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Posted November 1, 2013
In July 1864 Noah Andrews is on his way home to Ohio after a three-year stint in the army of the North. A young man who’d married his sweetheart before leaving for war, he’d chosen not to reenlist. The last dreadful battle in the mountains of Georgia had been a nightmare he’d vowed to put behind him.
Trying to live down the hero’s welcome, Noah and Molly go to their farm, which she’d kept up during his absence. It was her home, too, a comfortable place where Noah had grown up. But something terrifying came home with Noah after the war. They called it soldier’s heart, and Noah’s shame at being unable to be the hero everyone considered him might be their undoing.
Phrases like, “they all tried to leave the train in one clump, as if…determined never to march in file again…” puts a face on often nameless facts and figures from this horrifying time in our history. In keeping his journal, Noah bled words onto the page…great writing!
Kraft’s careful attention to detail of events during the period, real-time additions of fact, add depth to this beautiful fictional account of a young soldier who makes it home, back to his bride and a new life, but has the fiercest battle yet to face. Recommended for those who love history of the creative non-fiction type.
Posted October 31, 2013
Did it occur to you that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder afflicted Civil War soldiers, too? Except that they didn't know it by PTSD--they called it "Soldier's Heart."
Tamara Lynn Kraft has woven a heart-grabbing story of a young man returned from the war. Noah wants to take care of the bride he was forced to leave the day after they were wed, to let her know by his caring how much he loves her.
The problem is that the recurring nightmares and sometimes hallucinations make Molly fear him. The last thing he would ever do is deliberately hurt her, but when he grabs her to "save" her from imaginary enemies, he leaves bruises.
His best friend and his pastor work to save him from his Soldier's Heart and save their marriage, but he is so afraid he might hurt her again. Would it be better to leave? He is torn. He loves her, but if he can't stop this crazy thinking he might have to leave.