For all who have suffered great loss of heart, home, health or family; true home and genuine lasting love can be found.
When a horrific battle rips through Gettysburg, the farm of Union widow Liberty Holloway is disfigured into a Confederate field hospital, bringing her face to face with unspeakable suffering—and a Confederate scout who awakens her long-dormant heart.
But when the scout doesn’t die, she discovers he isn’t who he claims to be.
While Liberty’s future crumbles as her home is destroyed, the past comes rushing back to Bella, a former slave and Liberty’s hired help, when she finds herself surrounded by Southern soldiers, one of whom knows the secret that would place Liberty in danger if revealed.
In the wake of shattered homes and bodies, Liberty and Bella struggle to pick up the pieces the battle has left behind. Will Liberty be defined by the tragedy in her life, or will she find a way to triumph over it?
Inspired by first-person accounts, Widow of Gettysburg is second book in the Heroines Behind the Lines series. These books do not need to be read in succession. For more information about the series, visit www.heroinesbehindthelines.com.
About the Author
JOCELYN GREEN is an award-winning author, freelance writer and editor. A former military wife, she authored, along with contributing writers, Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives (Moody 2008) and Faith Deployed . . . Again: More Daily Encouragement for Military Wives (Moody 2011). Jocelyn is also co-author for Battlefields&Blessings: Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq&Afghanistan (AMG Publishers 2009), which won the Gold Medal from Military Writers Society of America in 2010. She is the editor of www.WivesinBloom.com, the online magazine of Christian Military Wives, and maintains her own award-winning Web site for military wives at www.faithdeployed.com . She holds a B.A. in English from Taylor University, and is an active member of the Evangelical Press Association, the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and the Christian Authors Network. She and her husband have two children and reside in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Read an Excerpt
Widow of Gettysburg
Heroines Behind the Lines Civil War Book 2
By Jocelyn Green, Pam Pugh
Moody PublishersCopyright © 2013 Jocelyn Green
All rights reserved.
The Holloway Farm, Adams County, Pennsylvania Friday, June 26, 1863
Shhhh. Someone's coming." Liberty Holloway cocked her head toward the window as the muffled rhythm of hoofbeats rose above of the drumming rain. "Rebels?" The word sat, bitter, on her tongue as her fists sank deeper into the bread dough she'd been kneading. They had taken enough from her already, long before a single Confederate soldier had set foot in the North. Were they now here to raid her property as well?
"Traveler, looks like." Bella Jamison wiped her hands on her flour-dusted apron and peered between the curtains without parting them. "Wet and hungry, I'll wager. You know Black Horse Tavern and Inn down the road are full up right now, and you just hung that sign out by the road last week."
Libbie exhaled, her pulse matching her fear. Though she was a grown woman of nineteen years, she had yet to tame her runaway imagination. But perhaps her hired help was right, and a traveler would be welcome, provided he could pay in greenbacks.
"Then again, we just can't know for sure." Bella backed away from the window, her coffee-with-cream complexion darkening in the shadows. "Rebels don't always have proper uniforms, you know. I only see one on the road, but there could be more coming."
Serves me right for not heeding Governor Curtin's proclamation. Libbie pulled her hands from the sticky dough and went to the window herself. "If he doesn't break into a gallop, we'll have just enough time."
Before the words had left her mouth, Bella had already moved the worktable away from the bricked-in fireplace and slid out several loose bricks. The cast-iron stove and oven served for their baking and cooking, but the summer kitchen's walk-in fireplace still had its purpose. Together, they hurriedly filled the space to keep their stores out of sight: jars of molasses, peach and strawberry preserves, applesauce, tomatoes, and sacks of potatoes, onions, flour, and oats.
Drip. Drip. Drip. The leak in the corner marked time like a metronome as water dropped into a tin pie plate on the floor. Soon, all that was left was the freshly baked rye bread cooling on the sideboard, the abandoned lump of dough, and bunches of parsley and oregano hanging from the rafters to dry.
After replacing the bricks and the table in front of it, Liberty stole another glance out the window. "We can still hide the horses. Make haste." Resolve pierced through her anxiety as she hung her apron on a wooden peg and stepped out into the rain with Bella close on her heels.
Hurrying into the barn, Libbie swished her skirts to scatter the clucking chickens in their path. The horses, Daisy and Romeo, twitched their tails as the women bridled them, then led them past the summer kitchen and into the great hall of the two-story stone farmhouse.
"We'll be fine here." Bella stroked Romeo's withers to calm him. "Remember, you are the lady of this house. Stand your ground."
"If it's a Rebel—"
"I can take care of myself. Go."
The hoofbeats grew louder outside. Liberty patted the thick, black braid that circled her head and hurried over to Major, the 140-pound Newfoundland sprawled on the rug inside the front door.
"Wake up, boy. Time to look menacing" she said as she buried her hand in the scruff of his massive neck. Not that he could hear anything. "Come on, Major." She hooked a finger under his collar and tugged. Groaning, he lumbered to his feet, yawned, and turned his head slightly to wink at her with his one good eye.
"Come, he's almost here," she whispered, and immediately regretted her choice of words. I could swear that dog can read lips! Major perked up and jumped at the door. "No, Major, not Levi." She shook her head. "No Levi."
Liberty led Major out onto the porch and pointed to the splitting wooden floorboards beside her. "Sit." He obeyed. Wild roses the color of lemonade hugged the porch from all sides, lifting their faces to catch their drink. Their heady fragrance infused the air as a man on a gaunt horse rode up the lane to Libbie's dooryard in no particular hurry, as if it weren't raining at all, as if the shelter of a covered porch didn't stand right in front of him. Feeling a pull on her skirt, she glanced down to find Major sitting sideways on one of his haunches, leaning against her leg. So much for my canine protector.
The stranger drew rein and dismounted his horse with graceful ease. A rain-soaked denim shirt and brown woolen trousers revealed a lean, muscular body, the kind that was used to work. A farmer perhaps? Carpenter? Or a soldier.
"You don't look like a Rebel." The words escaped her without thought.
So did Major. Before she could stop him, he ambled down the steps to the dooryard and slammed right into the man, stumbled back a little, then nuzzled his big furry black head under the man's hand. Liberty sighed. Major's sense of balance was lacking since he'd lost his eye.
The man bent to scratch Major behind the ears and on the white patch on his chest. "I take that as a compliment, ma'am." His accent was Northern, a blessed relief. Straightening again, he doffed his felt hat and bowed slightly before appraising her with moss green eyes. Rain darkened his hair to the color of polished oak and coursed down his stubbled cheeks. He took a step forward. "Miss Liberty?"
"How did you—"
"The sign by the road. Liberty Inn." He rubbed his horse's nose before glancing up at her again. "I'm guessing you might be Miss Liberty?"
Liberty spun the thin gold band around her finger. "Yes." She hoped he would not also guess how very new this venture was. She had three rooms ready for guests on the first floor of the farmhouse, each complete with quilts stitched by her own hand, but not one had yet been used.
"You've lost someone." His voice was quiet, tentative, but for all the world, Liberty could not think why. Two years into the war, women in mourning were a common sight. She crossed her arms across the pleated waist of her faded black dress and wished she had at least worn her hoops under her skirt this morning. She never did while doing chores, they got in the way so much. But now, the way he looked at her, she felt practically naked without them. "You'll forgive me if I ask you to kindly state your business, sir." She caught Major's eye and stabbed her finger at the porch floor again until the dog returned to her side.
He cleared his throat and offered a smile. "I'm a long way from home, and I sure could use a little hospitality."
"Do you mean to say that you need a room?"
"I have neither time nor money for a room, but my bread basket's been empty for quite a spell." He laid a hand on his stomach. "Could you spare anything for me to eat?"
She sighed. Times were tight at Holloway Farm, but she'd never been very good at saying no, to anyone. "Your mount looks as though he could eat something too." She led them both to the barn where the horse could eat hay and oats, then took the stranger into the summer kitchen. Twenty feet behind the house, this was the small outbuilding where she did most cooking, baking, preserving, and laundry during the hottest season of the year. It would serve to feed a stranger without allowing him into the house.
"Sit there." She pointed to the rough-hewn table butting up against the old fireplace and crossed the room to slice a loaf cooling on the sideboard. Major spread himself out to dry on the floor in front of the warm stove, the smells of wet dog and fresh bread thickening the air.
When Libbie turned back to the table, she found the man still standing. He shrugged, his hat still in his hands. "I never sit when a lady still stands. Won't you join me? Or do you mean to make me stand while I eat alone, like a common beggar?" His smile dissolved any argument on the tip of her tongue, and she allowed him to seat her at the worktable, her face flooding with warmth that did not come from the oven. Even Levi's manners had not gone this far. But to be fair, Libbie had not expected it. Aunt Helen had raised her to believe that manners were not meant to be wasted on the likes of her. Liberty swallowed. She should not think anything uncharitable of the dead. Either of them.
The man's stomach growled as she set the loaf of rye on the table, yet he made no move for it. "Are you waiting for me to serve you?" The question sounded more prickly than she intended.
"Ladies first." He nodded at the bread. "You baked it. You should be the first to enjoy it."
"Well, you certainly don't act like a beggar," Libbie admitted as she helped herself to a steaming piece.
"Wouldn't Mama be proud." He laughed, but a shadow passed over his face. He took a slice for himself then, but before taking a bite, bowed his head for a moment.
Then he ate. And ate—until the loaf was gone.
Finally, when the last crumb had disappeared, he leaned back in his chair and raked a hand through his hair. "I haven't been full in a very long time. Thank you, ma'am."
She nodded and stood, and so did he.
"It doesn't suit me to take something for nothing, though." He flicked a glance at the water dimpling in the pie plate. "I can fix that for you."
"You needn't trouble yourself."
"Your husband certainly didn't." He dropped his gaze to the ring she twisted on her finger. "Perhaps he is away."
"Quite. He's dead." Libbie bit her tongue in punishment for its bluntness.
His eyes softened. "I do beg your pardon. I meant no disrespect."
"I can get along just fine by myself." Liberty dropped her voice. "This is my property, and—"
Libbie blinked. Most likely, he thought her too young to own property. "Yes, mine. So I should manage it myself. It wouldn't do to let you spoil me."
One eyebrow hitched up as he looked down at her. "Every woman deserves to be taken care of every now and then, no matter how capable you are." An easy smile curved his lips. "I'd consider it a pleasure to help."
"That isn't necessary." To be alone with a man, even for this long—it was almost indecent. Liberty hoped the warmth she felt in her face did not color her cheeks.
"Necessary? Neither was your sharing your bread with me. But courtesy, kindness, and good manners are all necessary now more than ever."
"Thank you kindly, but I'm sure you have some place to be. Godspeed on your journey." She waited for him to take his leave. But, rolling the brim of his hat in his hands, he remained planted in the doorway. Rain fell on the ground behind him, speckling his trousers with tiny flecks of mud.
"I am sorry for your loss, truly." His eyes probed her face, and she wondered if she looked sorry for her loss, too. Or just guilty. "How long's it been? Since your husband died."
She swallowed. "Since the Battle of Bull Run. The first."
"Almost two years. You should be out of mourning soon."
Liberty stiffened. "If I so choose. Some widows wear black for the rest of their lives." Will I forever be told what to do?
"And bury yourself with the dead? I can't imagine that kind of life for you."
Liberty stared at him. "I can't imagine why in heaven's name you—a perfect stranger—feel compelled to even comment on such a private matter! It's not your place to judge." She turned her back and pummeled the bread dough she'd left on the sideboard earlier that morning.
"There's enough death in this war as it is, ma'am." His tone was tender, not spiteful. As hers had been. "Just when do you plan to come on back to the land of the living? There's so much more to life than death, you know. Sure would hate for you to miss out on it."
An unwelcome tingle ran down her spine. "It's not your concern." She pounded the dough again.
"Just remember what I said. There is more to life than death. Whatever happens. There is more."
"You speak in riddles."
"You'll see soon enough." He stepped outside, and Liberty followed, her doughy fingers gumming together in the rain. "If I were you, I'd go visit kinfolk somewhere else. And don't come back for a few weeks." As if she had family to visit. As if she had anyone at all, aside from her hired hands and her horse.
Her mouth went dry. "What do you know?"
"There's trouble brewing."
"We've been hearing that for months." But her pulse quickened at the intensity of his gaze. "You're crying wolf along with the rest of them."
He looked down at her for a moment, as if testing his reply in his mind before speaking. "Don't you remember? In the end, the wolf actually came."
"It will take more than a wolf to scare me off my farm."
The mysterious stranger shook his head and sighed. "Good day to you. Be well." He held her in his gaze for a heartbeat before tipping his hat and fading back into the rain.
Liberty's heart thundered as she entered the farmhouse, still dripping with rain. It could have been worse. She told herself. It could have been a raiding party.
But it wasn't. It was just a man passing through. Now if only his words weren't still echoing in her mind.
As she passed her bedroom on the way to the great hall, she caught a glimpse of herself in the looking glass on her bureau, and paused to weave an errant curl back into her braid.
She walked closer to the mirror. At a mere five feet two inches short, if it wasn't for the gentle curve of her waist and the way her corset filled out her bodice, she could pass for a tall child. She ventured a smile, and dimples popped into her cheeks. No one would guess she was old enough to be married, let alone widowed. But her sapphire blue eyes were shadowed by the valley of death the war had carved into her life.
When do you plan to come on back to the land of the living?
The question was, when would her conscience allow it?
She picked up a framed daguerreotype of Levi in his new uniform and studied it. She was sure he had been told not to smile while they captured his image, but he couldn't help it. He was so happy to fight for the Union, even though it meant taking a break from his studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg to do it. I want to fight while I have the chance, he had told her. The war will be over before you know it, Libbie, and I have to do my part. They married first, right after she had come out of mourning for Aunt Helen. It had seemed like perfect timing, and a dream come true for the orphan girl. A family of her own. A new beginning.
But I barely knew him. She was seventeen when they married, a mere child. They knew nothing, absolutely nothing. They believed he would be fine, would come back and finish his schooling and take over the Holloway Farm, and they'd have the rest of their lives to discover exactly what it was they loved about each other. The thought of his possible death was only fleeting. The idea that he may be wounded—wounded beyond recognition and yet still alive—never occurred to either one of them. Her mind reeled back to the day she learned the news.
She had not responded well.
Struggling to bridle her memories so they would not run away with her again, Libbie sat on the edge of her bed and absentmindedly traced with her finger the pattern of the colorful patchwork quilt that covered it. Her first. She smiled wistfully as the last two years flashed through her mind. When other girls her age were having fun together and being courted by their beaus, Liberty Holloway was home, forced into the social isolation of widowhood, learning to quilt and preserve the harvest she grew with her hired hand.
Not that it was that different from before ... As an orphan living with a spinster in a community of large families, Libbie had always been an oddity, a curiosity, but never really a friend. Levi's death had merely changed the reason for her solitude. She went from being Libbie the Orphan to Libbie the Widowed Bride.
But that was two years ago. There's so much more to life than death. Levi would have agreed. He had told her, in his one passing moment of gravity, that if he died, he would be happy knowing he had died in the service of his country. That he wanted her to find a way to be happy, too.
Maybe it was time, at long last, to try.
Kneeling on the rag rug at the end of her bed, Libbie pried up a loose floorboard, dug out the key she placed there nearly two years ago, and unlocked the cedar chest in front of her. The smell of a sunbaked forest greeted her as she lifted the lid, and she inhaled deeply. Slowly at first, and then like a child on Christmas morning, she lifted out dress after dress that she hadn't seen since those first bewildering months of the war. They were simple, practical, made by her own hand. But they weren't black, and some of them were even pretty.
Liberty's eyes misted over, and suddenly, she couldn't get her black crepe off fast enough. After unfastening the fabric-covered buttons she could reach, she cast her mourning into a rusty black puddle on the floor and stepped into the blue muslin, perfect for a summer day.
Excerpted from Widow of Gettysburg by Jocelyn Green. Copyright © 2013 by Jocelyn Green. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
A Note on the Battle of Gettysburg.................... 9
Act One: The Gathering Storm.................... 13
Act Two: The Heavens Collide.................... 91
Act Three: In the Fog.................... 169
Act Four: The Smoke Clears.................... 215
Act Five: Beauty from Ashes.................... 273
Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.................... 367
History behind the Story.................... 369
Selected Bibliography.................... 374
Discussion Guide.................... 377
About the Author.................... 382
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Wow...just wow! Even though this novel takes place during the Civil War, I could closely relate it to the horrors our many Wounded Warriors are enduring on today's foreign battlefields of the War on Terror. And, sadly, to civilians in places like Boston. The story's main focus of the unrelenting sacrifices of ordinary citizens at Gettysburg is beyond comprehension...would any of us have that strength of body, mind, and spirit? Eventual peace is always found in the Word of God; and this is a great reminder of how we are called to treat everyone with kindness; for we know not the previous journey of their hearts. This beautiful book will stay with you long after you finish--the hallmark of a talented author, and a story steeped in history so real that it fairly permeates your soul.
Jocelyn Green is fairly new to writing historical faith based fiction, but not to the writing world. She does a wonderful job of weaving a great story throughout several characters, places and bringing them all together in the end. I also appreciated her ability to not sugar coat the harsh realities of this difficult time in our nation's history, without it being so verbally graphic either. She did a great job in bridging those two narratives together to make a believable and realistic story. It was a pleasure to read!!!
In the midst of war comes peace in different ways. Peace of heart, peace of soul and peace of mind. Liberty, the "Widow of Gettysburg" has had to deal with loss most of her life. She believes what her spiteful aunt who was saddled with her at an early age: that she was useless and worthless. Her husband died early on in the war and she has kept his legacy intact with hopes that she can recoup her livelihood by opening an inn. Then the war literally stomps out that dream as her once spacously maintained home is confiscated to make a Confederate Hospital, and she is forced to nurse wounded. Through it all, she finds out she is not worthless in the eyes of God and those whom she cares for, who in turn help her see that she is more than her widow's weeds represent. A bit preachy to rate a five, this second outing if the stories of those left behind to fight on the homefrint is extremly well researched.
Wow! You become completely submersed in the characters lives. I loved the historical accuracy
I enjoyed this book! Jocelyn Green writes it in a way that helped me to see the story in my mind as it was unfolding. There were several parts of the book that I had to go back and reread because I couldn’t believe what I was actually reading! A lot of research went into this book and many of the plot ideas came from letters written by women affected by the Battle of Gettysburg. There are lots of suspense and plot twists in this book, with one that totally took me by surprise. My favorite character is Bella. She overcomes overwhelming odds with strength and grace. I would definitely recommend this book to book clubs, those who like christian fiction, and those who like to read about the Civil War. The discussion guide at the end was a very nice added touch.
Jocelyn Green, the author of the book, “Widow of Gettysburg,” drapes the dark garlands of war, and its aftermath, over a patchwork quilt of courage, faith, and hope. Never once, does any segment of her tale overwhelm, but all elements contribute to the forward movement of the plot line. Intrigue and mystery thread throughout. Plot twists grab and capture. The reader never gets lost as points of view shuffle, nor does the “Widow of Gettysburg” bog down like an overloaded supply wagon on a soggy Gettysburg road. Quite the contrary, the storyline cannonballs forward to the end. The characters in “Widow of Gettysburg” sparkle, especially Liberty Holloway, Bella Jamison, Silas Ford, and Harrison Caldwell. Even secondary characters such as Amelia Sanger, Myrtle Henderson, and the two doctors, O’Leary and Stephens, display humanity’s foibles; but the villains ooze sleaze like excrement from latrine trenches. The hero and heroine endear themselves, engage the reader in their struggles, but when villainy arises, we fret, rapidly turning the page to see if they will avoid disaster, but this is the Battle of Gettysburg. After all, what can a Confederate scout really expect from a Union soldier’s widow? Is there any hope of a happy ending as minie balls whiz through the air and cannons shell strong buildings? Based in history and upon the writing of eyewitnesses, this book overflows with authenticity, drips veracity, and promotes acceptance instead of prejudice. Knowing the history of the Battle of Gettysburg does not spoil this gripping tale, but rather, adds to it. The “Widow of Gettysburg” absolutely thrilled this reader. Jocelyn Green has given the world another great read in the “Widow of Gettysburg,” just as she did with “Wedded to War.” This reviewer recommends them highly. I received a complimentary copy of Widow of Gettysburg from the author, Jocelyn Green, but am under no obligation to provide a positive review.
May I add another "WOW"to this story.I have read many stories about the Civil War but never one that has given us such an icredible incite into how it may have affected the ordinary citizens behind the battle lines. i loved it and highly recommend it for a must read. Never a dull moment in the story.
Kiss your hand then post this on 3 different books and in the morning u will have an iphone 5s under your pillow
Widow of Gettysburg is the first book that I've read by Jocelyn Green. The story is intriguing and very thought provoking. It is not an easy read, but one that invites the reader to ponder the issues. It is evident that the author dug deep into the historical background, and she ably weaves the history onto the pages of her novel. As I read this story of war and pain, I felt as if I was right there in the midst of the blood, horrific smells, and din of Gettysburg and the surrounding hills and fields. It isn't a comfortable place to be. The realism of the war is compounded by the personal problems facing individual characters. If you are interested in the Civil War, especially as it was dealt with by civilians, this book is one you will want to read.
Jocelyn Green in her new book, “Widow of Gettysburg” Book Two in the Heroines Behind the Lines series published by River North Fiction takes us into the life of Liberty Holloway during The Civil War in 1863. From the Back Cover: Everything is lost at the hands of the Confederate army as war rips through Gettysburg. The farm of Union widow Liberty Holloway is confiscated by the enemy and converted into a Confederate field hospital, bringing Liberty face-to-face with unspeakable suffering. While Liberty’s future crumbles, the past comes rushing back to Bella, Liberty’s hired help and a former slave. Bella finds herself surrounded by Southern soldiers-and one reporter learns her secret. In the wake of shattered homes and broken bodies, Liberty and Bella struggle to pick up the fragments the battle has left behind. Will Liberty be defined by the tragedy in her life? Or will she be able to trust God and the Confederate soldier who may not be who he seems? Become immersed in a time when the reality of war and prejudice is met by unfailing love. Say “Gettysburg” and practically everyone knows of the three-day battle that took place there and Lincoln’s famous address there is even a great movie with that title. What I have never read focused on was what happened to the town after the battle was over. Ms. Green does an outstanding job of bringing the effects of that battle on the town and its people. Liberty Holloway is forced to become a nurse, clean up after wounded and dying soldiers, asked to write their last letters home and assist a cranky surgeon. If you enjoy history like I do then this book is for you. Ms. Green skillfully brings to life soldiers, former slaves, doctors, and the countless women who survived and endured those times. On top of everything there is even a romance worked into the story. Ms. Green makes every one of her characters seem to come alive and it is like actually being back there in 1863 with them. I enjoyed this book a lot and am looking forward to the next one. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from River North Fiction for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Beautifully-bittersweet and honest, this book immediately transports readers behind the scenes of one of the most pivotal battles of the Civil War. There was a small part of me at first that was nervous to “travel” there. I knew it would be quite a journey through the pages and it was. In fact, it turned out to be – and give – so much more than I expected. I began reading and could hardly stop. Inspired by first-person accounts and accompanied by a genuine cast of authentic characters, the story follows nineteen-year-old Liberty Holloway, recently widowed, who is struggling to find herself and provide a living in the tumultuous year of 1863 in a tumultuous town called Gettysburg. Fighting prejudices and reputations, Libbie must face the enemy on her doorstep, the mysteries of her past, and a surprising affection for a man with his own secrets. The book covers many various aspects of the time period, everything from emergency amputations to slavery with great tact and respect. Trust me when I say it will hold you in its grip from the first page to the end. I actually burnt the pancakes I was cooking for my hubby one morning because I was standing in the kitchen with my nose buried in the book. ;) Thankfully my sweetie is very patient with my cooking and my distracted reading habits. In that moment, I was far away on the outskirts of Gettysburg, standing in Libbie’s front yard with her as she nursed the wounded Confederates. I can’t help but love riveting stories about life’s crossroads. The kindred ties between historical fact and fiction are skillfully combined and hard to distinguish between. The seeds of romance are planted in all the right places and on purpose, without over-threatening and stealing too much away from the rest of the plot. Readers will undoubtedly be intrigued and surprised along the way. If you haven’t read anything by Jocelyn Green yet, I know you’ll be an avid fan after reading this story. ;) This book made such a difference to my visit to Gettysburg last year. It was my first time there in person and yet the grounds already felt so familiar to me in a way. That’s the beautiful thing about finding favorite historical novels. They may carry you away to another place and time for a little while, but you’ll carry them with you way beyond that in your heart. Widow of Gettysburg was one of those books for me. I won’t forget it and I hope you’ll read and remember it fondly as well. This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publisher for my copy.
Liberty Holloway is a young Union widow she was fortunate to inherit a farm in Gettysburg from her aunt. Liberty was raised by her aunt but was shown no love . She was a burden to her aunt, at least that is what her aunt told her so many times. Now Liberty is in charge of her own life and her own farm. Her husband was one of the first casualties of the war between the north and the south making her a widow at the age of seventeen. The war is rumored to be making it closer and closer to Gettysburg. Surely they would not bring the battle so close to a town of women and children. People cried wolf so many times that when the battle arrived at their doorsteps they were not prepared. The home Liberty hoped to turn into an Inn was now a makeshift hospital for wounded and dying rebel soldiers. Liberty was forced to help the doctors with the wounded. One rebel soldier that had stopped for food at the farm returns again after the rebel hospital took over the farm . Why was she so drawn to this man, as far as she knew he was the cause of her being a widow, when in truth all he wanted to do was protect her. The author writes using facts and fiction to tell the story of the Widow of Gettysburg. She writes it in the minds eye of the widows. things they never thought they would see, wound soldiers, amputations and horrific unsanitary conditions. So much loss of life and limbs. Most of the people had faith in God and lived His Word to show love toward their enemy in such a devastating war. It is amazing that some even found love, romance and hope for the future. Book two was not a disappointment and I look forward to the next book in this series. I highly recommend this book. Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishers Newsroom for review. I was in no way compensated for this review.
Another soul-stirring and heart-rending story from Jocelyn Green. I absolutely cannot believe how much Jocelyn Green packed into 360+ pages. Not only the detailed history, but the raw emotion, and valuable lessons that left me convicted. Once again the author takes us on a journey through history that is so detailed and rich that the reader feels like they are there. You can smell the smoke, feel the fear and horror, see the lines of the injured, and taste the sweat and hunger. All of the senses are engaged and the reader finds themselves to immersed in the story that when they you to put it down for awhile you find yourself thinking about the characters. Honestly, I was so emotionally wrung out after reading that I didn't pick up another book for awhile. Instead, I thought on the book and wondered what I would have done in the character's places. That was part of the story that convicted me the most, could I have done what they did? Could I help with amputations like Libbie? I rather realized what a modern wimp, and even coward, that I really am. But a recurring theme that several of the characters repeated gave me a little hope for myself, it is a quote from a diary entry made July 7th, 1863 by Sarah Broadhead, a housewife and volunteer nurse in Gettysburg. “...We do not know until tried what we are capable of.” Another convicting theme is; will we be defined by tragedy and be victims of circumstance or will we rise above, and as the characters say “Go forth”? The vast amount of research done and a love of history are evident on every page. Jocelyn Green is a master of historical fiction. It was hard to believe that Wedded To War was her debut novel and that Widow Of Gettysburg is only her second. The reader feels as if they are a part of life during the Civil War and not just reading a bunch of dry and boring dates in a history class. Pieces of history that the average modern person might not think about. For instance, I had never thought of the fear a former slave would feel when the Confederates entered Pennsylvania, a Free state, and yet Bella hides for hours in a barrel in the cellar. Readers will get a taste of the true horrors of war and yet the author manages to tell it without leaving readers in complete shock. Truly told but thoughtfully and sensitively written. Widow Of Gettysburg is both entertaining and inspiring. A must read for any fan of historical fiction or the Civil War. This reader is anxiously awaiting the next book in the Heroines Behind The Lines: Civil War, Yankee In Atlanta. Note: Due to some of the historical facts I wouldn't recommend this book for anyone under 16. Life wasn't easy for slaves nor is war a cakewalk. (I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishers (River North) in exchange for my honest opinion.)
Jocelyn Green's Widow of Gettysburg is another wonderful novel. This story is about the town of Gettysburg and the battle fought there during Civil War. While the battle of Gettysburg is well-known, Ms. Green writes about the everyday people of the town and how their lives are affected by the battle, as well as the Civil War. She describes the people, place and action so well you almost feel like you are there. I look forward to the next book in this series. Just hate having to wait almost another year!! I highly recommend this book to all.
The Widow of Gettysburg is a riveting, real-life portrayal of how the Civil War impacted the lives of several women. Liberty’s life takes a drastic turn when her home is confiscated for a Confederate hospital. Bella, Liberty’s employee and a former slave, finds it nearly impossible to be around the men she loathes. And Amelia, whose lost her son and husband, searches for a reason to go on. Jocelyn Green has expertly penned a stunning portrayal of survival amidst tragedy, personal triumphs in the face of a vicious war, and faith in God when all seems hopeless. Complex characters act out the story of civilians who face their limitations and must rise above them to survive and make a difference. The Widow of Gettysburg is a book you’ll not soon forget.
An intriguing look at the Battle of Gettysburg through the eyes of several women, I was able to read this book during the days of the battle, 150 years later. The only thing that would have made it better would have been there on the battlegrounds for the celebration. Jocelyn Green interweaves the fictional character’s lives throughout the actual facts from women who were there and facts from research of books on the War, and I think she does it with great finesse. Liberty, Libby as some people call her, has already lost her young husband to the war, and is in the process of turning their home into a Bed and Breakfast. One morning a young man rode up to her door and calling himself Johnny, this man had met Liberty when she was a young girl living with a woman she thought was her Aunt. After riding away that day, Liberty’s life became a life of horror and yet a time of learning and growing, and all the while a life of secrecy. Silas Ford is the son of a slave owner but does not agree with his Father’s life. Silas starts to attend a Seminary but is run off after a letter is received there claiming that Silas is something he’s not. His life is intertwined with Liberty’s, but will it, can it, stay that way? Bella Jamison is a freed slave living in Gettysburg. She has secrets in her life, secrets she will go to any lengths to keep. Bella’s husband is fighting for the South, in the South, but no money is coming her way. Why not? I am not an avid history or war fan but enjoyed reading this book, mostly because of the actual accounts from women who lived through that time. The horrors some of these women had to go through are almost unimaginable. I’ve read enough though to know the atrocities of war are a reality. There were lots of places the accounts made me cry, some made me laugh but I never lost interest clear through. I would recommend this book to all that love history, war tales and romance.
A great piece of history about the Civil War.
I have always been intrigued by the Civil War era, hence my love of Gone with the Wind. So when I saw this book I knew I had to read it. Jocelyn (the author) does a wonderful job of building up to the war in Gettysburg and then when it unleashes it does so with full force and you can feel that in this book. Liberty (great name by the way) is thrown into nursing the men that killed her husband, with her mother-in-law living under the same roof, judging her for what she is doing. And that is the last thing Liberty needs. She has been judged and verbally beat down all her life. She has never know what real love looks likes and hasn’t hard many uplifting or encouraging words. Because of what she endeared as a child she struggles with making the right choice in different areas of her life. She is afraid of messing things up because that is what she always does. Hm, I can so relate to this character, how about you? There are some parts that aren’t for the faint of heart, with descriptions of limbs being sawed off and thrown out the window. But if you can stomach that and enjoy a historical with some romance thrown in, then this could be the book for you. A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for an honest review.
I consider myself to be very persnickety regarding the historical fiction that I choose to read. I have been an avid reader of this genre for 25 plus years. I discovered the "Widow of Gettysburg" while looking for free books on my Kindle. I am so glad publishers offer this perk. I have discovered many great authors this way. Jocelyn Green is one of them. As I began reading the very first pages, I was taken through time to the town of Gettysburg circa 1863. The historical detail was so compelling that I actually could smell the stench of human carnage because of the result of the battle of Gettysburg. Jocelyn does a terrific job in drawing her readers into the story of Liberty Holloway. A five star option is not a high enough rating for this book!
Gettysburg women come to life Historical accuracy, engaging characters that make me want to cheer for them, villains that make me want to yell, “Boo!” when they come across the page and great stories – these are the things that set my reader’s heart on fire in historical fiction. All of these qualities are present and beautifully woven together in Jocelyn Green’s “The Widow of Gettysburg.” Reading this book gave me new insight into the life of women during the Civil War. Their lives of raw courage in the face of circumstances they never asked for encourage me to attack the challenges that I encounter in daily life. For a read that thrills, encourages and inspires – buy “The Widow of Gettysburg.”