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I Shall Be Near to You

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  6,429 ratings  ·  1,085 reviews
An extraordinary novel about a strong-willed woman who disguises herself as a man in order to fight beside her husband in the Civil War, inspired by a real female soldier's letters home
   Rosetta doesn't want her new husband Jeremiah to enlist, but he joins up, hoping to make enough money that they'll be able to afford their own farm someday. Though she's always worked by
Kindle Edition, 305 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Crown
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Lacey I believe because they come from a poor, rural area. I don't think it's so much a Southern accent as a lower-class accent.…moreI believe because they come from a poor, rural area. I don't think it's so much a Southern accent as a lower-class accent.(less)
Jay Schutt Her name is actually Rosetta Edwards Wakefield. She went by Ross Stone as a soldier because her husband called her a "stone lady" because of her tough…moreHer name is actually Rosetta Edwards Wakefield. She went by Ross Stone as a soldier because her husband called her a "stone lady" because of her toughness.(less)

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Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It has taken me weeks to try to write this review, simply because I'm not a good enough writer to put into words how strongly this book affected me. This is one of THOSE books: the kind you can't get anything else done until you finish it; the kind that makes you convinced that Jeremiah and Rosetta are a part of your life; the kind of book you sneak away at work to take "bathroom breaks" because you just can't stop reading; the kind that leaves you at an absolute loss as to what to do with yours ...more
It's 1862 and Jeremiah Wakefield is off to fight for the Union leaving his newlywed bride behind without a proper parting goodbye. Distressed by his absence, and unwilling to succumb to menial "womanly" chores delegated by her nit-picking mother-in-law; after only two days, the proud and strong-willed Rosetta proceeds to cut off her hair, disguise herself in manly clothes and join-up to be with her man.

Inspired by real people and events, McCabe does a great job of drawing a convincing picture of

Diane S ☔
Oct 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Based on actual letters and reports from the more than 250 woman who fought disguised as men on both sides, during the Civil War.

Rosetta is a memorable character, she comes from a poor but hardworking family and Jeremiah is her one true love.They have hopes of moving to Nebraska and buying their own farm. The $150.00 sign up fee for joining is his motivation for joining up. For Rosetta
there are many other reasons.

In this novel we gain the female perspective on going to war, the hardships of
4 stars - It was great. I loved it.

Based on historical facts and letters surrounding at least 250 women that disguised themselves as men to fight and serve in the Civil war, Erin McCabe has created a memorable story about a woman who follows her husband into war (quite against his wishes). The heroine, Rosetta, is based loosely on the real lifestory of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, who inspired the feisty and strong-willed framework upon which the fictional character is built.

The novel was very atmos
"His arms pull me tight against his chest and I bury my face in his shoulder. He shakes and it is dark enough I can still say I ain't ever seen him cry. My heart goes to cracking wide open, but at least I am alive to feel it. I am a different kind of woman now, a wife who knows what this war really is. At least I am part of this war, part of the things Jeremiah's done here, things that will always be hiding somewhere in his heart."

New York, 1862. Rosetta marries her childhood sweetheart jus
Jan 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, on-kindle
The concept of this book is a really cool one--a girl following her husband and joining up with the Union Army during the Civil War? Potentially awesome. However, I feel that this book failed to live up to its potential in every possible way.

First off, this isn't a new idea--people have known for quite some time now that during the American Civil War (or the War Between the States, if you prefer, or perhaps the Uncivil War), many women disguised themselves as men and fought for their chosen side
Lisa Wolf
From my recent post at Bookshelf Fantasies:

Five Reasons Why You Should Read I Shall Be Near To You… ASAP!

Here are my top five reasons why this may be the book for you:

1) Strong female character: Simply put, Rosetta Wakefield is one awesome woman. A young bride who decides that she will not sit home while the man she loves marches off to war, Rosetta takes her future into her own hands. Ignoring family disapproval and potential shame, not waiting for her husband’s agreement, Rosetta sets a course
New York during the Civil War. Our narrator- Rosetta Stone-- helps her family out on their farm, she is brutally honest, headstrong, and independent. When her new husband enlists, her heart breaks open. She feels alone and disconnected. She decides to chop off her hair, put on some slacks, and heads for Utica to enlist alongside her husband.

As the war goes on, "Ross Stone" goes through deaths, sickness, gore, shooting, and surprises. At times, this novel pulled on my emotions, but ultimately, di
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A moving love story in a war adventure with a bit of history mixed in. What a few brave women did for our country back then compares to what we can do today, without having to do so in secret. Very detailed and believable; the battlefield descriptions set the scene well.

I was given a free copy of the book from Random House in exchange for an honest review.

Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall. -Ruth 3:18

Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after t
Connie G
Jeremiah Wakefield had a dream of buying a farm in Nebraska. When the call went up in his upper New York town to join the Union army, he enlisted to earn the money needed. His newlywed wife Rosetta was a strong girl who had grown up helping her father on their farm since he had no sons to work the fields. She loved working outdoors, preferring it to traditional women's work. A few days after Jeremiah left for training, she decided to disguise herself as a man and join him as a Union soldier. The ...more
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
Setting: Civil War-Era America
Steam Factor: mild

When Rosetta Wakefield's husband Jeremiah, enlists with the Union Army there is no way she is going to be left behind. So disguising herself as a man and renaming herself "Ross Stone" she joins alongside Jeremiah and his buddies. Of course their marriage and their abilities are then strongly tested as the couple moves from training drills to the full-fledged battles as the War that everyone expected to be over rages on. There are many fictional and
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved Rosetta, and i was fascinated to learn that this novel was based loosely on a real Rosetta's experiences as a woman disguised as a man fighting in the Civil War!!! Enjoyed!!! ...more
Nov 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Original review found at

I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. the expected publication date is January 28th 2014.

I literally just finished this read and all I can say is wow. I was so moved by this story that I do not even know how I can begin to put any of my thoughts together. I shall try however I fear that there is nothing I can write that will do any type of justice to how this story has mo
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book had such promise, but it just fell flat. There were a lot of potentially interesting characters and supporting characters, but nobody was really fleshed out enough to connect with.

Also, there were attitudes that just didn't fit into a mid-1800's mindset. I get turned off by authors who can't separate their own ideology from the setting they've created and instead try to foist modern ideas and perspectives.

Finally, too many F bombs--which really didn't feel right in the dialogue. Turn
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
What a wonderful historical fiction piece. The author's note at the end will tell you that this is loosely based on a REAL Rosetta plus the stories of 200 other women who donned either the blue or the gray and fought for their homeland in the Civil War.

Rosetta's character is wonderfully rounded out to include her reasons for leaving home (deeper than simply being so in love with her husband that she couldn't stand to be parted). This book felt so very real and vivid. Rosetta's voice speaks very
I liked Rosetta Wakefield, she immediately pulled me into the past of her life and held me there until the last page. Erin Lindsay McCabe has created a moving tribute to the women who passed as men and fought alongside their husbands, fathers and brothers in the Civil War. The author's note is fascinating, her fictional story is based on fact, over two hundred women are known to have fought in the Civil War, one fought at the battle of Antietam during the second trimester of her pregnancy.

I foun
Dec 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rarely, perhaps never, have I been so drawn into the horror of the Civil War. Jeremiah and Rosetta are sweethearts when he leaves to fight in the Union Army. They marry, spend a very short time together, and then he is gone.

She is left behind with her family with whom she no longer really belongs, and an unfriendly mother-in-law. Her decision is to cut her hair, put on pants, enlist, and set off looking for her husband. She does find him, but she also finds wounded and dead, rations crawling wi
Bradeigh Godfrey
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever stumbled upon a gem of a book and had your heart cracked wide open?
I LOVED this book. Based on the experiences of the more than two hundred women who disguised themselves and fought in the Civil War, I Shall Be Near To You follows Rosetta, a (fictional) young woman who enlists in the Union Army to be with her husband, Jeremiah.

Told in the immersive and pitch-perfect voice of Rosetta, I was instantly drawn deep into her head and loved every moment with her. The relationship betwee
I am a HUGE historical fiction fan and I have a soft spot for Civil War books. Raised in the South, having a parent who was a Civil War reenactor, visiting battlefields and historic cemeteries has definitely left a mark on me. I Shall be Near to You came highly recommended and it did not disappoint. Erin brought these characters and battles to life. I could see them clearly walking across those fields and feel their excitement, their nervousness, their sense of duty, their fear and hope. A beaut ...more
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘Laying there on our bed is Jeremiah’s work shirt where I left it, the map unfolded beside it. And then like a hornets’ nest in the hot dust that you almost don’t see until it’s too late, but once you have, you can’t not see it for the buzzing in and out of the crack in the dirt crust, the idea of it just comes to me.’

It’s 1862, and the country is in the midst of the Civil War that goes on for another 3 years. Jeremiah Wakefield, a New Yorker, has dreams of someday owning his own farm and be
Gerard J.  Medvec
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I SHALL BE NEAR TO YOU by Erin McCabe, seems at first a cumbersome title. But as the incredible story with its even more incredible main character, Rosetta, wrap themselves around you, it becomes clear the title words are fished, like serene thread, through every vile, violent and loving page until the last, when it shoots from paper into your heart, a barbed hook, locking you into a forever-relationship with this American love saga.
This book refuses to sit idly by while you watch TV. Once you'v
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Based on letters written during the War Between the States (Civil War, War of Northern Aggression, I'm trying to take the middle ground here), I Shall Be Near to You tries to encapsulate the topic of women soldiers during the war, who had to pass as men to enlist.

In this story, all the historical research and discovered letters are consolidated into the narrative of one couple - Jeremiah and Rosetta. It is part love story, part war story, and is a pretty mild story of a very brief period of the
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I love most about this novel is unwavering Rosetta. She's not a woman of her times, but she's loyal to her husband and very believable in the setting. Some Civil War imagery is disturbing because, you know, it's war! Even so, if it evokes a strong reaction it's good writing. ...more
Becky ♡The Bookworm♡
This has to be the most powerful, emotional, and memorable book I have ever read. There are books out there that have touched my heart and moved me to tears, but this time....the tears continued to flow even after reading the last page.

The author has written a well researched and beautiful story based loosely on real-life history. The writing is superb and flows seamlessly from cover to cover, but what really stands out is Ms. McCabe's ability to reach her audience. The way she portrays the
Mar 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! I always like strong female characters and you can't get any stronger than heading off to war as a man and your husband doesn't even know you are going. I loved Rosetta and Jeremiah and the authors descriptions of the marching and fighting of the soldiers seemed so real. I found myself cringing as Rosetta tried to help this bloody damaged soldiers. My heart broke at the ending but I think she left the army correctly and I was glad for that. Great book! I'd give this 4.5 stars ...more
Emily Cerda
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those rare books that had me reading well into the night (against my better judgment), with palpable characters, a rich setting and captivating plot that will stay with me for a long, long time. One of the best books I've read in a very long time. ...more
Danielle (Love at First Page)
Just over here, crying my eyes out. This is why I don't read sad books. Never again. ...more
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-2019
Here’s another book that sat on my kindle for 2 years that I finally got to and loved!
Connie Lacy
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very moving story. Fascinating that women disguised themselves as men to serve in the Civil War. Well done.
May 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

It's definitely closer to a 4.5-4.75 stars in rating! But seriously, first, Rosetta is one heck of a character. I admired her so, and really enjoyed being in her head for this story! And what a story. Not only did this tale succeed in getting me completely fascinated by this time period and women fighting during the war, but it also managed to keep me riveted to the pages. Beautifully done!


(Originally posted on Alexa Loves Books)

Let me be honest here: it’s been much too lon
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ERIN LINDSAY McCABE studied Literature at University of California, Santa Cruz, and taught high school English before completing her MFA at St. Mary's College of California in 2010. She has taught Composition at St. Mary's College and Butte College and resides in Northern California with her husband and son and a small menagerie that includes one dog, four cats, two horses, ten chickens, and three ...more

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“I asked if you was pleased.’
‘Course I’m pleased! You think I’d be mad if I wasn’t pleased?’
‘You don’t make a lick of sense,’ he says, but he is smiling now and he takes a step closer to me.”
“All these boys, all these men, they are something to someone. There are people back home, waiting on them and the waiting ain't never going to end now. For the rest of my life I am waiting too.” 8 likes
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