Sunday, January 20, 2019

With This Pledge (Carnton #1) by Tamera Alexander

ISBN: 97807180801836
Softcover $16.99
Thomas Nelson Publishing

Buy on Amazon
My thoughts:  War! Terrible! Gut wrenching horrible! Emotionally exhausting to experience and to read about 150 years after it torn through the land, the armies, the people. That is what author Tamera Alexander has so beautifully written into the early part of With This Pledge. And while the immediate horror of the battle of Franklin or Spring Hill was quieted, the torn and broken bodies, spirits, and hearts of the men who fought and the local residents continued to wage a war of healing. Healing of body. Healing of spirit. Healing of the  mind. And a healing of the social ills.

I read this book slowly so as to absorb the beauty of the writing of Ms. Alexander. She quite gracefully took the reader through the Civil War surgeries performed on surgical tables made from hastily removed doors and through the rooms of Carnton Place to see the blood ruined walls and floors of the mansion.

Characters are beautifully fleshed out and move through scene after scene of physical and emotional turmoil gracing the pages with words and actions that endear them to your heart. You can readily see why the two main characters ultimately have a blossoming romance that is portrayed gently and beautifully.

You'll love the children of Carnton Place. You'll love the nanny/governess just as the children and wounded soldiers do.You'll love Tempy and George, the "slaves" who are part of the story.

This is a must read book if you care about historical fiction that is painstakingly researched and artfully woven into a beautiful story. I previously read the novella Christmas at Carnton that took place about the same time as With This Pledge. You don't want to miss these stories.

Published by Thomas Nelson Publishing as Christian historical fiction, it deals defly with spiritual issues faced by the characters.

About the book:  History takes on vivid life in the stunning first full-length installment of Tamera Alexander's new series, The Carnton Novels.

On the night of November 30, 1864, a brutal battle in Franklin, Tennessee, all but decimates the Confederacy and nearly kills Captain Roland Ward Jones. A decorated Mississippi sharpshooter, Jones has a vision on the battlefield and, despite the severity of his wounds, believes his life will be spared. But a life without his leg, he can't abide. He compels Elizabeth "Lizzie" Clouston—governess to the McGavock family at the Carnton mansion—to intervene should the surgeon decide to amputate. True to her word, Lizzie speaks on his behalf and saves not only the captain's leg but also his life.

When a fourteen-year-old soldier dies in Lizzie's arms that night, the boy's final words, whispered with urgency, demand that Lizzie deliver them to their intended recipient. But all she has is the boy's first name. And, as she soon discovers, there's no record of him ever having enlisted. How can she set out alone across a land so divided by war and hatred to honor her pledge? Even more, does she dare accept Captain Jones's offer to accompany her? As he coalesces at Carnton, romance has blossomed between him and Lizzie—a woman already betrothed to a man she does not love.

From the pages of history and the personal accounts of those who endured the Battle of Franklin, Tamera Alexander weaves the real-life love letters between Captain Roland Ward Jones and Elizabeth Clouston into a story of unlikely romance first kindled amid the shadows of war.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy Advanced Reader's Copy from Thomas Nelson Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone, and are freely given.

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