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Gone for a Soldier (The Owen Family Saga) (Volume 1) Paperback – August 28, 2014
From the Author
First of all, I changed the book order for THE OWEN FAMILY SAGA in 2016 to conform to the chronology of the events. Many authors have written books of a series out of order. It only becomes evident once the series is complete what the optimal reading order should be. Now that THE OWEN FAMILY SAGA is finished, I strongly recommend that you read the books in this order:
- BOOK 1 - Gone for a Soldier
- BOOK 2 - The Man from Shenandoah
- BOOK 3 - Spinster's Folly
- BOOK 4 - Ride to Raton
- BOOK 5 - Trail of Storms
It became clear shortly thereafter that this new book would have to be set during the American Civil War, and fear overtook me. There are a great many Civil War enthusiasts, and they are renowned for their knowledge of that era. They can be quite critical of those who get the facts wrong. Knowing this filled me with terror. What if I messed the facts up?
Rulon persisted in his desire that I write his story, so I set to work, spending quite a lot of money on research materials, and then vast amounts of time in reading them, and searching out particular areas of interest on the Internet, as well. At one point, I discovered that my thoughts on what unit Rulon should join were entirely wrong. I had to discard my initial research and begin all over to find the appropriate branch of service and unit in which he would serve.
I began to write as I researched, and after more time than I expected, and after writing more words for a novel than I ever had before, I finished Gone for a Soldier to Rulon's satisfaction. I hope you will find it to yours, as well.
Remember, Gone for a Soldier should be read first, followed by The Man from Shenandoah, Spinster's Folly, Ride to Raton, and Trail of Storms.
About the Author
Marsha Ward was born in the sleepy little town of Phoenix, Arizona, in the southwestern United States; and grew up with chickens, citrus trees, and lots of room to roam. She became a storyteller at an early age, regaling her neighborhood friends with her fanciful tales during after-school snacks. Her love of 19th Century Western history was reinforced by visits to her cousins on their ranch and listening to her father's stories of homesteading in Old Mexico and in the southern part of Arizona. Over the years, Marsha became an award-winning poet, writer and editor, with over 900 pieces of published work, including her acclaimed American historical novel series, The Owen Family Saga. She is the founder of American Night Writers Association, and a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, Indie Author Hub, and LDStorymakers. She makes her home in a tiny forest hamlet in Arizona. When she is not writing, she loves to travel, give talks, meet readers, and sign books. Visit her website at marshaward.com.
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Top customer reviews
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The research done for this book earned 5 stars. I have a lot of respect for those that do their homework and Marsha did hers. She really made the social behavior in 1860's a realistic portrayal of the 'American' family at that time.
She wrote about the Confederate side. Since I have ancestors that fought on both sides, I appreciated reading about the side that lost.
I also enjoyed reading the different point of views from all the family members - men and women. She didn't stay stuck with one character for the whole novel.
Now for the reasons behind 3 stars.
-1 star: too much sensuality. I asked myself whether or not I would feel comfortable if my daughters got this book in their hands. The answer was no.
-1 star: I found myself skipping around which means she didn't hold my interest like her last book did.
If you haven't read the book please do so, I'm sure you will see things differently too. It's a book well worth reading.
You will sympathize, cry, and root for the wellbeing of the Owen's family as the Civil War tears at their very lives. Will body and soul survive the conflict?
Marsha Ward weaves a compelling story, one worth reading. I've read and enjoyed all of her books in this series and find Gone for a Soldier is the best one yet. It gives us a history, and an even better insight, to the characters than we had before.
The Owen family is blessed with both strong maternal and paternal characters, and a wealth of love within the family. Julia and Roderick Owen of Shenandoah County, Virginia have nine offspring, ages eight to twenty as the story begins. Father and five sons will serve on the side of the Confederacy during the war; not all are destined to return. Rather than focusing on the issues for which they fought, Ward concentrates on the toll military service in the Civil War took on relationships, on those on the front lines, on those left behind, and on the communities devastated by the invading troops.
I thank Marsha Ward for providing me a copy of Gone for a Soldier in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation. I do look forward to reading her novella, That Tender Light, which tells the story of how Rod and Julia met.