Laura's Reviews > Wedded to War

Wedded to War by Jocelyn Green
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's review
Jul 23, 2012

it was amazing
Read in July, 2012

At the outbreak of the Civil War, women were meant to stay home and care for their families, prepare bandages for the wounded but only if their husbands allowed them to, and to leave the fighting, doctoring, and nursing to men. At the age of 28, considered to be an old maid, though she did have one suitor, Charlotte Waverly was discontent in remaining home and doing nothing. She came from a home of privilege, but her heart was for the poor and wounded. She did help out in different areas working for the poor in the city, but it wasn’t enough. When the paper announced openings for nurses to work with the injured from the war, she signed up.

Charlotte’s suitor, Phineas Hastings, was against her going, but since she was not engaged, she departed for the schooling and then off to her assigned position. The on again, off again romance during between them is just one part of the story. His secret past catching up with him, and her secret crush on a childhood friend, brings in a clash of romance that herald even more demands.

Jocelyn Green has done an exemplary job of describing the circumstances during the plight of the Civil War, and the women’s work as nurses under the authority of rude and insulting doctors during this difficult period of time. War is never a place for ease and comfort, but the amenities we have today were not available during the Civil War. The author stresses the lack of means to rescue the injured; enough food to feed the injured; clean, sterile hospitals; regular supplies to treat the injured; and the lack of personnel to accommodate the injured. The atrocities of the war were not hidden, and the women were given the same rules of propriety as the men. Emotions or tears were not allowed.

I’m always intrigued by new information about the Civil War, and Jocelyn has written a historical novel that has satisfied my interest. The intertwining romance gives us a respite from the horrifics of the war. She also weaves into the story the challenges of a poor woman whose husband is at war, and she has to fend for herself financially. How she accomplishes this is heart-breaking.

The characters are well-defined and real–the good and the bad. The attitudes towards women nurses are definitely obvious and crude, leaving much to be desired! Charlotte’s kind and giving heart and her tenacity drew my heart to her. Ruby’s plight brought out compassion and pain. They became my favorite characters in Jocelyn’s book.

It’s not a fast read, but that allows for the content to reverberate through your mind, wondering how you would react in the circumstances these men and women were involved in. I know I’d have a hard time biting my tongue at times!

This book was provided free through Bonnie Leon of CFBA in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.
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