When Emery Jones, an idealistic Confederate soldier, finally captures a Union soldier after a long standoff, he comes to respect his adversary on the trek to the infamous Andersonville prison and vows that he will be safe. When Emery meets Dance Pickett, an aristocratic Southern militiaman and the estranged son of a famous father, he discovers a kindred soul who believes that the Union prisoners are also God’s children. Violet Stiles, who has devised a way to make much-needed buttons for the Confederate soldiers, goes to Andersonville seeking a shipment of supplies, and sees starving, dying, and dead Union soldiers. Appalled that her beloved father, a physician who volunteers there, hasn’t done more, she decides to form a group to feed the prisoners, only to discover that doing the right thing can have unexpectedly difficult repercussions. Groot’s three young Southern protagonists find friendship and love in the midst of adversity as they follow the moral path, even though it may mean death and dishonor. Groot’s (Stones of My Accusers, 2004) well-researched, inspirational historical tale, with its frank depiction of the atrocities at Andersonville and realistic portrayal of characters who question what it truly means to be Christian, will be compelling and memorable for a diverse audience. --Diana Tixier Herald
"The Sentinels of Andersonville is Tracy Groot's beautifully written retelling of an age-old story of the triumph of compassion in the midst of horror and evil. Set in and around the Andersonville Prison, the lives of three Southerners converge as they plot to save a friend. Transformation and redemption are at the heart of The Sentinels of Andersonville. Tracy Groot proves to be first-rate storyteller.
" New York Times Best-Selling Author, Robert Hicks
, The Widow of the South
and A Separate Country
"A poignant, heartwarming story of how human kindness and the willingness to take risks can make a difference
James. M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Battle Cry of Freedom
Author Tracy Groot has "Good historical homework
", "Memorable characters whose anguish is palpable
", is "Page-turning
", and has "A good instinct".
★ Publisher's Weekly Starred Review, Nov '13 EDITOR'S CHOICE!
- "This novel is a stirring story that demands to be read in one sitting because readers won't want to leave these unforgettable characters, and Tracy Groot could not have done a better job with this topic. Even while giving us horrifying visions of "fence-posts" of dead soldiers, we still cannot help but reach for that ultimate gift of a happily- ever-after. The Sentinels of Andersonville is a wonderfully powerful and evocative story that I would recommend to any historical fiction fan."Historical Novel Society, UK, Feb '14
"Well-researched, inspirational historical tale...compelling and memorable for a diverse audience."Booklist Review, Jan '14
“It’s Andersonville. Men die for no meaning.” Such is the overwhelming impression felt while reading Tracy Groot’s The Sentinels of Andersonville
(Tyndale House, $24.99, 368 pages, ISBN 9781414359489), which focuses on the evils both within and without the infamous Civil War prison. Yankee soldiers died by the thousands in squalid conditions that Groot describes with a deft accuracy, interspersed with historical accounts and journal entries from men who died and men who lived.
A privileged but well-meaning Southern belle named Violet Stiles discovers the shocking abuses at Andersonville. Aided by a possible suitor named Dance Pickett and a Rebel soldier named Emery Jones, who had to deliver his newfound Yankee friend to the prison, they form a society to bring the horrors to light. Their hometown of Americus, Georgia, is not far from Andersonville, but its residents wish to remain removed from the goings-on there, even when confronted with the sad reality. Groot ably captures the despair of prisoners and soldiers alike, as well as the divided emotions of the Southern townsfolk, who have lost sons to the cause and hate the Yankees but want to be “good Christians.” When told of the appalling cesspool that is Andersonville, many won’t believe, others believe but won’t act, and still more focus only on the technicalities and red tape involved. Groot truthfully renders the struggle between patriotism and Christ’s call to help the suffering regardless of their affiliation. (Book Page)