Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Wednesday Wonders: SAVANNAH

This week's Wednesday Wonders features 
by Laura Lee McKellips

About the Book:

In the wake of reconstruction, tensions are still high throughout the former Confederate States as they rejoin the Union and heal. Women are in mourning and former soldiers are slowly finding their way home from the battlefields and prisons.

As a former Confederate prisoner of war, Phillip Anderson is on his way out west when he is forced to stop in the sleepy town of Savannah, Tennessee. Longing for a fresh start in St. Louis, he takes a job to make the money he needs to cross the Tennessee River. The town is the same as all the other towns he’s passed through on his journey west. What he doesn’t expect to find is a widow who is secretly still mad at her husband for dying.

Rachel married Colton Williams at the tender age of sixteen. Losing Colton at the Battle of Shiloh less than a year later filled her with anger. As the war comes to its devastating end, she finds the anger is still lodged in her heart. Every displaced soldier journeying through town tugs at her heartstrings as she tries to heal along with the nation. What she didn’t expect was one of those passing soldiers to find out about her anger at her dead husband.

Phillip and Rachel have both experienced extreme loss, but life has a way of healing even the deepest hurt and anger.


“Colton, forgive my anger. Forgive me,” she whispered as her voice broke. “I have to move on now. Being your wife was something that I dreamed of, but never your widow. You know black was never my color,” she laughed even though the tears still streamed down her cheeks and chin.
“Goodbye, Colton,” she cried as she raised her right hand. She kissed her fingertips before placing them on the ground. It may not be Colton’s grave, but this was hallowed ground. It was sanctified in the blood of the dying soldiers from both the Union and Confederate armies.
She tilted her head back to look up at the sky. Her vision cleared as the clouds moved to reveal the sun. Blinking, she felt the rays touch her skin. The heat warmed her, as she felt content for the first time in five years. She knew Colton had been listening and was saying his goodbye. She might not have buried him at home, but this was better. He was in good company with all the men who died at his side.
Taking a deep breath, she slowly stood up. She dusted her hands on the skirt of her dress before brushing the remaining tears away with the back of her glove. No more would she think of Colton and cry for his loss. She would look back on their life together with joy. She got her one perfect day with him before he left for war. Some of her friends didn’t get that much. 

My Book Review:

Savannah is the setting in Tennessee, the home of Rachel, widowed after one night of marriage to Colton, a soldier fighting for the Confederacy who died at the battle of Shiloh. It is where Phillip, also a Confederate soldier who spent many years in a Union prison finds himself stopped because he does not have sufficient funds to take the ferry across the river. After searching for work for days in order to earn the ferry fee, he is hired by Rachel to clean up and repair the home that was once hers and Colton’s.

The author demonstrates an understanding of human nature as the feelings and inner turmoil of these characters are slowly revealed to the reader. Rachel, instead of being the weeping, grieving widow still wearing black four years after Colton’s death, is angry that he died and did not keep his promise to return. Phillip wanders aimlessly, with a loose goal of getting to St. Louis, not for a specific purpose, but to escape his grief and regrets.

Both fight the attitudes of a judgmental town that have certain expectations about appearances. Rachel struggles against most of her family members and friends who feel they know better than she does how she must live her life. Most of the town looks down on Phillip because he was a prisoner of war and a drifter who was just passing through. It was interesting to read how these two dealt with their own internal struggles as well as the attitudes of the people of Savannah.

The pace of this novel is slow at first as the characters are developed. It deals with the topics of losses due to war and the challenges of starting over. Although this book is set in the year following the end of the Civil War where the war was on American soil, it is a universal theme for people who face the challenges of wartime loss. The romance elements are subtle and sweet although not entirely unexpected. I found when I finished it I remained in a reflective mood.

 Purchase Links:

About the Author:

I live in southern Tennessee surrounded by Civil War battlefields. I enjoy reading romance books and my favorite author is Julie Garwood. My first book Cursed Soldier takes my love of history and romance and blends them together. Thanks to my family and friends I decided to publish my book for everyone to read.

Self-proclaimed history bluff, Laura Lee McKellips writes romance novels laced with history as well as modern-day trials. She likes to write smart and funny heroines and equally strong and funny heroes.

She is a mixture of all her characters including the males: funny, smart, sassy, outgoing, loving, and guarded. She lets her characters tell their story in their own way much to her dismay at times.

After reading a self-published book in 2013, Laura Lee decided to type out one of the stories floating around in her head. Since then she has written Cursed Soldier, The Woman Behind the Letters, Sorority Sisters Duet (Courtney and Lily). She is currently working on another historic novel based in her hometown.

You can check out what she's up to on social media:
Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Weebly

No comments:

Post a Comment