When I joined the Blog Hop I already knew which book I was going to cover.
Gone for a Soldier by Kathleen Kelly Garlock is about a woman who sneaks into the army during the American Civil War, and my review for the book can be found here.
Of all the indie books I have read so far, “Gone for a Soldier” left the greatest impression on me. I have a lot of respect for the amount of research and passion the author had for the subject and it shows in her book. She brings to life real people from the Civil War and does a great job of showing the circumstances they were in.
When the soldiers rush to their next spot only to sit around and get sick, their restlessness can be felt. Dealing with the fickleness of people as they griped about money, and the way they calmed down when they receive some pay, shone through clearly.
And when the soldiers finally arrived at the fight they reality of what they were getting into set in fast. Soldiers dropped left and right without any method to reliably treat most of the wounds.
“Private Rob Edwards” and Johanna provided a great way to show the difference between how women and men were treated. Johanna struggles just to be taken seriously as she tries to serve her country, while Rob Edwards gets trusted with difficult and grimy tasks. Both are likeable characters (to be honest, I was hoping they would end up together).
The author includes a lot of real information (sometimes a little too much) and fleshes out some of the people and situations that don’t have a lot of information about them in history.
It’s obvious a lot of love and hard work went into this book. It wasn’t perfect – I wasn’t big on the romance Lucy eventually fell into, although I appreciated that she didn’t fall in love with the first man she saw and it wasn’t until later she met someone. It could also spend too much time sharing information that didn’t effect the story.
Regardless, it’s a great read, and it left an impression on me even though I’m not a history buff. I’d highly recommend it for anyone to read.
One last note: The author has stated that she’s edited the novel since I read it, so the parts I had an issue with might no longer apply.