Historical fiction, romance, and courtroom drama are combined in this engrossing story of a Tennessee woman by novelist Eulo ( Ice Orchids , Berkley, 1983). Liz Ann Crocker, whose husband, Joe, joins the Union Army, is shunned by the town for his disloyalty. She is befriended by a wealthy woman, Ama, who offers Liz and her baby the companionship of her unconventional household, which includes free black women. Joe Crocker returns maimed and broken in spirit. Then Joe is killed and Liz raped when a band of marauding Southerners break into the house. To protect her baby, Liz kills one of them. She is apprehended and tried for murder. An accurate portrayal of the lives of Southern women--poor farmers' wives, rich socialites, and black servants--during the Civil War era, this is recommended for both general readers and informed readers of historical fiction.-- Florence Scarinci, Nassau Community Coll. Lib., Garden City, N.Y.
Cast as the protagonist in this Civil War saga is a southern woman who is not privileged or protected, but who is loyal, brave, and strong. Born into a poor large family in Frisbin, Tennessee, Elizabeth Allen Crocker is forever changed when her husband chooses to fight for the Yankees. Ostracized by her family and neighbors for his betrayal, Elizabeth and her daughter are befriended by wise, compassionate Ama Hadley, Frisbin's wealthiest and most liberal citizen. Elizabeth's husband returns embittered and defeated and she must struggle against extreme poverty to keep her family alive. When her husband is brutally murdered, Elizabeth shoots his killer in the back and must stand trial before the town that has turned her out. Strengthened by friendship and by love, she courageously faces prosecution. An engaging story, more human than political, whose distinguishing aspect is tolerance between folks of all kinds.