From the Publisher
"[Rosen] draws plantation life in rich, colorful detail...engaging characters...Rosen is too good to stop now."
"One of the more memorable characters of recent historical fiction...[a] bravura performance."
"A big, sprawling Civil War epic, Rosen's first novel contains enough romance and history to draw Miss Scarlett's fans like flies to honey...a winner."
Rosen, a deacon in the Episcopal church and a hospital chaplain, delivers an auspicious debut set during the Civil War. Serena Hallam, the beautiful daughter of a prominent Charleston family, is married to handsome Hugh Hallam, a Virginia native, West Point graduate and Mexican War veteran. The happy couple lives with their three children and a dozen slaves at Palmyra Farm in Tennessee. A progressive who is concerned for the welfare of his slaves, Hallam laments the growing sectional acrimony and insists that rational heads will prevail in the end. Regardless, when the war begins, Hallam puts aside "his conflicted loyalties" and joins the Confederate army. Appointed commander of the 8th Tennessee Infantry Regiment, he is wounded and taken prisoner at Shiloh. In his absence, Serena struggles against long odds to run Palmyra Farm and hold the family together. Rosen paints a balanced picture of antebellum life and writes convincingly about the horrors of combat. (Her description of field hospitals is especially chilling.) Civil War buffs in particular will welcome this thoughtful historical novel. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A big, sprawling Civil War epic, Rosen's first novel contains enough romance and history to draw Miss Scarlett's fans like flies to honey. Hugh Hallam, a careful and thoughtful farmer, and his wife, Serena, leave behind the luxury of Charleston, SC, for western Tennessee. Hugh works to develop improved cotton crops, and together with their children, the Hallams craft an idyllic life at Palmyra. Of course, that life depends on slave labor, and with the Civil War looming, the Hallams closely follow the politics and national trends that may change their way of life. The voice of antislavery sentiment comes courtesy of newsman John Varick, who has been traveling through the South working on a background report. He stays with the Hallams but leaves abruptly after quarreling with Hugh. There's some annoying use of dialect, but plenty of battle detail and frequent appearances by real historical figures add up to a winner for the historical fiction crowd.
Ann H. Fisher