It’s a split time novel that does not feature the boots and saber format normally associated with characters that fought the battles, died on their own front lawn, or suffered debilitating disease. It is a story of seeking family and friends sold as slaves or lost in the confusion of the Civil War’s after math and Reconstruction. The empty chair at their table and their trauma woven into stories that will keep you turning the pages and reacquaint you with suffering in the South under the uncontrollable and devastating circumstances unleashed after the Civil War.
Lisa Wingate is a nationally renowned writer who has authored over 40 non- fiction and fiction books and at least one a New York Times best seller. The focus of this effort is the search initiated to find lost acquaintances and family as solicited in Southern newspapers after the Civil War. Three friends from Louisiana in 1875, a former slave, a destitute former plantation heir, and her half sister set out in the midst of dangerous and uncertain times, each burdened with the scares of their past, attempt to find their place in Texas. And in 1987 an indebt school teacher finds employment in a Louisiana Mississippi River town that is resistant to change, new ideas, and new people. The characters are inspired by real-life documented drama that challenged society in their day. It will be difficult to abandon the book on the night table.
Reviewed by Lynda McCormick