I Shall Be Near to You

I Shall Be Near to You

by Erin Lindsay McCabe


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An extraordinary novel about a strong-willed woman who disguises herself as a man in order to fight beside her husband, inspired by the letters of a remarkable female soldier who fought in the Civil War.
   Rosetta doesn't want her new husband Jeremiah to enlist, but he joins up, hoping to make enough money that they'll be able to afford their own farm someday. Though she's always worked by her father’s side as the son he never had, now that Rosetta is a wife she's told her place is inside with the other women. But Rosetta decides her true place is with Jeremiah, no matter what that means, and to be with him she cuts off her hair, hems an old pair of his pants, and signs up as a Union soldier.
   With the army desperate for recruits, Rosetta has no trouble volunteering, although she faces an incredubous husband. She drills with the men, proves she can be as good a soldier as anyone, and deals with the tension as her husband comes to grips with having a fighting wife. Rosetta's strong will clashes with Jeremiah's while their marraige is tested by broken conventions, constant danger, and war, and she fears discovery of her secret even as they fight for their future, and for their lives. Inspired by more than 250 documented accounts of the women who fought in the Civil War while disguised as men, I Shall Be Near To You is the intimate story, in Rosetta’s powerful and gorgeous voice, of the drama of marriage, one woman’s amazing exploits, and the tender love story that can unfold when two partners face life’s challenges side by side.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804137720
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 01/28/2014
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

ERIN LINDSAY McCABE studied Literature at University of California, Santa Cruz, and taught high school English before completing her MFA at St. Mary's College of California in 2010. She has taught Composition at St. Mary's and Butte College and resides in Northern California with her husband and son and a small menagerie that includes one dog, four cats, two horses, ten chickens, and two goats.

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I Shall Be Near To You 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Katres More than 1 year ago
Amazing, I loved this book and I couldn't put it down, finished it in two days! Rosetta isn't your typical women and when her husband leaves to fight in the Civil War she doesn't want to stay behind and do her mother in laws mending. Disguised as a man, she joins her husbands regiment, and fights with him and her childhood friends. Based on letters and research of real women who fought in the Civil War this is a entertaining, informative and heart wrenching novel. The love story between Rosetta and her husband Jeremiah is beautiful and real and I loved the flash backs to their younger years. Fighting together only makes their bond stronger and the author does a fantastic job showing this growth - you really become invested in the characters! If you read one book in 2014 read this one - its fantastic. And I rarely say this but I really want their to be a movie version as long as it stays true to the book! This story will stay with me for a long time!
Dakota_Rose More than 1 year ago
This is the best book I have read in at least a year. As a retired librarian and professor of research skills, I want the historical books I read to be based on primary sources for authenticity. The dialogue and descriptions are indeed authentic. The descriptions of the battle scenes and emotions are gripping. Rosetta is so likeable that I was truly sorry when the book ended. This is a book that I expect to read at least once a year for a long time.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings .  .  . Another historical fiction, but this one during the civil war and from the beginning, I was hooked!  Newly married Rosetta can't stand to stay in a house on her in-laws property, so she decides to join her husband in the war. Rosetta was a fantastic character.  She was likeable and it was easy to cheer her on in her endeavors, and maybe cringe too!  Even though this story is told from a woman's perspective I still felt the grittiness of war and it didn't lack the real truths of what life was like on the front lines.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book brought to me the reality of war like nothing I have ever read or imagined. The author brought it so close I found myself carrying the emotions with me between reading times. I highly recommend this book!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an ok book. If you are looking for a detailed, graphic account of the battles this is not the book. The battles take up very little of the book. It did get me interested in looking into the real women in the civil war which i was oblivious to before. Would have prefered to have a more realistic view of the real rosetta wakefield instead of making it all about her following her man into the war. This is a romance set in civil war not a real civil war book. It was still a decent read though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is well written and well researched. Women did fight in the Civil War! Although this is primarily a love story, it is also a true history of the Civil war. Excellent historical fiction !
Beverly_D More than 1 year ago
Told in first person from the POV of a young farmgirl who follows her husband into the Civil War, this was an interesting read. The beginning was hard for me to get into. Rosetta was SO emotionally dependent upon her husband, both before and after they marry, and so bereft of an emotional connection with anyone else, that I wanted to chip in to send her  to a therapist. I could see why SHE wanted/needed to disguise herself and follow her husband into the Army; missing was what  HE saw in her. Their shared desire to own a farm and her tomboyish skills at building fences and milking cows did not seem particularly unique, that Jeremiah would want to marry HER and no other girl in the community. Later, in training camp, the character and story grew much stronger. I was fascinated by the dynamics of their little group, who knew the secret and helped protect it from discovery. Some threads were left dangling; for example, it was interesting for "Ross" to sneak into the woods with rags at the start of her menstrual period - but then what? There's no mention of her ever having to change them - did she use fresh rags and bury the soiled, or contrive to wash them, somehow, or what? Either would have been an interesting dilemma, but what she did isn't revealed. This was clearly deeply and thoroughly researched, if not 100% historically accurate, and I truly felt like I was in camp, and worse, in battle, with the 97th Regiment. Gritty, terrifying, heartbreaking. By the end of the book, I was hanging on, wondering how the story would end - would she be killed, or him, or both of them? I won't spoil the ending, but it made sense and felt satisfying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book from the very first page. I have always had a keen interest in the Civil War, this book’s portrayal of one woman’s sacrifice to be with her husband at all cost, kept me on the edge. What a story of love, determination and bravery. A must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed reading about this strong woman
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Took me there- loved it
Mrs. Frances K. Lockwood More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and like other reviewers, I'd like to see this as a movie. It made me weep and realize that true love does endure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the way the characters talked. Made you feel like you were in a different time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not get past page 98, and that took several days!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LouieLB More than 1 year ago
This book was a little slow to start, but once you get to the fighting it was very hard to put down. I was sorry to see the way it ended, would have loved to see were they would have been in the next few years after the war.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book because it was based on an actual living person. The book was highly entertaining and it was hard to put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would give it 10 stars if I could.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable novel. Fast moving.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Erin_Read-at-HomeMama More than 1 year ago
If you were to ask me why I love historical fiction so much, this is one of the books I would hand to you. Well-researched and well-written, I Shall Be Near to You is not only wonderful for-pleasure reading, but it’s also a book I wish had existed when I was studying American history in high school or college. The stories of female soldiers are not nearly as well-known or frequently discussed as those of their male counterparts, but their contributions to history are equally important. I think this book would have drawn a great deal more interest from the girls in my history classes than the textbooks we were given — we can’t exactly relate to the machismo of Generals Grant and Lee, you know? I connected to Rosetta on so many levels, which was a credit to both the character and her creator. (I’m not sure I would follow The Hubby into war if he enlisted, but I think that has to do with fear of being a terrible soldier and with being thrust into terrible violence and bloodshed and really not at all about Hubs.) Not only does Rosetta do exactly this, but she does it with virtually no fear and an incredible resolve. That alone is reason enough to cheer for her, but then she proceeds to become a more competent soldier than some of her male counterparts — all while keeping the huge secret of her true identity. She’s an incredibly strong, thoughtful woman and the fact that she’s based on a real person just makes her that much more admirable. I truly love that her husband is more important to her than really anything else in the world; as it was in the 1860s, women weren’t landowners and had no political roles, so their husbands were really all they had. That doesn’t mean these women had to be head-over-heels crazy about their spouses, but that’s exactly the case when it comes to Rosetta and Jeremiah. While he is unhappy about Rosetta voluntarily putting herself in danger to be with him, it turns out to be the greatest thing that could have happened to Jeremiah when it ultimately, truly matters. As for their regiment, I wanted to punch Hiram in the face (and I said as much during my live-tweeting) and give Will a huge hug. I also found myself wishing I could have known what happened to Will and all the other surviving members of the regiment after the end of the story. I also really wished that Rosetta hadn’t been so stubborn to refuse to take Will up on his offer; both of them could clearly use a friend and, after all they’ve been through together, why not each other? I Shall Be Near to You is a reminder that love is worth fighting for, and that it can survive in even the darkest of places. It’s a love story for the ages, and it belongs on the TBR pile of everyone with any kind of interest in historical fiction, love stories, or the Civil War. Even if you don’t have any interest in any of those things — if you just like to read beautifully detailed, strongly-written novels — I strongly suggest checking this out!