Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “This Side of the River” as Want to Read:
This Side of the River
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

This Side of the River

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  67 ratings  ·  18 reviews
This Side of the River is a novel set in in Georgia in the summer of 1865, after Confederacy has collapsed. A contingent of war widows who have survived Sherman's March have armed themselves and rallied around a teenage Texas Ranger named Cat Harvey in order to ride north to Ohio and burn Gen. Sherman's home to ashes. It is a story about trauma, revenge and redemption. Wha ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 1st 2015 by Nautilus Publishing
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about This Side of the River, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about This Side of the River

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Amanda Mae
Oct 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
The premise of Confederate widows banding together to march north and burn Sherman's house in retribution is one of the best alt history plots I've ever come across. And the crazy doesn't stop there! The bizarreness of the novel just builds, and you can't put the book down. Every page leads to another twist, another gasp-worthy moment, another shock. It's as if Stayton took an album of Civil War-era murder ballads by the Decemberists and wrote a novel involving them all. This is modern Southern ...more
Chris Lazinsky
Mar 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
At Square Books, Jeff signed my copy saying "I hope you enjoy my wild ass book". I have enjoyed it so much that wild ass is the absolute best complement it can be given. my first thought on finishing was given that this was a relatively short book, he does so much with it, being at turns epic, clever, absurd, and ultimately horrifying. He manages to at once romanticize war and show it for the horror that is. He flows from a reenactor's loving attention to detail to an absurdity that throws any n ...more
Julie Schoerke
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Civil War enthusiasts, women
It seems that a book about a group of Civil War widows marching en masse to Sherman's house up North to burn it down would be absurd and funny. But, it's not. Meticulously researched, this novel is an emotional journey, told from various perspectives, as well as a geographic march across the United States. I get why Southern Living Magazine chosen it as it's cultural pick of the month. A great "alternative history" read!
Carole Landry
Oct 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Should be read with a strong Southern accent and a sense of humor!
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Interesting book. Not sure exactly how I feel about the way it jumped from character to character, though. It made it a little difficult to keep up with who was who and who had done what. That being said, the story itself was engaging and imaginative. Bleak, at times, but it WAS the end of the Civil War. Not a happy time for anyone. Many lives lost and those left behind had to try and pick up the pieces. Widows seeking revenge with a mad man.....I guess that's one way to do it. The ending left m ...more
Betsy Crawford
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
I only read about half of this book, mostly because it was too confusing to keep up with all the characters. I was so excited to finally get a copy of this book in my hands, but it was really disappointing. The idea of a band of Civil War widows traveling together under the leadership of teenage Texas Ranger Cat Harvey to burn General Sherman's home is a great story idea. Creative idea but poor execution, IMO.
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Haunting and complex, _This Side of the River_, told through multiple narrators, highlights the sexual abuses and psychological trauma of the Civil War. It's part historical novel, part alternate history, and part magical realist. Give it a read!
Diane Coto
Jan 29, 2015 rated it liked it
The War Between the States was technically over. General Lee had surrendered at Appomattox Court House April 9, 1865. This story began in May 1865 as twenty and more widows began to follow behind a very young Captain Cat Harvey of the Texas Rangers. They were widows because General Tecumseh Sherman led some 60,000 soldiers in his “March to the Sea” from Atlanta to Savannah, burning houses and barns of Confederate fighters. This was from November 15 to December 21, 1864. The widows became determi ...more
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
A group of Confederate widows are filled with hatred against General Sherman for what his army had done to them. In order to satisfy their lust for revenge, they get together, grab their guns, and march north to Ohio to burn down General Sherman’s home. Their chosen ringleader is Captain Cat Harvey, a Texas Ranger with a dark side. When the widows start to see Cat Harvey’s sinister side, they soon begin to wonder what price they have to pay for their common cause.

The story is told from many po
Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This Side of The River is breathtaking, precise and poignant. Its unique cadence satisfies, and the beats are measured to precision. A Civil War Revenge tale isn't automatically compelling. The power of this novel, and this can't be understated, comes not from the plot alone, but more from how Stayton treats revenge in the hearts of his characters.

The best writers show us what the human condition looks like by showing us the outward expression of all its symptoms. Stayton has done precisely tha
Nov 15, 2014 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
James Janke
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a Civil War tale relating a quixotic plan of a motley group of Confederate widows at the very end of the war who set out to burn down General William Sherman's home in Ohio, in revenge for his March to the Sea through Georgia. The widows choose a very young, tormented Texas Ranger as their leader.

This is a book that is hard to put down. Each chapter is very, very short (one is only six words long), so you feel you can always read "just one more chapter". Much of the book is written in fi
Carolyn Williams-walker
I read a galley of this after meeting the author at a SIBA convention. The premise of the story intrigued me - Southern widows who decided to march north to burn down Gen. William Sherman's home in retribution for his torching Confederate homes on his infamous March to the Sea. Stanton presented the story in a very intriguing way - each chapter was "told" by a different character, and many had their own "voice." Such treatment compelled me to read on, wondering what would happen to everyone. Whi ...more
Venise Settles
Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This epic novel is one of the best of all time...and that's huge! When Conferderate widows join forces for the sole purpose of burning Sherman's house to ashes, you better watch out! These women don't play, a real force to be reckoned with. There is something so dark but quite compelling about their journey to cross the river as one unit to take their lives back. And I mean literally. The vivid imagery and precise verbiage cleverly chosen by the author keeps you engulfed in the constantly develo ...more
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jks
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, so I felt like this was the perfect time to read "This Side of the River." From the detailed descriptions of the landscape to the authentic personalities of his characters, I can tell Jeffrey Stayton put a lot of thought into this story. Very nicely done!
Heather Newton
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I had the pleasure of reading an advance review copy of this crazy-good novel about a band of Confederate widows marching north to get revenge on General Sherman. A true original and one of the best books I've read this year.
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book that tells inside stories of life in 1865. It makes you think how good we have it and how much they went through.
Thank you for letting me win this book and my book club was equally impressed with your book!
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this book from the LibraryThing Members Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. Intriguing plot, dark and a little crazy. I loved it!
Dolores Ridout
rated it really liked it
Feb 01, 2017
Joshua N
rated it it was amazing
Jan 19, 2018
rated it really liked it
Mar 18, 2018
Angelle Barbazon
rated it it was amazing
May 12, 2015
rated it did not like it
Feb 19, 2015
Diane Banakas
rated it liked it
Feb 05, 2015
Matthew David
rated it it was amazing
Apr 16, 2015
rated it liked it
Apr 03, 2016
Chris Tollison
rated it it was amazing
Mar 07, 2015
rated it did not like it
Oct 31, 2018
rated it liked it
Mar 09, 2015
Lisa Henner
rated it it was amazing
Nov 05, 2015
« previous 1 3 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Nov 09, 2015 06:14PM  
  • Darwin's Odyssey: The Voyage of the Beagle (Kindle Single)
  • Raising the Dead
  • Wind River
  • Dustland
  • This Godforsaken Place
  • Holy Rage
  • Sacred Breath Series (Books 1-4)
  • Vigilante
  • Shards of Time
  • Mercury in Retro Love
  • P.S. I Still Hate It Here: More Kids' Letters From Camp
  • Rain Shadow (Dutch Country Brides #2)
  • Walking on Water
  • The Children's War
  • A Run for Love (Oklahoma Lovers #1)
  • Mississippi Cotton
  • The House of War and Witness
  • Finding God in the Ruins: How God Redeems Pain
Jeffrey Stayton grew up throughout Texas and lived in MIssissippi before landing in Tennessee where he's lived with his wife in Memphis for the past four years. The southern author releases his first literary noir novel in February 2015, the 150th anniversary year of the Civil War's end. This Side of the River was inspired by his question of what would have happened if the war-widows of Georgia to ...more