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Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War
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April 2018: Strong Women > Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott 3 stars

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message 1: by Charlotte (last edited May 01, 2018 08:03AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Charlotte | 1662 comments Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott
3 stars

I've read a bunch about the Civil War (I'm from my south, it's part of my history) but I enjoyed this different perspective. It followed 4 women, two were part of the Confederacy and two part of the Union. The story followed them from the beginning to the end of the war.

The writer picked 4 real women and used the books they wrote, their correspondence and the correspondence of others to develop the story of what they might have experienced and felt during that time. The strength that a lot of women during the Civil War is insane and the women in this book exemplify that. One of the women the book follows assumed a male persona and fought for the Union.

I did give it 3 stars because the writing was tough at points and I was able to put it down for a week here and there. It also may be a tough read if you don't already have an understanding of the geography of the area, the major players of the Civil War, and the major battles. I've recently read Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (which I highly recommend!!! It visits the subject of racism and the Civil War in the late 90s when the book was written.) and so I already had a lot of it fresh in my mind.


message 2: by Booknblues (new) - added it

Booknblues | 6844 comments I started this one and set it aside. It just wasn't the right time for me to read it. I hope to pick it up at some point.


message 3: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments Oh this is a bummer about the writing and the background knowledge I should already have. I probably know more than the average person about the Civil War, though that may not be saying a lot. Hmmm, this one floats in and off of my TBR.....I may not be adding it back on.

BUT, I am going to check out Confederate in the Attic! That one piqued my interest!


Charlotte | 1662 comments Nicole R wrote: "Oh this is a bummer about the writing and the background knowledge I should already have. I probably know more than the average person about the Civil War, though that may not be saying a lot. Hmmm..."

It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great. It was just meh... I could just easily put it done. I would say it's a good book to pick up now and then. If you have a Civil War understanding, then you'll be fine on that part. Although, I did still get lost at times.

I HIGHLY recommend Confederates in the Attic... I read it earlier this year before I became part of this group. Even though it was written in the late 90s, it's still relevant. The author travelled to cities that were impacted during the Civil War and asked questions to both races about what the confederate flag means to them and lasting impacts on the cities from the Civil War.


message 5: by Doughgirl5562 (new)

Doughgirl5562 | 814 comments Thank you for your review! When it came time to choose our 2018 reads for my bookclub, this is one of the books that I recommended. I thought it sounded fascinating. It did not get chosen as one of our 2018 books - close but didn't make the list in the end. Your review indicates that we made the right choice.

I've previously read Sin in the Second City by this author, and while it was definitely interesting it did not have the same readability factor as - say - Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. It was, as you say, easy to put down.


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