Don't be fooled by the opening battle scene and continuous conflict that drives the story into thinking this is a simple action book. It's tense and fast-paced, yes, but it is also full of moral, psychological, interpersonal, and political conflict. It is a book whose external action deeply considers complicated internal issues.
Nothing funnier than a cross-dressing slave boy riding the circuit with crazy ole John Brown. Offensive, hilarious, violent and sad, James McBride fills the Kansas Territory with characters straight out of a Mel Brooks movie and then throws in a dash of Quentin Tarantino for good measure. How McBride managed to weave Harriet Tubman in to the buffoonery without offending the reader is beyond me. I highly recommend!
Almost seven score and ten years ago on November 19th, the National Cemetery in Gettysburg, PA was dedicated to those Union soldiers who fought and died during the three day battle there. It was at this event that President Abraham Lincoln gave perhaps his most well-known speech of his political career: the Gettysburg Address. At less than 280 words long, it is a speech that many Americans have had to memorize at one time or another in the years since.
Despite the Colley family remaining neutral during the Civil War, the Missouri Union Militia sets fire to their home, leaving young Adair with only her two sisters. Together the three set out to navigate war-torn Missouri – an environment so inhospitable it makes Armageddon seem manageable. Adair is brave and intelligent, but the threats that surround her create an unbeatable monster. Once separated from her sisters, she’s sent to prison in St. Louis on charges of treason.
Nothing will deter persistent, inquisitive Mary Sutter from realizing her dream of becoming a surgeon. Already a skilled midwife but with no immediate prospect of being apprenticed as a surgeon, Mary leaves home to nurse the wounded at the outbreak of the Civil War. Not even the horrendous and life-threatening unsanitary conditions of the Union hospitals, the suffering of the maimed and dying, or the urgent pleas from her family to come home will sway Mary from her goal.