Christie's Reviews > I Shall be Near to You

I Shall be Near to You by Erin Lindsay McCabe
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All of us are clean for once, hair slicked back, our new kepis on, our trousers still creased, standing in the dim shop, a blue curtain draped across the wall behind us.

Newlyweds Jeremiah and Rosetta Wakefield are young and in love, but war is tearing apart the nation and Jeremiah feels the need to serve his country and make some money to buy a family farm. Rosetta is unwilling to let him go and goes to serve beside him, disguised as his cousin, Ross. War is not what either one of them imagined it would be, and they both find themselves fighting to get back home...together. Inspired by the lives of real women who served on both sides of the US Civil War.

It has been quite some time since I picked up a Civil War novel, but when I saw this one I knew I needed to make room for it in my TBR list. I am glad I did. This was a powerful story that is so much more than what its synopsis suggests. Yes, it is a love story, but beyond that it is the story of a marriage where everything isn't perfect sunshine and rainbows. It is the story of women beginning to redefine what is meant by womanhood. It is the story of a nation at war with itself and the struggle to be something more. It is the story of friendship and comradeship.

The characters are what makes this story. They each have their own struggles and their own distinctive voices. They feel real. Rosetta is not a wilting flower pining for her man at home, nor is she a woman to put herself in harm's way just to be with him. She has many reasons for going to war and holds her own as a soldier. Jeremiah is torn between admiring her bravery and wanting to send her home for safety. Their journey together, as they by turns drift apart and come together, makes for a compelling story even without the tragic backdrop.

My only complaint about the book is that I wanted some sort of epilogue. I can't say more for spoilers, but I feel like the story ended before it was supposed to.

I highly recommend this book to fans of historical novels, especially those set in the US Civil War. It is a unique story and much deeper than it appears on the surface.
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Reading Progress

January 8, 2014 – Shelved
January 8, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
March 18, 2014 – Started Reading
March 21, 2014 – Finished Reading
March 24, 2014 – Shelved as: 19th-century
March 24, 2014 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
March 24, 2014 – Shelved as: kick-ass-heroines
March 24, 2014 – Shelved as: mothers-daughters
March 24, 2014 – Shelved as: picked-up-because-of-cover
March 24, 2014 – Shelved as: romance

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by Rachel (new)

Rachel I saw something about this book and wondered if it was any good. It looks like you enjoyed it! Maybe I'll pick it up after all :)

Christie I really liked it. Strong characters and a very emotional story. One of the best US Civil War novels I've read.

message 3: by Rachel (new)

Rachel That's great to hear! I'm going to add it to my Amazon wishlist. Thanks for the rec!

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