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Where Dandelions Bloom
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Archived Group Reads 2020 > August's Book of the Month - Where Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson

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message 1: by Beth, Head Librarian (new) - added it

Beth | 2282 comments Mod
August's Book of the Month is Where Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson.

GR Summary:
Cassie Kendrick is on the run. Her abusive father arranged her marriage to a despicable man, but she's discovered an escape. Disguised as a man, Cassie enlists in the Union army, taking the name Thomas Turner. On the battlefields of the Civil War, keeping her identity a secret is only the beginning of her problems, especially after she meets Gabriel Avery, a handsome young photographer.

Anxious to make his mark on the world and to erase the darkness and guilt lurking from his past, Gabriel works with renowned photographer Matthew Brady to capture images from the front lines of the war. As Gabriel forges friendships with many of the men he encounters, he wonders what the courageous, unpredictable Thomas Turner is hiding.

Battling betrayal, their own personal demons, and a country torn apart by war, can Cassie and Gabriel learn to forgive themselves and trust their futures to the God who births hope and healing in the darkest places?


message 2: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new) - rated it 4 stars

Staci | 1707 comments Mod
I am happy to serve as your host for Where Dandelions Bloom! This novel has been on my Kindle for quite a while. I love the cover. Who's joining in?


Kate (liahonagirl) | 458 comments It's next up for me!


message 4: by Pam (new) - added it

Pam | 4 comments I am reading now. Thought the story quite different, and it is, although the love story is predictable. I do want a happy ending!


Missy | 554 comments Read this one earlier this year. It was good and I enjoyed the story.


message 6: by Pam (new) - added it

Pam | 4 comments Finished the book. Thought it was well written and included historical information, action and romance!


Hannah (bookwormhannah) | 861 comments Read this one last month. I’ll try to join the discussion!


Shiloh | 5 comments I finished it last night, and I loved it!


message 9: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new) - rated it 4 stars

Staci | 1707 comments Mod
Glad to see so many joining in. I just started reading it and look forward to our discussion beginning August 15.


message 10: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new) - rated it 4 stars

Staci | 1707 comments Mod
I'm posting the discussion questions a couple of days early:

1. When Gabe was an impoverished child, he was inspired to pursue photography as a way to escape from his difficult life. Did you have any formative childhood experiences?

2. Cassie disguised herself as a man and joined the Union Army because she felt it was her only way out of a desperate situation. Did you agree with her action or can you think of another route she might have taken?

3. Describe Gabe's view of women early in the story. How does his perspective change?

4. Was Cassie wrong to pretend to be someone she wasn't?

5. Cassie struggles to forgive her father. How does her anger toward him affect her?

6. Gabe compromises Cassie's disguise when he sells her photo. Have you tried to take control of a situation when you should have let God be in control?

7. What impact do you think photographs of the Civil War had on society?

8. How do the characters in the story keep hope alive in the midst of war?

9. In what ways are Gabe and Cassie able to heal from the scars of their past?

10. Why do Cassie and Gabe decide to travel to the western frontier?

11. Did you like this novel? Have you read others by the author?


Christine Indorf | 364 comments I have the book out ready to start. This sound wonderful. Tomorrow I can't wait to start it tomorrow!! Thanks for the questions!!


message 12: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new) - rated it 4 stars

Staci | 1707 comments Mod
Excellent Christine! Glad to have you join.


Christine Indorf | 364 comments Staci wrote: "Excellent Christine! Glad to have you join."

Just started it and on page 87. I am hooked. I just love the story line. I am so glad I joined you in this read! Looking forward to see where it will go!!


Chris | 296 comments I just started reading this book last night - so glad this book was picked - the plot and story is fresh way of looking at the Civil War.


Hannah (bookwormhannah) | 861 comments So I was reading a nonfiction last night and the incident with the woman who pretended to give provisions and then gave bullets instead actually happened. The ending was pretty neat; the lady had an about-face and became a "Federal" (Union) nurse for the rest of the war!


Chris | 296 comments This is one that I will be recommending! The plot was well thought out, the characters were fleshed out and were engaging. the realism of the civil was was well presented as well as many of the details that made it historically accurate. on to the questions - it was brave of Cassie to dress up as a man and keep up the charade and be paid for it - it took guts to do what she did as a soldier. I could understand her anger and feelings toward her father. Forgiveness is something that is difficult to give at times to people. The photographs made the war real - it wasn't just drawings - they were stark and ugly - it brought the reality of the men and resources that were wasted and used. A lot of people went west to start fresh with the end of the civil war - so i was happy to see that they started fresh with their family. This is my first novel with the author and looking forward to reading more from her.


Christine Indorf | 364 comments This book was amazing. I don't know why I don't do more of these reads because you guys pick excellent books. I fell in love Cassie and her not being able to forgive her father. You know unforgiveness can make us do some horrible things. Cassie joining the army is one of those things. Even falling in love with Gabriel she still couldn't stop being in the army and experiencing some horrible things. Haven't we all done some crazy things when we refuse to forgive somebody. Maybe not any of you but I have. I loved her when she was Thomas Turner. She really could act like a man and be one of the best in her division. I also how the author showed the side of Gabriel and what he was goint through as well. As you can tell I thought this was a 5 star read. Excellent pick! I am looking forward to rereading this one before the year is out!


message 18: by Kate (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kate (liahonagirl) | 458 comments I think question 6 is so apt. Gabriel thought he needed to help his 'adopted grandfather' with medical bills, even though he had not been asked to. I think in situations like that, when we're faced with a need that we think is necessary for us to meet, we can race ahead of God's timing and plan. I know I've done the same thing: worrying about something that wasn't what God wanted me to concentrate on at the time, and then leaving the path He'd placed me on to go figure out the other issue. Thankfully, God is merciful to forgive me the sin of wandering the wrong direction, and I am trying my utmost to seek His will in all that I do.😊


message 19: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new) - rated it 4 stars

Staci | 1707 comments Mod
Chris wrote: "I just started reading this book last night - so glad this book was picked - the plot and story is fresh way of looking at the Civil War."

Absolutely a different view of the Civil War. It's the first I recall hearing that photos were introduced broadly about war.


message 20: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new) - rated it 4 stars

Staci | 1707 comments Mod
Hannah wrote: "So I was reading a nonfiction last night and the incident with the woman who pretended to give provisions and then gave bullets instead actually happened. The ending was pretty neat; the lady had a..."

Oh wow! Thanks for sharing that Hannah. Love when history ties into fiction.


message 21: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new) - rated it 4 stars

Staci | 1707 comments Mod
Chris wrote: "This is one that I will be recommending! The plot was well thought out, the characters were fleshed out and were engaging. the realism of the civil was was well presented as well as many of the det..."

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Chris. So glad to hear you enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to reading this upcoming novel by the author.

All Through the Night by Tara Johnson


message 22: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new) - rated it 4 stars

Staci | 1707 comments Mod
Christine wrote: "This book was amazing. I don't know why I don't do more of these reads because you guys pick excellent books. I fell in love Cassie and her not being able to forgive her father. You know unforgiven..."

Glad you loved it Christine! I agree that the group and buddy reads make for some wonderful finds. :-)

You've made a great point about forgiveness. It often hurts us more than the person we ought to be forgiving.


message 23: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new) - rated it 4 stars

Staci | 1707 comments Mod
Kate wrote: "I think question 6 is so apt. Gabriel thought he needed to help his 'adopted grandfather' with medical bills, even though he had not been asked to. I think in situations like that, when we're faced..."

Yes, Kate! We can get in our mind what is the right thing to do before seeking out God's direction.

On this particular point, I wondered in the female neighbor "Esther" was scamming Gabriel for money. I was glad to find out that wasn't the case.


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