Cristina Stiles is left to fend for herself and her two young children while her husband goes off to fight in the Confederate army. She also has to deal with two rogue Yankee soldiers who’ve beaten her, stolen her food, and keep coming back to cause more trouble.
Jack Fuller is a God-fearing Christian fighting for the Union. During a surprise encounter, he shoots and kills a Rebel soldier. In his final breaths, the Rebel asks Jack to deliver a letter to his wife—and he agrees. But when he arrives at Cristina’s small farm in West Virginia, she assumes Jack is one of the Yankee trouble-makers, trains her rifle on him, and fires. As he lies on the ground bleeding, he explains the purpose of his visit, and out of a sense of obligation, she decides to nurse him back to health.
What will happen when Cristina discovers Jack is the one who made her a widow? Will her rebel heart forgive him—or finish him off?
It has been awhile since I have read an author MacLaren book and this one hit the spot. This was a story of survival, family, and romance during the Civil War. The author does not shy away with some of the grittiness, the deaths, the evil of some men which makes these characters feel all the more precious.
War is horrible and tiring and Union soldier Jack Fuller has seen enough of it. So has apparently Rebel soldier Orville Stiles. When they meet that fateful day on the battlefield, Orville's actions reverberates through Jack's life along with those of Orville's wife and two children.
This is not a story of a rich plantation owner or a debutante looking for a gentleman, this is a story of a widow who is doing her best to survive and make sure her children survive the war.
The characters came alive to me and I especially felt for 10-year old Elias who is growing up way too fast and doing and thinking too many man's thoughts.
Jack was a noble hero, who was forgiving and brought a calm to this hurting family, even though he carried a dark, dark secret.
Cristina was a tough, no-nonsense woman who would fight for all she holds dear. We meet her in a very dangerous predicament and that opening scene will stand out to me as one of the most harrowing I have read in a long time. I thoroughly enjoyed this story.
I received a copy of this novel from the author through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.