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    Lists | July 29, 2015

    Edward Carey: IMG 10 Best Books by Writer-Illustrators

    As a child who loved books I was fascinated by the illustrations just as much as the text. The same is true for me today, and I'm happy to be among... Continue »
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      Foulsham (Iremonger Series #2)

      Edward Carey 9781468309546

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5 Burnside Literature- A to Z
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I Shall Be Near to You


I Shall Be Near to You Cover

ISBN13: 9780804137744
ISBN10: 0804137749
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About the Author

ERIN LINDSAY McCABE studied Literature at University of California, Santa Cruz, and taught high school English before completing her MFA at St. Mary's College of California in 2010. She has taught Composition at St. Mary's and Butte College and resides in Northern California with her husband and son and a small menagerie that includes one dog, four cats, two horses, ten chickens, and two goats.

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Karen Rush, November 3, 2014 (view all comments by Karen Rush)
The main character Rosetta was developed based on the author’s reading of letters written by a real woman who disguised herself as a man and fought in the Civil War. It is fascinating that so many women (believed to be more than 200) could fight side by side with the men, concealing their identities.

When her new husband, Jeremiah, sets off to join the Civil War as a Union soldier, Strong-willed Rosetta misses him terribly. She walks away from her family without so much as a goodbye, enlists in the army and joins her husband’s regiment.

Rosetta is a memorable and strong character, admirable, but at the same time could be unlikeable and selfish. Knowing her parents have already experienced the loss of sons, she runs off to join the army. She shuns the commander’s wife who treats her kindly, she often puts her husband in harm’s way. Rosetta makes promises to Jeremiah, breaks them, but then turns around and accuses him of breaking promises. Kind and loving Jeremiah loses focus on missions as he tries to keep her safe.

Living on the same soil where The Battle of Bull Run played out, the details of the battle were of great personal interest. The distance these soldiers traveled under desperate conditions is incredible
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Melinda Ott, September 26, 2014 (view all comments by Melinda Ott)
My friends, it is books like I Shall Be Near To You that made me a reader.

It is no secret that I love historical fiction and it had been a while since I read anything set during the Civil War, so it was with a shrug of my shoulders and a, "what the heck" that I took this one on. I'm almost ashamed to admit that was my initial reaction because this book completely blew me out of the water.

The idea of a woman fighting as a man seems almost exotic to readers, but as is said in the summary, there were over 250 documented accounts of this happening during the Civil War (so much for those who say women aren't fit for combat). I have read other such stories, but they've always had this sort of "hero complex." You know--amazing woman fights stereotypes to fight for her country and become a hero...blah blah blah. I'm not discounting that, but all the stories with this subject that I had read were pretty much the same thing.

This book, however, is different. Rosetta does not don the life of Ross Stone for any lofty nationalistic reason, Instead, she joins to be with her husband--who joined up to earn the money for the two of them to start a new life in the west. Both Rosetta and Jeremiah are characters I could really sink my teeth into. As the book begins, Rosetta lives in a world where she doesn't feel she belongs. With Jeremiah, she finds the "home" she has always wanted, but he's soon gone and she's thrust into a situation worse than before she married him. While I can't imagine ever facing the horrors of war, I never once questioned Rosetta's choice to do so. Jeremiah, on the other hand, has to fight between want he feels is best for his wife and letting her choose her own path. I really can't think of another character in this situation written as well as Jeremiah.

Throughout the book, McCabe shows the horror of war--not graphically, but in the emotional reactions of Rosetta and her fellow soldiers. While there is some battle descriptions (McCabe could not have written this book without them), there is also a deep sense of humanity. Among the soldiers, we see--in addition to the husband and wife of Jeremiah and Rosetta--fathers and sons, brothers, friends. My favorite secondary character was Will, a young soldier with his own burden, but also a deep faith and great compassion.

This is also the story of a marriage. To say that Rosetta and Jeremiah are facing some stressful situations is an understatement. While there is a beautiful sense of romance, this is not a "romantic" book. Instead, it is an illustration of true love and devotion--something that the saccharine "romance" label cannot capture.

I'll admit that I sobbed at several points in this book and I'm tearing up just writing this review. I know there are still a few more months left before I can really make this declaration, but I have a feeling that this will end up being my best read of the year.

Just. Read. This. Book. Okay?
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Product Details

Mccabe, Erin Lindsay
Broadway Books
Literature-A to Z
civil war;historical fiction
historical fiction;civil war;fiction
historical fiction;civil war;fiction;romance
historical fiction;civil war;fiction;romance;war
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
8 x 5.14 x 0.92 in 0.63 lb

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » New Arrivals
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Adventure
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Military

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Product details 336 pages Broadway Books - English 9780804137744 Reviews:
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