Rave Reviews Log: Historical Fiction

May 09, 2009

Red Moon at Sharpsburg

By Rosemary Wells
Rating: 4 1/4 stars
Era: 1860's Virginia, Civil War

India Moody is a southern girl in the 1860's, glad that her beloved South has chosen to declare war and secede from the nasty, bullying Yankee states who want to change their way of life. The South is convinced in a few short months they will win the war. But when India's father joins the army, war suddenly seems a lot less glamorous, and even less so when their well-off neighbors, the Trimbles, lose a son to the cause. India gets to study with the Trimble's son, Emory, who has studied science and doctoring and is attempting to discover ways to conquer diseases with methods not yet embraced by American medicine. India's imagination catches fire under his tutelage and she dreams of attending Oberlin College in Ohio which accepts women. Her heart also catches fire with love for Emory. But then the war begins to take a heavy toll on her family as well as the Trimbles, and it seems to drag on forever. The people in the South begin to suffer cruelly with their crops burned and their Confederate money all but useless. India's firm belief in what the South is doing in this war is shaken to the core by what she witnesses and she learns a person has to stand up for what they believe is right, regardless of sides. This is a well-written, moving story about the dark side of war, deeply researched and compelling. Readers will come away with a stark picture of what the Civil War, and indeed, any war does to the people who have to live through it. An important and very well-told story, highly recommended.


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