouble. Although it was necessary for her to act like this, I feel as if a woman in the time of the Civil War would not be this independent or strong-willed. It took me out of the setting a little bit every time she threw her sassy and harsh words. Jiles did a good job in writing this book because she covered important historical facts while providing a captivating and suspenseful plot line. It could have been better if she would have tweaked Adair’s outwardly poor characteristics and if she would have spent more time writing a satisfying and complete ending. 

    -J Sortino

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 16, 2012

    The American Historical novel ¿Enemy Women¿ takes place during t

    The American Historical novel “Enemy Women” takes place during the Civil War. The author, Paulette Jiles, writes a believable story about what would happen during the life of an average citizen during the war. The novel follows the journey of Adair Colley after her life is turned upside down after her house is ransacked by the Union Militia. The story shows how dark and gritty the time period could really be and makes the reader understand the conflicts that people went through during the Civil War from Adair’s point of view. Aside from following Adair, the novel also follows Major William Neumann, a military man that Adair meets while in a woman’s prison who becomes one of the main characters as well. The book was very enjoyable and kept me wondering about what would happen next. The only thing that I did not care for about this book was the fact that it did not use quotation marks. If the book had quotation marks, then it would be very difficult to find anything “irritating” or “wrong” with the book. Jiles also did a good job about doing a lot of research beforehand regarding the history of the war, which led to the story being more believable. One piece of evidence that shows that Jiles did a lot of research was the primary source(s) at the beginning of each chapter. The only major improvement I see that could be made would be to add quotation marks. It is a little thing that makes a huge difference, but the reader is eventually able to tell the difference between narration and dialogue. “Enemy Women” is a very good book that I would recommend to other people.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2013

    ¿Enemy Women¿ by Paulette Jiles is that of the historical fictio

    “Enemy Women” by Paulette Jiles is that of the historical fiction genre. The tone of this book could be considered mainly serious, while the mood is not only serious but sad. The point of view is through Adair, in a first person account of what is happening. The main characters in this book are Adair Colley, and Major William Neumann. The intended audience for this novel is all people interested in events during the Civil War, and the struggles that families went through during this time period. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book throughout all of it. This is because I felt it was a page turner from the very beginning, and Paulette Jiles did an excellent job of keeping it interesting. I specifically enjoyed how the events surrounding Adair’s life and journey were true historical facts during the Civil War. This made it seem more real to me and helped it to be more of an enjoyable read. My only complaint is how Jiles did not put quotations when a character was speaking. This caused it to be difficult to understand at first, but I eventually got the hang of it. Jiles did an amazing job with this book because she was able to take real historical facts, and weave them in to an incredible story of love. This is amazing in itself, and is what I feel made this book so incredible. One way to improve this book is if Jiles were to make it more of a ‘wrapped up’ ending between Adair and Neumann, and not leave so many unanswered questions that I and most of the other readers are interested in knowing. The only other way to improve it is once again returning to the quotations. It is difficult at first to understand what is happening because of the absence of them, and a lot of confusion could be avoided if it had them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2013

    Enemy Women is a novel that has a mix of historical and fictiona

    Enemy Women is a novel that has a mix of historical and fictional fact. The historical events, such as the battle at Mobile, give’s the book fictional plot a tone like no other. The narrator does a great job of telling Adair’s journey throughout the novel. The tone is extremely emotional. This is due to the trials and tribulations that the main character, Adair Colley, must endure throughout the entire length of the novel. Adair has had her life ripped apart by the Union Militia and intends on piecing her family back together. However, after being imprisoned on claims that she was aiding the enemy by the Upshaw family, Adair meets a gentleman named Major Neumann that will have a great emotional impact on Adair. In prison, the characters of Rhoda Lee and Cloris are introduced. Rhoda Lee becomes in the family way and runs off with her lawyer. Cloris is like the prison bully and immediately attacks Adair. While all of this is happening in prison, Adair has fallen hopelessly in love. Major will eventually aid her in her escape in hopes that they will soon see each other again. This book is intended for a mature audience due to some explicit language. What I loved most about this book was the main character, Adair. She is extremely headstrong and prideful and will do anything to have her family back. However, I disliked the ending because of how undetailed it was. I would have liked for a little bit more and if you’ve read the book you know exactly what I am talking about. The author did a great job with the primary sources at the beginning of each chapter. It gives the reader a better understanding of what is to come throughout the chapter. Enemy Women is a great book and the only thing I would want to change is the brief ending, but that’s about it. I could read this book over and over again and not get tired of it.



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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2013

    ¿Enemy Women¿ by Paulette Jiles is a historical fiction novel wh

    “Enemy Women” by Paulette Jiles is a historical fiction novel which blends a romance, action/adventure, and events of the Civil War. The point of view is mostly through the eyes of the primary main character, Adair. Through her eyes the reader experiences an ever changing tone and mood based off of her experiences and encounters. The reader also sees the novel through the eyes of the secondary main character, Union Major William Newmann. The intended audience is history, love, and adventure enthusiasts. Overall i enjoyed the book because of the romance between the two main characters, Adair and William Newmann, and the thrilling adventures with which they experience. It was entertaining to see how their love emerges from literally nothing and how Newmann practically hunts her down at the end of the story. I also enjoyed their experiences because of Paulette Jiles’s ability to make the situations so realistic while also making them historically accurate. I did not like the historical snippets at the beginning of every chapter, the extremely boring prologue, and up until Adair is put in prison. I did not like these parts because, other than Adair’s father being beat, there is little to no action and everything seems to be drawn out. Paulette Julies did an excellent job of blending history with fiction by including historical events such as the Battle of Mobile and the assassination of Lincoln. She also does a wonderful job of keeping the reader hooked on the tragic romance between Adair and Newmann. A few simple things could be done to improve the book such as adding quotation marks because for some readers it is hard to differentiate between dialogue and action, eliminate some of the historical snippets because some are hard to read and they take away from the actual story line, and to make the beginning of the book more interesting to read because it would be easy to lose interest within the first fifty pages.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    Enemy Women is a historical fiction novel crafted by Paulette Ji

    Enemy Women is a historical fiction novel crafted by Paulette Jiles.  Enemy Women is a novel that focuses on the severity of the Civil War.  Meanwhile, Enemy Women also has a love story twist with protagonists Adair Colley and Major William Neumann.  Adair Colley is an eighteen year old girl residing in the heart of the Civil War in Missouri.  Adair’s main goal is to secure her captured father from Union Militia.  Enemy Women puts off a suspenseful but hopeful mood that is felt throughout the novel.  Enemy Women is told from a third person point of view, which attracts a vast audience.  Enemy Women is a historically accurate novel; however, it is still an adventure, and romance novel all at the same time.
    Personally, I enjoyed reading this novel for numerous reasons.  Enemy Women helped me get a grasp on how serious mistreatment for women and children was during the Civil War.  One of the main reasons why I enjoyed Enemy Women is because of Adair being a round character in the novel.  Adair’s temper and outspoken nature keeps one continually drawn to the book.  So, if you are the type that is not a fan of history, there are plenty of dramatic situations in the book that will keep you interested.  The main thing that I did not like about the book is the ending because it was a cliff hanger.  Reading the book causes one to get glued to every page and then the ending just keeps you wondering what really happened.  In the end, Paulette Jiles did a good job controlling the different emotions provoked from reading the novel.  Jiles did a great on showing the hardships that women had to go through while their husbands were either away or dead.  To make the book easier to understand, quotation marks when characters spoke would have been helpful.  All in all, Enemy Women is a success.

    Christian Gould 6th Period

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  • Posted December 15, 2013

    Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles is a historical fiction novel with

    Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles is a historical fiction novel with a formal tone.  It is written from the third person point of view, as it is not exclusively from the view of one character.  The depressing setting of America during the civil war influences a sad, dreary mood.  There are moments of happiness, but overall, it is a more serious fight to stay safe.
    The main characters are Adair Colley and Major William Neumann, two individuals from opposite sides of the war, who meet in a prison and fall in love.  The story follows Adair and Neumann even as they separate from each other.  
    This novel contains a little bit for everyone.  There is a romance, danger, and adventure aspect to the story.  The intended audience seems to be about middle school and up.  This is due to its topic of American history as well as, at some times, its vulgar language. 
    I really enjoyed this book.  I was not too excited originally, to be reading a historical book, but it was easy to become caught up in the story and forget that it was even centered around the historical events of the civil war.  I liked the adventure feel to the book.  It kept me on edge, because at any moment, something could happen that could drastically change the story.  Specifically, I liked the excerpts of primary sources at the start of each chapter.  They really helped me understand the setting at the time.  One thing that I did not enjoy was the lack of quotation marks.  At times, it was easy to become confused and I found myself re-reading certain sections.  
    I think Paulette Giles did a splendid job.  She managed to balance aspects of danger, love, and war well.   She did not go into unbearable detail, but she still painted a picture for the reader.  She succeeded at keeping me on edge and wanting to know what would happen next.  I was worried that the romance part would become prominent and annoying, but Giles did a good job at preventing that from happening.
    I think an improvement to the novel would be adding the perspective of John Lee.  I, personally, was curious about what was going on with him during the majority of the story.  I believe that his story would be very interesting, given his circumstances of being in the militia away from his family.  

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    ¿Enemy Women¿ is a historical fiction novel written by Paulette

    “Enemy Women” is a historical fiction novel written by Paulette Jiles.  It is a story that takes place during the Civil War.  This novel contains an outstanding mix of accurate history and an intriguing storyline that will keep readers interested until the end. The tone of the story was tense at the beginning and towards the end the mood was leaving me filled with suspense. The story follows the main character, Adair Colley, as she travels throughout the US.  Adair lived with her three siblings and her father in a town in Missouri until the Union Militia came and separated them.  Once her and her family is separated she begins her long trek to find her father and escape the effects of the war.  At one point during her journey she is arrested and put in a jail in St. Louis where she meets the other main character in this book, Major William Neumann.  Neumann is her interrogator for her case but ends up falling in love with Adair.  After Adair and Neumann fall in love, Neumann is transferred to Alabama for the war and before he leaves he helps Adair with an escape plan to escape the jail.  Once he leaves and Adair escapes, Adair tries to get back home and find her father.  Neumann tries to stay alive and find Adair again so that he can marry her.  I liked this book for many reasons but my favorite part of the whole novel was after Adair escaped the prison and she traveled all the way back home.  It was full of adventure and action and I never wanted to put it down.  The only thing I think could be improved is the use of quotations around dialogue.  It was slightly difficult to decipher at times if someone was talking or thinking because Paulette Jiles never put quotation marks around dialogue.  Other than that the author did a fantastic job at creating a novel that was set during the Civil War and actually portraying attitudes of that time period. I definitely suggest reading this book if you are a young adult or older, it does contain some strong language and it is a difficult reading level.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    ¿Enemy Women¿ by Paulette Jiles is a historical fiction novel ba

    “Enemy Women” by Paulette Jiles is a historical fiction novel based during the Civil War era. This book is not just for history freaks because Jiles was able to appeal to everybody by adding in romance and action. This story depicts what life was like during the Civil War without sounding like a history book. In the beginning of each chapter there are small primary source excerpts of actual stories from the Civil War to add background. The tone of this novel changes with the main characters’ actions throughout each chapter. The story is told in a third person omniscient as it gives insight of the opinions and emotions of those living during this era. As did the theme, the mood varies throughout each chapter, for it switches between the two main characters: Adair, an 18-year old girl, whom battles with the struggles of trying to escape from Prison after being falsely accused, while trying to find her father that was kidnapped by the Union Militia on false terms, and Major Neumann, a US officer from Maryland who just wants to prove himself to his superiors. Though the story focuses on these two and their newly found love, it also follows the lives of many other minor characters of whom had spark to the novel such as; the individual women in the prison, and the vibrant characters Adair meets along her journey. Jiles’ use of strong vocabulary, and war-like terms imply her intended audience was high school and college students as they’re learning about the Civil War. I really enjoyed this novel because Jiles used a different form of writing with the use of no quotation marks and implementing real life excerpts in each chapter to bring the story to reality. However, I disliked how certain actions of Adair’s made it seem as if I was reading a 21st century novel because many of them wouldn’t have been accepted during that era. Jiles still did a great job with portraying life during the Civil War from a combat point of view, and from a civilian’s point of view. However, the novel could be improved by adding more insight on what happened after the war for the relationship between the North and the South, and what was happening in the government at the time because at the start of the novel there wasn’t a lot of background. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles is a historical fiction novel set

    Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles is a historical fiction novel set during the Civil War. It centers mostly on the life of protagonist eighteen year old Adair Colley and another major character, Major Will Neumann. Adair’s home has been burned down by the Union Militia, her father is taken, and she is separated from her family when she is wrongly accused of disloyalty and put in jail. The reader goes along with her on her journey to piece her life back together. The novel has a serious tone, and it is told from a third-person point of view. Because it is based on real historical events in a difficult time in American history, it has a mournful and somber mood at times. It is also very thought- provoking. I liked that it could appeal to many different audiences; the intended audience is not specific. If you enjoy history, adventure, war, or even love stories, you will enjoy this book.
    I enjoyed this novel overall. It was a great story and I actually learned a lot about what life was like for people during the Civil War. One of my favorite things about it was Adair’s character. She has so much depth for someone her age, and I loved how she changed throughout her journey. She is independent, sarcastic, and would do anything for her family. The only thing I disliked was the very ending of the story. For me, it left many questions unanswered and was not very satisfying. I wanted to know what happened when Adair and Major Neumann met again.
    I think the author did a great job, especially in portraying the Civil war era. The primary sources at the beginning of each chapter were an added bonus; they made the story feel even more authentic. She made me realize how many people were affected by the war in America. I knew it destroyed many peoples’ lives, but Jiles conveyed this in a much more personal way. The novel could have been improved if the author had used quotation marks when a character spoke. Without them, it made it hard to differentiate between the characters’ thoughts and actual words. They make it easier to comprehend what is happening. Overall, Enemy Women was a fantastic novel and I highly recommend it.

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