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3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  194 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Those who loved Cold Mountain or Geraldine Brooks’s March will embrace and long remember this spellbinding novel of two remarkable women torn apart by conflict, sustained by literature and art, united by friendship and hope.

As brother turns against brother in the bloodbath of the Civil War, two young women sacrifice everything but their friendship. Susanna Ashford is the
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 25th 2009 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

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Hambly’s historical novel is set during the American Civil War and is supposedly a series of letters between two friends who find themselves on opposite sides. Cora is a supporter of the Union, and Susie is a supporter of the Confederacy.

This book is not at all what I thought it was going to be. What starts at as a family drama a la North and South, turns into a discovery of what it means to be a woman and what is worth fighting for on a familial or personal level.

And quite frankly, if you lo
Alison Sinclair
Homeland is told entirely in the form of a correspondence between two women nominally on opposite sides of the American Civil War. Susanna is the daughter of a Southern plantation-holder and a gifted artist; intellectual Cora, from Maine, is married to one of Susanna's family friends, Emory. Susanna opens the correspondence with a plea to Cora not to tell anyone that she saw Susanna in a compromising embrace. Cora gently admonishes Susanna that the man���Emory's widowed father, Justin���does not ...more
Paula Hebert
in this unique take on the civilwar, two women, one from an island in maine and one from a plantation in tennessee, become fast friends and begin a correspondence that continues throughout the war. even when the letters cannot be delivered, they continue to write, as an outlet for stress and frustration. this book gives us a wonderful understanding of the hardships that the people left behind had to endure through sometimes horrible situations. it also sings the praises of the strength of women, ...more
Nov 29, 2009 Lisa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Pam
Shelves: 2009
Barbara Hambly writes great historical fiction. I very much enjoyed her antebellum New Orleans series, starting with A Free Man of Color. Homeland is an epistolary novel, consisting of correspondence between two women during the Civil War. In their letters, the women, one from the North and one from the South, reveal the effects of the war on them, their families, and society around them. They also reflect a great deal on women in literature, which makes the reader reflect also. The ending of th ...more
I'm not normally interested in epistolary style novels, but this one was quite well done. The way the author timed the letters - where there was a disconnect between the writing and receiving - was an added layer that really helped in keeping things feeling disconnected during the war.
This book tells the story of the Civil War on the homefront, in letters between sisters-in-law, one in the North, one in the South. The hardships that each endured were amazing. While some of the relationships were confusing, the story was interesting, the letters were gripping, and the ending was a pleasant surprise.
April Plummer
In this beautifully written novel, two young women originally brought together through marriage maintain an unusual friendship during the Civil War. Cora is from the Union and lives up North while Susanna is from the deep south and part of the Confederacy. The novel is written through their letters to one another during the years of the War.

There are some twists in this book the reader doesn't expect - and I won't give them away here. But this book made me think. A lot.

There were times during t
Tamora Pierce
The only reason I didn't read this book the moment it came out (you all know I adore Hambly's work) is because it's an epistolary novel, consisting solely of letters. I hate epistolary novels by and large. I figured if anyone could make me love one, it would be Hambly, and of course, the moment I made myself start to read, I fell in love with it.

The letters are written by Cora, of Deer Island, Maine, who is married to Ethan, the neighbor and friend of Susanna, of Greene County, Tennessee. The bo
Homeland is primarily about friendship, specifically between two women; Cora living in ME, and Susanna living in TN during the Civil War, but it is also about the relationships we form with characters from books and how books become some of our most coveted friendships.

The story is written in epistle form, with most of the letters written between the two women (many not sent due to lack of mail service, others because of content, and some lost en route). Their letters document the war and the tr
An interesting book, but one that I found a little hard to follow. It didn't "flow" for me.I had to keep looking back to see who was writing.

To explain, this book is the correspondence between two women during the time of the Civil War. One woman (Cora) lives on an island in Maine and the other (Susanna)lives on a plantation in Tennessee. (So I found that I had to keep looking back to see who was writing to whom.)

Another problem I had was that a number of the letters were marked "not sent". I di
This book chronicled two fictional women, one from the North, married to a Southerner, and the other living in TN, and the letters they wrote to one another during the Civil War.

It was interesting to learn about the lives of the women during the war - their hardships varied from losing family, to starvation, rape, abandoment, and disdainment of former "friends."

What I found interesting about this book was the idea of war from a woman's point of view. In this time period, women had few to no rig
Barb Heart
Two women write to each other during the civil war. one in maine and one in Tennesee. Historically I learned quite a bit. You really got the feel of all the sacrifices in all different ways that everyone no matter what side you held. The destruction - the emotions/shunning/years without kowing - and was surprised by all the deserters...... I think I was taught so much about patriotism etc at this time I didn't stop to think of families whose whole support was by the father, husband, brother. Als ...more
In this unique take on the Civil War, two women, one from an island in Maine and one from a plantation in Tennessee, become fast friends and begin a correspondence about books & art, love and loss and the futre of their country that continues throughout the war. Even when the letters cannot be delivered, they continue to write, as an outlet for stress and frustration. This book gives us a wonderful understanding of the hardships that innocent people endure during war. It also sings the prais ...more
Libby Ames
I don't know how I expected a book set during the Civil War to be anything but depressing. Maybe I was hoping for another Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, but this book was not it.

The book was well researched and focused on very interesting and painful aspects of the Civil War. It is a book of letters between two women: Cora, a northern woman married to a southern man who chooses to fight for the South because it is his home and Susanna, a southern women trapped in the South, but
Patricia Nickols
This was the story of two women told in the form of letters written to each other over the course of the Civil War. I was unsure at first if this format would hold my interest but soon found the book difficult to put down. Very compelling read.
I really liked the book and the two characters. I liked the format it was written in--letters written back and forth between the two characters. The women were on opposite sides of the war. Their letters gave a good picture of the suffering brought on by the war--especially how the women, children and families were affected. I liked Susanna's character. I was a little disappointed at the end when her actions didn't fall in line with her character. But the author redeemed herself in the end.
This was a re-read, and well-worth the re-reading. Novels about the American Civil War are not usually on my list of must-reads, but I'll read pretty much anything Hambly writes in the confidence that it will be good, and will be solidly rooted in research without info-dumping to show off how much research the author did. It will also probably be about those silenced by history or at least left out/misrepresented by grand historical narratives. In this instance, we have an epistolary novel of fe ...more
An epistolatory novel of letters between a woman in Maine and another in the south during the Civil War. What is unique is how it shows that not all southerners were on the side of the Confederacy and not all northerners fought for the Union. The devastation and deaths were overwhelming and many of the letters written by the women were not sent until after the war. Often what is not said is important later when you figure out what is going on. Cora (in Maine) begins by saying she doesn't read fi ...more
I loved this book, the struggles reflected in the letters between these two friends experienced in both the North and the South. Amazing read!
John Park
Cora and Susanna exchange letters across the lines in the American civil war. Initially rather decorous with some soft shots at easy racial and feminist targets, the screws gradually tighten as relatives die or betray each other and starvation threatens. The deep friendship between the two women almost founders when Cora's husband, who is fighting for the South, impregnates Susanna's sister and forces the Susanna into deceitful secrecy. The ending doesn't describe how Susanna escapes from the ou ...more
I adored this book. For a very long time, I really didn't care for literature about or set during the Civil War. Reading "Gone With the Wind" changed that opinion, so that I'll at least give it a chance.

I've never read anything by Barbara Hambly before, but I really enjoyed this novel. Epistolary novels are some of my favorite types of books (e.g., "Ella Minnow Pea," "The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society") and I was excited about reading "Homeland." I grew attached to Sussanah and C
Most of the Barbara Hambly books I've read are her sci-fi/fantasy series (which I've really liked). "Homeland" is more in the style of the "Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society", written as a series of letter between a couple of women - one in the South and one in the North - during the Civil War. An almost intimate look at the lives of these two women, from tedious daily chores to the growing seeds of the women's movement. I loved it! Heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. If yo ...more
Donna Jo Atwood
Oct 13, 2009 Donna Jo Atwood rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Lorie Hyten
I really liked this book (4.5 stars). It is told through letters between two women, one a young married woman living on an island in Maine, whose husband is in the Confederate army, and the other a young artist living (at least in the beginning) in Tennessee. They exchange ideas about everything from the war and family, slavery and freedom, the value of reading fiction, woman's "place" and women's daily reality. I think it would make a great reader's theater presentation.

Task 10.9
A fascinating look at life during the Civil War through the letters of two women, one in the South, one in the North. There are no easy sentiments here, no pretty women swooning in party dresses - these are women who are living hard and isolated lives while the men around them are at war. Smart, independent women who were already looked at a bit askance by their peers for those traits and who now have to put them to good use to survive. It is not an easy read, but it is worth it.
I enjoyed this book and the different perspectives of women during the Civil War. I like that it showed women both passionate and un-passionate about the war/politics, women supporting both sides, and just basic survival during the war. The book is the collection of letters between the two women so it's both interesting and a little confusing at times because of this. Overall, it's a good book. If you enjoy historical fictions based on the Civil War, you'll enjoy this one.
I find the more I read Ms. Hambly, the more I enjoy her novels. Her historical novels, I should add. This is an epistolary tale of two women during the Civil War. Cora lives in Maine and Susannah lives in Tennessee. It is easy to read and really puts you in their lives. You are hungry and cold and listening to the gun barrages. For a minute there, you can almost the grubs. Very good. I would recommend it to Adonna, who loves her epistolary novels.
I love civil war novels so I tend to steer towards them. This was a tale told in letters written between 2 women, one a northerner who was married to a southerner & the other woman was a southerner, both women had "modern" ideas for their time. At first it was hard to follow who all the people were in the letters but it came together nicely & you were able to catch a glimpse of what women left home during the war had to deal with.
The American Civil War was a horrible thing, ripping families apart and bringing out the worst in people -- while, paradoxically, its ultimate goal was to keep the country together and offer one of America's great blessings - freedom - to people long denied it. This well-written and gripping book illuminates the Civil War as a series of letters between two close friends, one North and the other South of the Mason-Dixon line.
I thought the first quarter of the book was boring beyond belief and confusing. I don't know if it was my horrible memory but I think the author could have introduced the characters better. The second quarter got better and by the last fourth I really got into it. Really enjoyed the ending! Again I feel very spoiled to live without war and with our amazing technology.
Slow, tedious, and boring are, unfortunately, the first three words that come to mind for my review of this book. I usually love reading about the details of everyday life during the Civil War time period, but even those tidbits couldn't make this book interesting to me. I trudged through the first half, before starting to seriously skim and was so relieved when it was over.
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aka Barbara Hamilton

Ranging from fantasy to historical fiction, Barbara Hambly has a masterful way of spinning a story. Her twisty plots involve memorable characters, lavish descriptions, scads of novel words, and interesting devices. Her work spans the Star Wars universe, antebellum New Orleans, and various fantasy worlds, sometimes linked with our own.

"I always wanted to be a writer but everyone
More about Barbara Hambly...
Children of the Jedi (Star Wars) Dragonsbane (Winterlands #1) The Time of the Dark (Darwath, #1) Those Who Hunt the Night (James Asher, #1) The Armies of Daylight (Darwath, #3)

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