About Me

My photo
Hello, my name is Valorie. I have a Master's Degree in History and a license to teach-- I have been both university professor and public school teacher. Currently, I am a middle school social studies teacher. I love horror movies and spooky things. Every day is Halloween. I am also a passionate book blogger.

Featured Post

Book Review: 23:27 by H.L. Roberts

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Blog Tour: A Blue and Gray Christmas (Ladies of Covington, #9) by Joan Medlicott

Title: A Blue and Gray Christmas 
Series: Ladies of Covington
Book Number: 9
Author: Joan Medlicott 
Genre: Fiction- Historical 
Finished: December 15, 2009

When a rusty old tin box is unearthed at the Covington Homestead, longtime housemates Grace, Amelia, and Hannah discover that it contains letters and diaries written by two Civil War soldiers, one Union and one Confederate. The friends are captivated by the drama revealed. The soldiers were found dying on a nearby battlefield by an old woman. She nursed them back to health, hiding them from bounty hunters seeking deserters. At the end of the war the men chose to stay in Covington, caring for their rescuer as she grew frail. But while their lives were rich, they still felt homesick and guilty for never contacting the families they'd left behind. Christmas is coming, and the letters inspire Amelia with a generous impulse. What if she and her friends were to find the two soldiers' descendants and invite them to Covington to meet? What better holiday gift could there be than the truth about these two heroic men and their dramatic shared fate? With little time left, the ladies spring into action to track down the men's families in Connecticut and the Carolinas, and to make preparations in Covington for their most memorable, most historic Christmas yet.

Three friends, Grace, Amelia, and Hannah, come across a box once buried full of the letters and diaries of two Civil War soliders: Tom from the South and John from the North. Both soldiers were injured during the war and ended up abandoning together, hiding deep in the Appalachian mountains that they made their home. Tom felt he had nothing to go back to and John chose to leave his wife and daughter to begin a new life. The letters the three women read and share with others express friendships, fears, loves, and the dramatic after-effects of war. John is left with severe post-traumatic stress, so he has to completely rebuild himself after the horrors of war he experienced. When Tom and John decided to stay in the mountains, they took on a new last name to begin their lives anew. When Grace, Amelia, and Hannah find the letters and learn about the break up of families, they decide together that it would be the perfect Christmas treat to reunite the families and share with them the letters and diaries of their long lost ancestors, believed to have been killed in the war. It is not an easy thing for the women to do, and they search through records and graveyards to find and connect people together. A lucky break happens when they meet a relative of John's, Milo, who came from the line descended from John's second marriage. The threads start coming together for the women, and it seems all too soon that they are going to get the Christmas they want. The best part of the book is the Civil War letters. Reading about the experiences and lives of Tom and John was very emotional for me. I chose to participate in the book's blog tour because I am a student of history and absolutely love a good historical fiction novel. The Civil War is in itself a very emotional war, so being able to read about it in such a personal way was very tender, sometimes sweet, sometimes painful. I felt especially bad for John who had such a hard time forgetting everything he'd seen and done. The intimacy of the letters really made me feel like I had connected with the two men on some level. Unfortunately, I felt that I connected very little with the story apart from the letters. While I enjoyed very much the progression of Tom and John's lives, I found some other aspects of the novel quite not to my liking. The story line moves along in a way that is not only too quick but entirely unbelievable. Everything just seems to fall into place and the initial roadblocks are obligatory. Something about the dialogue put me off, too. But what I disliked the most was that the book is full of unnecessary detail and lacks where there should be detail. We are given a paragraph about baking and the ingredients that go in and in what order, but the actual plot itself is rushed along. I would have liked a little less unnecessary dialogue and action and a little more that had actual substance or contributed to the plot. Nevertheless, it is a very sweet book. One of those quick rainy or snowy day reads that will leave you feeling warm inside at the end of it all.

No comments:

Post a Comment