Do I love me some Civil War historical fiction! I especially enjoy stories written about the women that broke cultural and societal lines to answer the call of a greater purpose, like nurses. They were often rejected by their families and treated terribly by the doctors they were sent to.
Today that makes no sense and leaves me smh (I recently learned what that meant, so I wanted to show I am still hip and jive folks. P.S. It means “shaking my head.”), but back then women who desired to serve their country during the war by caring for soldiers fought an uphill battle. These were brave women who not only blazed a trail but saved thousand of lives in the process.
While Wedded to War by Jocelyn Green is a work of fiction, the story is inspired by the true life of Civil War nurse Georgeanna Woolsey. Woolsey’s letters and journals, written over 150 years ago, offer a thorough look of what pioneering nurses endured. I enjoyed the pieces of Woolsey’s writings Green included throughout the novel. It was a great reminder of who these women were.
The variety of characters provided insight into the Civil War world, those who sought to make a difference and those who sadly sought to use the war for their own gain. Green’s array of character’s made me love the story even more!
It’s April 1861, and the Union Army’s Medical Department is a disaster, completely unprepared for the magnitude of war. A small group of New York City women, including 28-year-old Charlotte Waverly, decide to do something about it, and end up changing the course of the war, despite criticism, ridicule and social ostracism. Charlotte leaves a life of privilege, wealth-and confining expectations-to be one of the first female nurses for the Union Army. She quickly discovers that she’s fighting more than just the Rebellion by working in the hospitals. Corruption, harassment, and opposition from Northern doctors threaten to push her out of her new role. At the same time, her sweetheart disapproves of her shocking strength and independence, forcing her to make an impossible decision: Will she choose love and marriage, or duty to a cause that seems to be losing? An Irish immigrant named Ruby O’Flannery, who turns to the unthinkable in the face of starvation, holds the secret that will unlock the door to Charlotte’s future. But will the rich and poor confide in each other in time?
This one is definitely worth your reading time :).
I received this lovely gem from River North/Moody Publishing for review.