A farm boy’s choice to protect his friend, a slave, from a brutal attack forces both on separate journeys: one escapes into war, the other is sold into slavery. Told from alternating viewpoints, one black and one white, Surviving the Fatherland author Annette Oppenlander delivers another stunning historical tale set against the epic backdrop of the American Civil War—a breathtaking examination of the power of hope and friendship, and the endurance of the human spirit to find a way home.
Tennessee, 1861. Fifteen-year-old farm boy Adam Brown would do anything to protect his friend Tip, a slave at the neighboring plantation—even if it means fighting Nathan Billings, the rich and obnoxious landowner’s son. But when it seems his attack has killed Nathan, Adam has no choice but to run away and join the Union Army under an assumed name. Together with Wes, a chatty soldier with a few secrets of his own, Adam embarks on a traumatic odyssey through the war-torn Midwest. As his soul darkens with the atrocities of war, all he wants is to go home. But in order to do that—if he survives—he must face his past.
Unbeknownst to Adam, sixteen-year old Tip is sold to a farmer who takes drunken pleasure in torturing his slaves. Tip quickly realizes that if he wants to survive he must run. Ahead lie hundreds of miles of unknown country, infested by slave owners, traders, starvation and cold. And so begins a journey of escape and recapture, of brutal attacks and unexpected kindness. When a rescue by the Underground Railroad goes terribly wrong, Tip finds himself caring for a pregnant runaway, his journey seemingly at an end. They have reached the Ohio River, a vast watery expanse impossible to cross. It is only a matter of time before roaming slave traders will pick them up—he will never see his mother and his best friend again.
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About the Author
Annette Oppenlander is an award-winning writer, literary coach and educator. As a bestselling historical novelist, Oppenlander is known for her authentic characters and stories based on true events, coming alive in well-researched settings. Having lived in Germany the first half of her life and the second half in various parts in the U.S., Oppenlander inspires readers by illuminating story questions as relevant today as they were in the past. Oppenlander’s bestselling true WWII story, Surviving the Fatherland, was a winner in the 2017 National Indie Excellence Awards and a finalist in the 2017 Kindle Book Awards. Her historical time-travel trilogy, Escape from the Past, takes readers to the German Middle Ages and the Wild West. Uniquely, Oppenlander weaves actual historical figures and events into her plots, giving readers a flavor of true history while enjoying a good story. Oppenlander shares her knowledge through writing workshops at colleges, libraries and schools. She also offers vivid presentations and author visits. The mother of fraternal twins and a son, she recently moved with her husband and old mutt, Mocha, to Solingen, Germany.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Having read For All We Lose, I felt transported back in time to the Civil War. Oppenlander has proven once again that she can capture the sights, smells, sweat, blood and tears of a time we wouldn't otherwise experience. This book is poignant today, as our nation is once again divided on lines of race, creed, color, and party. All things I thought we had left behind in our recent past. Well this is where it started, the days of slavery and the monumental effort to re-unite a divided country. Adam, a white youth, is thrown into the Union Army for reasons most personal and horrific. Tip, a young slave, Adam's best friend is subject to the horrors of slavery and braves his best efforts to escape the evil all around him. The characters in Adam's military unit bring one into the pit of despair as a Union soldier, enduring unbelievable deprivation and fear. All along, it is a story of family, love and redemption. It’s a good story that will make it hard to put your book or e-reader down. I strongly recommend this novel to anyone with an interest in American history. Historical fiction, to me, is the best vehicle in this endeavor. Other great reads by Oppenlander are the Escape from the Past series set in mid-evil times, and Surviving the Fatherland, a story of German children caught in the horrors of WW2. A long neglected point of view.
Beginning in August 1861 and ending in November 1865, we follow the lives of Adam, a fifteen-year-old farm boy, and his friend Tip, a slave on the neighboring Billings plantation. An incident causes Adam to run away and join the Union Army, while Tip tries to escape to freedom. Each action has a consequence, and the decisions the boys make will affect their own lives and those of everyone around them. The story is told in alternating chapters from the points of view of Adam and Tip, providing two vastly different perspectives. The narrative is full of rich details about the homes, food, and lifestyles of the time. Through the story, the author highlights the terrible conditions, the inhuman treatment of slaves, and the horrors of war and makes it all the more real by incorporating actual historical figures and events into the plot. She doesn't assume any prior knowledge of the Civil War or of slavery and does a good job of explaining without lecturing. However, she does provide some background information at the end of the book. It’s interesting to note that, even though the war was fought over slavery, the soldiers themselves were considered the property of the army. Terribly depressing throughout, it’s a good thing the story ends on a positive note. Warnings: graphic violence, sodomy, animal cruelty, rape. I received this book in return for an honest review. Full blog post (16 April): https://booksdirectonline.blogspot.com/2018/04/everything-we-lose-by-annette-oppenlander.html
Everything We Lose: A Civil War Novel of Hope, Courage and Redemption is a great book! Adam and Tip’s story is heart wrenching and full of heartache, as well as, exhibits the bravery of many of the time. The author did a great job of vividly describing how horrific the times were during this moment of history in our country. This is one of those books a reader would have a hard time putting down. I could not and had it read in a few hours. I give Everything We Lose a well-deserved 5+ stars. I hope to read more books by Annette Oppenlander in the future. I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion