The Widow's War

( 4 )

Overview

The "superb" New York Times bestselling author delivers a sweeping epic set during the early days of the Civil War.

In 1853, Carolyn Vinton is left alone and pregnant after her fiancé, abolitionist doctor William Saylor, disappears. After his stepbrother convinces her that William is dead, Carolyn accepts his offer of marriage, not realizing that she is being drawn into an elaborate ruse by her new husband and his father, a pro-slavery ...

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The Widow's War

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Overview

The "superb" New York Times bestselling author delivers a sweeping epic set during the early days of the Civil War.

In 1853, Carolyn Vinton is left alone and pregnant after her fiancé, abolitionist doctor William Saylor, disappears. After his stepbrother convinces her that William is dead, Carolyn accepts his offer of marriage, not realizing that she is being drawn into an elaborate ruse by her new husband and his father, a pro-slavery senator—and that William is still alive.

Their passionate reunion takes place in the midst of the violent Civil War, as abolitionists and pro-slavers battle over the Kansas Territory. Now only their willingness to sacrifice their lives for their beliefs—and for each other—can save them.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A feisty abolitionist journeys to pre-Civil War Kansas in search of her lover and defies a band of pro-slavery marauders led by a psychopath. Mackey (The Notorious Mrs. Winston, 2007, etc.) doesn't give her heroine the genteel upbringing typical of a young lady circa 1853. Raised in Brazil by her explorer/ entrepreneur/botanist father, Carrie Vinton befriends escaped African slaves and is a crack shot. Her beloved since childhood days in Kentucky is physician William Saylor, who runs a blockade in Rio during a smallpox epidemic to treat Carrie's dying father. Then the lovers are stricken, and Carrie wakes up in a convent hospital to find that no one can tell her of William's fate. Her late father has left her an immense fortune, and William has left her pregnant. She succumbs to the blandishments of Deacon Presgrove, a smooth-talking former actor who arrives in Rio to inform her that his stepbrother William did indeed perish in the epidemic. Newly wed to Deacon, the son of rabid pro-slavery senator Bennet Presgrove, Carrie gives birth aboard a Washington-bound ship, but her premature baby dies. In the capital, Deacon promptly reveals his true colors: not only does he endorse slavery, he himself owns a slave, a young prostitute in a nearby bordello. Deacon has also usurped Carrie's fortune and perpetrated a fake obituary of her that led William (that's right, he's alive too) to head for Kansas, a territory now embroiled in violent clashes over whether it will become a slave or free state. Carrie follows, and from here the plot hews faithfully to historical incident, detailing battles between slavers and abolitionists. (John Brown and his sons are among the latter, dispatching slaveholderswith broadswords.) Despite the author's efforts to enliven things with Clark, a homicidal nutcase hired by Deacon, the Kansas section devolves into predictable adventure-romance, not helped by disconcertingly contemporary diction. Ambitious in premise, formulaic in execution.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425227916
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,329,180
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Mackey is the author of a number of novels, as well as severalscreenplays and numerous works of nonfiction and poetry. A magna cumlaude graduate of Harvard with a PhD from the University of Michigan,she is a past West Coast President of PEN, and currently is professor ofEnglish and writer-in-residence at California State University. Sheloves with her husband in northern California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2010

    Its a Must!!!

    If you have women power... your going to love this... like history ever better.... awesome book love it :)

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  • Posted August 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    great 1850s historical thriller

    In 1853 in Rio de Janeiro, Carolyn "Carrie" Vinton knows she cannot grieve the loss of her fiancé, abolitionist Dr. William Saylor, as she carries his child although she is not sure what to do. That is until William's stepbrother, Deacon Presgrove, arrives in Brazil from the United States and proposes marriage; insisting it is a family matter of honor. Feeling she has no choice with her being pregnant, she accepts. They return to Kansas as husband and wife only for her to find out that she has fallen for a ruse; as William is alive and Deacon's family are slavery sympathizers.

    Bleeding Kansas continues unabated and deadly. Carrie disregards her safety to find William. As the battle on the Plains remains heated and deadly, Carrie finds her beloved, but he and their and their child are kidnapped by pro-slavers. Carrie recruits the help of an African-American cavalry unit to free her beloved and their son

    This is a great 1850s historical thriller that showcases how in the territory on the Great Plains the prime issue was whether a new state entered on the Free or Slavery Side of the debate. The story line is loaded with action while providing a powerful look through fully developed protagonists of Bleeding Kansas where many believe the Civil War first began rather than at Fort Sumter. Mary Mackey provides a strong Americana saga as the decade leading to the war is bloody.

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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