Synopses & Reviews
An acclaimed, sweeping historical novel set during the Civil War, with one steadfast couple at its core.
It is 1859, and Hugh and Serena Hallam have left Charleston society behind to build a new life for themselves and their three children in the near-wilderness of West Tennessee. War may loom on the horizon, but life at their farm, Palmyra, is good, both for their family and-so they convince themselves- their slaves. Young and idealistic, torn between their ambivalence toward slavery and their love of the land, they keep hope that goodwill might yet prevail against the growing hostility dividing the two Americas. But soon, events will move the Hallams' entire world toward destruction, sweeping Hugh into battle while stranding Serena at a besieged Palmyra. Their values will be tested on the battlefield and at home and in the end only their passionate and enduring love for one another will sustain them as they face the war that transforms a nation.
"[Rosen] draws plantation life in rich, colorful detail...engaging characters...Rosen is too good to stop now."
"One of the more memorable characters of recent historical fiction...[a] bravura performance."
"A big, sprawling Civil War epic, Rosen's first novel contains enough romance and history to draw Miss Scarlett's fans like flies to honey...a winner."
This passionate and sweeping novel chronicles the lives of Hugh and Serena Hallam in the years leading up to the Civil War, as the family becomes caught in the complicated issues and tensions of the time.
About the Author
Elisabeth Payne Rosen was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, and educated at Hollins College in Virginia. After working in Manhattan, she moved with her producer husband to London, where she began researching the Civil War. An ordained deacon in the Episcopal Church, she is currently a hospital chaplain in California.