The Lady and the Officer by Mary Ellis was a sweeping Civil War story depicting one woman’s life and decisions during the last two years of that most brutal war. Having been widowed due to the war, Madeline Howard has also lost her late husband’s business (he was a horse breeder), her home, and purpose in Pennsylvania. Being a Yankee through and through, she still decided she needed to move to Richmond, Virginia to seek shelter with her wealthy Uncle, Aunt, and cousin. However, before she leaves she has managed to capture the attention of a Union officer by the name of James Downing. He implores her to stay on the North side during the war however she feels she still needs to go to family. Since there is nothing James can do while the war is going on, he promises to write and vows to her and (himself) that he will find her after the war.
Now what I found very fascinating was how Madeline, being from the north and very much wanting the Union to win, has learned how to live her daily life in the very capital of the Confederacy. How she still loves her family and they her, yet they have very opposing views. There is intrigue, spies, and a bit of a love triangle when a Confederate soldier steps into her life in Richmond making Madeline’s decisions more complicated. This is my first Mary Ellis book and her romantic historical had me right there experiencing the South with Madeline. This story was very unpredictable and I so very enjoyed the resolution of this book. One particular scene was just amazing to me with how it played out. Thank you to the The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) for my review copy. The opinions are my own.