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High Hearts

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  804 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
From the celebrated author of Rubyfruit  Jungle and Bingo  comes a stirring novel of the Civil War, a tale of  true love and mistaken identity. Brimming with  colorful characters and vivid settings, High  Hearts is Rita Mae Brown at her most  ambitious and entertaining.

April 12,  1861. Bright, gutsy and young,Geneva Chatfield  marries Nash Hart in Albemarle County, Virgini
Paperback, 448 pages
Published April 1st 1987 by Bantam (first published 1986)
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Oct 08, 2010 Mckinley rated it really liked it
Shelves: heroine, animal, novel, horse
What would the telling of the Civil War read like with a woman soldier? Here we find Brown's take on that question. Five days after marrying, Geneva Chatfield's husband, brother, and father all leave home to enlist their services in the war effort. Not willing to live without her husband Nash, Geneva disguising herself as a boy and leaves home to join up with him in the cavalry. A superb horsewoman, Geneva establishes her place in his company by beating Major Mars Vickers, the group commander, i ...more
Jan 06, 2008 Graceann rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans
There were uncounted women who cut their hair, lowered their voices and took up arms on both sides of The Civil War. Rita Mae Brown does a wonderful job crafting a fictional story using this truth as her premise. The characters are richly drawn (I actually preferred the evolution of Geneva's mother, Lutie, to Geneva herself), and the story layered and interesting.

Geneva can't bear to be away from her husband when he enlists as soon as the guns fire on Fort Sumter. She joins him as a soldier, and
Oct 27, 2016 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: hf
A 1986 historical fiction novel of the Civil War, set in Virginia with characters from the First Virginia Calvary with actions that paralleled those of Colonel Fitz Lee's troops. Well-researched with what was available at the time of the writing. After a modest beginning, it drew me into that horrible fray and the impact on the lives of those both at the frontlines and those behind who dealt with the dead and wounded. Many of the characters evolved in both their character, relationships & th ...more
Tara Hall
Dec 19, 2012 Tara Hall rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. The summary is true; this is an epic story that brings fresh life into possibly one of the most popular historical events in fiction. I enjoyed learning about the cavalry tactics and regular life of a soldier in that part of the fighting force. There was a ton of history but it was all meshed in the fiction so well that it gave realism to the characters, as if they had been real historical figures.

I liked most all the characters, but confess I didn't love any of them
Freyja Vanadis
Not really impressed with the way Southerners try to whitewash (no pun intended) the war's history. For starters, the way they stubbornly insist on calling the Civil War the "War Between The States". Um, hate to tell you guys this, but when it's a war between states in a country, it's a civil war. And there's nothing civil about it. Also, the way they refuse to admit that slavery was the true, underlying reason for the war. I don't know if they honestly don't believe it, or they know better but ...more
May 19, 2013 Fiona rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
Read this a very long time ago but I remember how much I enjoyed it. I should really have a 'to read again' list for books like these.
Jun 13, 2014 Nati added it
Natnael Muluneh
High Hearts
571 Pages, 1987
Rita Mae Brown

High Hearts is the story of newlyweds Geneva Chatfield and Nash Hart. The couples get married in Albemarle County Virginia the same day the Civil war begins and five days later their marriage is put to the test as Nash is sent off to join the Confederate Army. Geneva will go to extreme length to be near her husband. She cuts off her hair and joins Nash’s Calvary as Jimmy Chatfield. Geneva is the tallest girl and best rider at Albemarle Co
Book Riot 2015 Challenge: Book by an author who identifies as LGBTQ
PopSugar 2015 Challenge: Book I started once and never finished

High Hearts is a book I've owned for a long time but never picked up. It's one of Brown's early works, but I suppose I was turned off from reading because I didn't like her most recent non-mystery efforts. As with Stephen King, until I rediscovered him, I decided Rita and I needed a break.

I chose High Hearts to fulfill a few reading challenges because I don't like to
Aug 06, 2011 Rita rated it liked it
A very enjoyable story about the Civil War from the perspective of Charlottesville VA, apparently the author's home town as well. She tries to let us 'hear the voices' of some of the slaves as well as the Southern white main characters.

By the time I finished, I realized I had been reading a retake of Gone with the Wind. Geneva is a Scarlett type of ambitious, practically minded young woman. Her husband is an Ashley type, not suited to wars or business, more the sentimental poetic type. The c
Claudia Reinfelds
Jan 25, 2014 Claudia Reinfelds rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-fiction
"If this was not taught as inevitable, it would force students of all ages to question methods of government, to question the morality of powerful lobbying groups forcing their will on the majority as well as to encourage the students to formulate strategies."

"I don't have your wide embrace, your high heart. There are other ways out there, mother. They'll be worse. We haven't learned a thing."
Ariel Uppstrom
Dec 29, 2013 Ariel Uppstrom rated it liked it
The book follows a girl in her desire to stay close to her husband during the Civil War by concealing her identity and appearing to be a man. She joins her husband's cavalry regimen on the Confederate side. The reader also gets the viewpoints of her husband, cavalry leader, mother, and slave friend. I found these perspectives more interesting most of the time than the main character's. Overall, entertaining and fast read book.
Jan 14, 2011 Jeanne rated it really liked it
after reading 'my name is mary sutter' i commented to my librarian that i loved this book and learned a lot about the civil war. he then ordered high hearts for me and said it was one of his favorite books. it was a very good read ...learned a lot more about the war and the fact that there were women (in disguise) who fought as well.
Barbara M
I loved this book and recommended it to many people over the years. The strong female character appealed to me as did the occasional humor of the situation where Geneva/Jimmy dealt with soldiers who didn't know her true identity. I think this may have been my first Rita Mae Brown book but it remained my favorite of all those titles I read after.
Apr 05, 2011 Kathy rated it really liked it
This book was first published in 1986 but how timely it was for me to read it at this time, the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. Also thought a lot about the wars that are going on today.
I loved this book for the wonderful interesting characters.

My husband just finished reading this book and he enjoyed it too. He thought it was well written and an interesting story.

May 10, 2013 Casey309 rated it it was amazing
This is a terrific book not at all like Rita Mae Brown's other books. It's about a female soldier durning the a Civil War. It's a little slow in the beginning but, give it a chance. It'll be we'll worth it.
May 16, 2008 Karen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: history buffs
I read this back in the early 90's. Very different from her other offerings, "Six of One", or "Southern Discomfort". I liked after I got used to the change in style. But I like Rita and Sneaky Pie's books the best.
Apr 23, 2010 Grace rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
A friend lent me this book with the testamonial it was one of her all time favorites. It took me awhile to get through it - I kept finding reasons to move to other books. It was a good story, but a little too long.
Oct 14, 2011 Julie rated it really liked it
I realized a couple chapters into this that I had already read it. (Fortunately, I checked it out from the e-library.) That didn't at all detract from my enjoyment reading it a second time. This is a story full of heart, humor and sadness. Definitely an excellent read.
Brandi Ferdig
Sep 20, 2011 Brandi Ferdig rated it liked it
read it, long time, don't remember.. think this was the Tennis one..back in the day when Martina Navratilova was chilling with Rita Mae. i know that Rita Mae Brown assisted Martina with her autobiography, which i also read
C.J. Prince
I never had much sympathy for the South's point of view in the Civil War. This book changed my mind.
Micki James
I've marked this book "read" because I've read all I'm ever going to of it, but honestly, I could never make it out of the first chapter.
Betty Adams
Jan 01, 2015 Betty Adams rated it really liked it
I couldn't put this book down! It was well-written and obviously well-researched. A good way to start my 2015 reading challenge.
Amy Dunaway
Jan 24, 2015 Amy Dunaway rated it really liked it
Read this when it came out. really good.
Aug 05, 2008 Gail rated it really liked it
A woman disguises herself and goes to war for the Confederate side. Good read.
Oct 12, 2010 Nina rated it it was amazing
A must read!
May 04, 2008 Gretchen rated it did not like it
poorly put together story of the Civil War--told by women --I love history when it is told correctly even in an historical fiction work--this was JUST fiction put on your romantic but awful shelf..
Aug 05, 2008 Melissa rated it really liked it
civil war and gender roles
Jan 23, 2008 Dimps rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.
Mar 06, 2010 Simone rated it it was amazing
Great historical fiction of the Civil War showing that women did in fact serve in the army on occassion
Gina Barnett
May 29, 2008 Gina Barnett rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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Rita Mae Brown is a prolific American writer, most known for her mysteries and other novels (Rubyfruit Jungle). She is also an Emmy-nominated screenwriter.

Brown was born illegitimate in Hanover, Pennsylvania. She was raised by her biological mother's female cousin and the cousin's husband in York, Pennsylvania and later in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Starting in the fall of 1962, Brown attended the Un
More about Rita Mae Brown...

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