The Widow of the South

The Widow of the South

Book - 2005
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Reminiscent of Cold Mountain and Enemy Women, Robert Hicks' gripping debut novel, based on the incredible true story of Carrie McGavock--a woman whose life was forever changed by the Civil War--is exquisitely packaged with endpapers and compelling interior photographs.
Publisher: New York : Warner Books, 2005.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780446500128
0446500127
9780446578820
0446578827
Characteristics: 426 p. ; 24 cm.

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brangwinn
May 19, 2019

I’m keeping this book to reread if I ever get to Franklin Tennessee. It is the kind of book that combines good storytelling, a strong storyline and historical accuracy into one book. Not being a Civil War buff, I often skimmed the military action, but even that skimming conveyed a horror or what was happening to the soldiers on both sides of the battle. The relationship of slave and owner, relationships among the poor white and the impact the war had on one family is enmeshed in this historical fiction

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SFBookAddict
Feb 22, 2019

I read this book as I was interested in what life was like for southerners during the Civil War, in particular, women and those who did not fight in the war. I've been very curious to know how that war affected southerners as the majority of battles were fought in the south on their land. This book succeeded in painting a picture of a chapter of that war, however grim, devastating and sad. The author takes the reader on a journey of the Battle of Franklin and its effects on the soldiers and locals. The aftermath of the Battle of Franklin comes to main character Carrie McGavock's home, a battle which had more casualties in 5 hours than in the 19 hours of World War II's D-Day and more than twice as many casualties as at Pearl Harbor. Scenes of her tending to the wounded and dying in her house are haunting. This book took me to that time and place, and the story moved me and was very thought provoking. What I like was reading a woman's perspective of this war, not just a soldier's. The characters' thoughts and reflections about the war and the aftermath are deep and poignant. It made me think about survival, life and death, honoring the dead, moving on after the war, and how the war forever changed the south and its people. Author Robert Hicks did a excellent job in researching the Battle of Franklin and showing the horrors of that war and its lifelong effects. His words flowed on the pages and captured me. I am so glad I found this book. I had never heard of Carrie McGavock and her quest to ensure those who died in the Battle of Franklin had an eternal resting place. Luckily, humanity, compassion and decency were not completely destroyed by the Civil War. If anything, these values prevailed and raised up those who were brought to their knees by this war.

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kcharters28
Aug 30, 2018

This is a good read. Blends history with fiction and well done. You experience the gore and tragedy of the war but its done so that you're not overwhelmed by it all! Loved it and couldn't put it down.

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BrendaSwank
May 15, 2018

This book was not for me, and I love historical fiction/nonfiction books. I couldn't get past page 50 when I returned it to the library. I didn't care about the characters at all, but I think that was because of the author's writing style. I'm sure the story is a good one so maybe if Kristin Hannah wrote it I would enjoy it :-)

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Eil_1
Oct 13, 2017

An utterly compelling story of the misery and horrors that young men and boys endured at the battle of Franklin. War is Hell and whether one was on the Confederate or Union side, little did it matter when you were left for dead, or otherwise without arms, legs or both. This novel gives a penetrating insight into what would have passed through the minds and hearts of those who were lost - either to death or to the misery of living without hope. I truly recommend this book to those who wish to delve into the inescapable mystery of life.

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DorisWaggoner
May 22, 2015

Based on a true incident, written by a man who is working to restore the cemetery that's at the heart of the story. Carrie loves her husband, but can't come out of her depression over the loss of three of her children. The coming of the Civil War to their small TN town means, at first, less to her than these losses. Their plantation home is requisitioned by a Confederate general as a hospital for an upcoming battle; her refusal means nothing. Yet when the numberless, nameless suffering men begin flowing through her home, Carrie finds a purpose in life she hasn't had since her children died. After the war, learning that a neighbor plans to plow under a field where many Confederate dead lie buried, she leads a plan to rebury them next to her family graveyard, and keeps a book identifying them. Over the years she becomes famous, gets letters from family members, and tries to answer them all. A very moving look at a side of the Civil War we don't often think of, and how the humanity of one woman provided hope to many, even years after the carnage. Some very well drawn characters, especially Carrie, her servant Mariah, the soldier Zachariah, even if many in the large cast are cardboard.

allonsy Jul 25, 2011

This book was heartbrakingly beautiful. It was a powerful story that showcased the futility and destruction of war while at the same time emphasizing how much people want hope. The overall story of the battle and the consequences of its aftermath was compelling, but it was the personal thoughts and feelings that each character described that had me captivated. There was war, love, adversity and strife and all of it was moving, sad yet comforting.

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