Today I welcome Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours back to the blog with a very interesting historical fiction novel set during the Civil War. Scroll down to the end of my review to win your own copy of the book.
Josephine and Libby are sisters living in the south just before the Civil War breaks out. They are very close and do everything together, although Josephine seems to be the stronger of the two and serves as Libby’s protector.
When Libby’s husband, Arden, joins the Confederate Army and dies on the battlefield, Libby is beside herself with grief and cannot figure out a way to deal with the loss of her husband until she meets a wounded boy in an army hospital. The boy has lost his arm in battle and is disappointed because he to fulfill his vow of killing at least 18 Yankee soldiers while he was serving in the army. Libby decides to dress up in disguise, join the Confederate army, and kill 21 Yankee soldiers, one for every year that her husband Arden was alive.
Josephine cannot let her sister go into battle alone, so they set off together and join the army. What I found the most interesting about this story is that the sisters take a lot of time to learn the traits of a man which include how a male walks, shakes hands, and even plays cards. They do not want to be discovered so they are very meticulous in the study of all things masculine.
When they are finally assigned to a Confederate Army camp, they are befriended by their fellow soldiers. Josephine is especially attracted to a young soldier named Wesley. The romance in the book is intriguing and keeps the reader in suspense. Does Wesley suspect that Josephine is really a woman? Will she reveal herself to him before either one of them are killed in battle? What will Wesley’s reaction be when he finds out that Josephine is really a woman?
The contrast that the authors build between the two sisters is very interesting. As Josephine is falling in love, Libby seems to be going mad. In addition to dealing with lice, lack of food, sleeping on the cold ground, and the horrors of war, Libby is also haunted by her dead husband. She keeps having visions of Arden who goads her on to kill more Yankee soldiers.
My only complaint about the book is that there are a lot of very odd phrases and sentences that the authors use that are distracting and awkward. For example, Libby’s love for Arden is described with a clumsy metaphor: “She loved him that much, in a way that made no space for herself, as though he were a full glass of tea and she was that piece of ice that would cause an overspill onto the tablecloth.” The pause in a battle when men are reloading their weapons is described as, “The cacophony paused for a split second, and Libby heard the sound of a single curse, so absent of God it seemed to come from the idea of war itself.” When metaphors in a book are overwrought, they do not enhance the story but instead distract from what is otherwise an excellent plot and set of characters.
If you enjoy historical fiction set during the Civil War then the SISTERS OF SHILOH is a must read. Seeing the atrocities of this war through the eyes of two strong female characters makes for a fabulous and entertaining read.
The publisher is giving away one print copy of the book to one of my readers. This giveaway is open to US residents only. To enter, please leave me a comment below and let me know you want to win! It’s that easy. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have 48 to respond with a valid U.S. mailing address. Giveaway ends March 16th.
-Must be 18 or older to enter
-Only one entry per household.
-All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
About The Authors:
Kathy Hepinstall grew up outside of Houston, Texas. Kathy is the best selling author of The House of Gentle Men, The Absence of Nectar and Blue Asylum She is an award-winning creative director and advertising writer. She currently resides in Santa Barbara, California with her husband. Visit Kathy’s Blog.
Becky Hepinstall grew up outside of Houston, Texas. She holds a degree in History from the University of Texas in Austin, and currently resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia with her husband, a Navy pilot, and their four children.
Sisters of Shiloh Blog Tour Schedule:
Wednesday, March 4
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Friday, March 6
Review & Giveaway at Unshelfish
Saturday, March 7
Review & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court
Monday, March 9
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, March 11
Review at Beth’s Book Nook
Friday, March 13
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Monday, March 16
Guest Post & Giveaway at Mina’s Bookshelf