I found the title A Thousand Shall Fall to be very ominous (it still gives me shivers), and why shouldn’t it be? This book takes place during the darkest part of the history of the USA, the Civil War.
It starts off when Carrie Ann Bell, a sassy, independent barmaid/aspiring journalist receives a letter from her younger sister Sarah Jane informing her that she has run off with a peddler. Sarah Jane is only fifteen, and Carrie Ann is determined to find her and bring her back home before she completely soils her reputation forever. That resolve is strengthened when her emotionally and mentally unstable mother tells her that she cannot return home until she brings Sarah Jane back. Disguised as a Union Soldier she sets out across Shenandoah Valley to find her sister.
Enter, Colonel Peyton Collier, a Union officer whose arm Carrie Ann once sutured when no one else would help a Yankee soldier. Peyton is a kind, gallant young man, and once he learns what Carrie Ann is up to he arrests her so she that she cannot follow through with her crazy plan of tramping across Confederate controlled land dressed as a Union officer and consequently getting herself killed. However, since he cannot very well keep her at the Union camp against her wishes without actually filing charges against her, he sends her to stay with his Aunt Ruth as a hired companion hoping that perhaps Aunt Ruth will be able to keep her out of trouble... boy was he wrong…
I must admit that I found the first one hundred and thirty pages of this book to be rather slow; but, after you get past that, the story certainly picks up. I couldn’t put the book down, and read almost the entire second half of this book in one afternoon. Whew! Then I went back and reread the ending… twice, just cause I liked it.
My thanks go to The Book Club Network, Inc. for providing me with a copy for an honest review. The opinions are my own.
Reviewed by Nicki