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Wedded to War (Heroines Behind the Lines) Paperback – July 1, 2012
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"This novel left me in awe." ~Laurie Alice Eakes, author of Heart's Safe Passage
"Stirring detail and a firm grasp of the historical background." ~Carol Kammen, History News and Tompkins County (N.Y.) Historian
"Powerful, deep, and heartfelt. A top choice for book clubs!" ~Nora St. Laurent, The Book Club Network
"The research behind this shines. Green's descriptions of the first hospitals, the horrors of battlefield medicine, and the extraordinary courage and vision of the women who took on this challenge carry the whole book. For this alone it's worth the read." -Historical Novel Society
Wow, what an amazing story based on real women in history. When I finished the last page of this book I was changed, much like how I felt after watching Dances with Wolves and Gone with the Wind. Both movies opened my eyes to things I never thought of before or knew existed and it changed how I viewed periods of American history. If only our history book in school was this exciting and memorable. Grin! This is a great book club pick as there is so much to talk about in it. This book is to be experienced and then shared with friends. I highly recommend it.
Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent The Book Club Network
"Fascinating, dramatic, and romantic, Wedded to War by Jocelyn Green sheds light on the harrowing world of Civil War nursing through the eyes of a delightful heroine. Detailed research and a powerful message about mercy make this story a keeper. This is the first in the Heroines Behind the Lines Civil War series, and I'm much anticipating the second book!" - Review by Sarah Sundin, SarahSundin.blogspot.com, 7/12/12
From the Author
I wrote Wedded to War to shine the spotlight on the women who, during the Victorian Age, no less, started something that saved hundreds of thousands of lives. New York City's Women's Central Association for Relief prompted the government to establish the U.S. Sanitary Commission, which supported the government with supplies, nurses, food and much more. The women who pioneered this effort did so at great personal sacrifice and are the unsung heroes of the Civil War.
Top customer reviews
Well, I may have to take that back, or at least add to it. Ruby O'Flannery is a great example of feminine power and grace as well. As a former prostitute, she realistically struggles with the idea that anyone, even and especially God, could love her. Yet she gradually opens herself up to Edward, Charlotte, and others, and finds her efforts rewarded. Through Ruby, Jocelyn crafts a strong spiritual thread undergirded with some breath-stealing plot twists. This series is called Women Behind the Lines, and it certainly gives you a glimpse of feminine battles, internal and external, not often explored with such depth in Christian fiction. After this I was anxious to read the other books.
Jocelyn Green does an excellent job bringing her characters to life and the settings are described so well. Even the secondary characters are painted with a fine brush.
I love that the author does extensive research and blends in a great history lesson within the storyline. What sticks with me the most from reading this book is the realistic portrayal of the time period and how difficult the war was for everyone. Having learned about the female nurses was quite interesting as I didn't know there were any during that time period.
If you enjoy learning about the Civil War and like a well written novel, Wedded to War is one you should read. I'm really looking forward to starting the next book in this series.
Our Georgeanna stand-in is Charlotte Waverly, a New York socialite who is beginning to grow old enough to hear "old maid" whispers. Always a bit unconventional, Charlotte is interested in helping with the war effort in any way she can. When she hears about training beginning to be offered for female nurses, she's determined to be among the first who answer the call, even though it means going against the wishes of her mother and the man who is courting her.
The resistance of those close to home is nothing like what Charlotte faces both in getting into the program and once she travels to Washington. The Army is convinced that women have no business nursing wounded soldiers, no matter how great the need. Yet once the battles begin, they begrudgingly allow Charlotte to begin assisting - but only with the most menial, humiliating tasks.
Alongside Charlotte, this is also the story of Ruby, an Irish immigrant whose husband has enlisted. The poverty she's known in New York slums only grows worse as Matthew's paycheck fails to arrive. In desperate straights, Ruby is forced to consider prostitution in order to keep food on the table.
I did not enjoy this book as much as I anticipated. I think I would have enjoyed a book about Georgeanna herself more than this fictional account. I felt there were too many point of view characters who did not serve a real purpose, and for some reason I never felt a connection with Charlotte. This may have been because the main antagonist is so horrifying that it was hard to understand why she couldn't see through him, and I could not understand what was preventing her and the man she truly loved from expressing their feelings. There were also sexual assault scenes, which while tactfully written, still were disturbing.
The historical side of this novel was quite interesting. Another series on the development of the nursing field is Sarah Sundin's Wings of a Nightingale, which focuses on the first flight nurses during World War II. I would recommend those books before this one, but I will probably check out more Jocelyn Green books in the future, as her 2017 release was so good.