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The Widow of the South
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message 1: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (new) - rated it 3 stars

Diane | 12904 comments Start discussion here for The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks


message 2: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (new) - rated it 3 stars

Diane | 12904 comments Widow of the south takes place in Franklin, Tennessee during the end of the civil war, and is based on the life of Carrie McGovak. The book tells the story of an important, but almost forgotten piece of US history. Since there were a lot of gaps in the protagonist's known life, the author has given her a number of attributes (in order to add drama) that may or may not be true (and may or may not be really believable and may or may not cause McGovak to roll over in her grave). McGovak's home is made into a hospital and she subsequently becomes a nurse to wounded soldiers during this short, but bloody battle of the civil war. After the war, she takes steps to create a cemetery for 1500 soldiers who had been hastily buried in a mass grave in a nearby field. I have been to this town a few times and had no idea of it's history. Having read the book, I think I will have to make a road trip and visit her former home, which is now a museum. The soldiers' blood is said to stain the floors.

Pros: I think the story is an important one and has since caused much-needed recognition to both the heroine and the lost soldiers from the battle. It is an interesting piece of history that most people wouldn't know.

Cons: The kinda-romance between her and Zachariah was totally unnecessary, in my opinion. I think it was inserted in an attempt to make the story less dry and throw some romance into the mix. I seriously doubt that it ever happened.
The story was often disjointed and hard to follow. It could have flowed a lot better and been a bit shorter. There are a lot of unnecessary elements that could be edited out without detracting from the story.


Heather | 17 comments I am basically half way through. You are right in that it is an interesting story of a part of history that we don't really know a lot about. And the flipping from one person to the next makes it difficult to follow. It is not easy to read the graphic detail of what happened during the war back then. but it does let you know how strong they were.


Anne (papergirl42) | 328 comments Anne. I read WIDOW OF THE SOUTH several years ago. What I visualized, smelled and felt as I read the story remains clearly etched in my memory. It was a significant North/ South encounter at the end of the Civil War near the small town of Franklin, TN fought out near a modest clapboard farmhouse. Imagine living on that farm in rural Tennessee and watching the smoke rising from the guns and obscuring the hills and valleys where the battle raged. The deafening thunder and the nauseating stench of rifle and cannon fire. Add to that mix the stench of putrid flesh and the vivid red coating everyone and everything? As the fog of battle lifted, seeing hundreds of soldiers severely wounded, dying and dead littering your fields, covering your front lawn waiting for a " medic" to come and sort out the casualties into groups for priority for treatment. The piles of limbs growing on your floors and beneath your windows as amputations were completed. The cacophony of the men crying out in pain, and the moaning of those aching for water and a kind word of reassurance. And you the owner of the farmhouse.... What do you do? How do you assist? How do you ever recover for this horrendous event?


message 5: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (new) - rated it 3 stars

Diane | 12904 comments Anne wrote: "Anne. I read WIDOW OF THE SOUTH several years ago. What I visualized, smelled and felt as I read the story remains clearly etched in my memory. It was a significant North/ South encounter at th..."

Definitely not something I would want to experience. I live near the Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield in Georgia, another battlefield of the US Civil War. It is such a nice, peaceful place to go - now. It is so hard to imagine the horror of what happened there during the war.


message 6: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (new) - rated it 3 stars

Diane | 12904 comments Here is a link to the author's website about the book. There is a picture gallery with pictures of the house and grounds, as well as some of the characters.

http://www.widowofthesouth.com/


message 7: by Kristina Marie (new)

Kristina Marie | 274 comments I just started this book. Seems a bit odd, but I love historical fiction!


Suzanne | 96 comments Diane wrote: "Here is a link to the author's website about the book. There is a picture gallery with pictures of the house and grounds, as well as some of the characters.

http://www.widowofthesouth.com/"


Thanks Diane! I'm not very far into this book yet so it will be nice to see the website and maybe be able to visualize some of the places.


Suzanne | 176 comments I found the beginning battle chapters of The Widow of the South really fascinating, but the author lost me with the romance and the crutch bashing episode. I slogged through, thinking that the story would regain its early interest, but for me it never did.


Suzanne | 96 comments Suzanne wrote: "I found the beginning battle chapters of The Widow of the South really fascinating, but the author lost me with the romance and the crutch bashing episode. I slogged through, thinking that the stor..."

Definitely! I was liking the book, but after the crutch bashing episode I'm scratching my head...........


Suzanne | 176 comments You must be a kindred spirit, as Anne of Green Gables would say!


Suzanne | 96 comments Suzanne wrote: "You must be a kindred spirit, as Anne of Green Gables would say!"

:)


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