I loved Fran McNabb's book, "Windswept" and I love this one even more. The author has a way of putting the reader right there and I love that. This story takes place during the tail end of the civil war and is set along the Mississippi coast, near Biloxi. There, in a small seaside village, a young woman, her mother and two sisters try to eke out a living by fishing, drying salt and sewing garments to sell in New Orleans. The heroine and her mother also take care of the sick and wounded (knowledge passed down from the girls father who was a doctor).
On a nearby island, a
prisoner of war camp is set up and when the heroine's brother is
eventually captured it's there that he is sent. The island is also the
barracks of a particular Union major who the heroine has several
encounters with and ends up falling in love with. (to the anger of her family and fellow Southerners who consider her a traitor).
thought the novel extremely well done and realistic. The romance is
gradual and takes place over two years. There are many obstacles and the
reader is unsure whether they can even be overcome. The reaction of her
family and neighbors to their love is also realistic, we know from
history that they wouldn't have been received with open arms at all and
too many novels gloss over that aspect and "forgive and forget" all too
quickly to be believable.This doesn't happen here. Both heroine and hero
risk all to be together, including losing the ones they love the most.
There is no sex in this
book, if there are one or two cuss words (and I can't recall any) they
are very mild. Violence is minimal, in one instance someone is shot and
in another a fight breaks out and people get stabbed. The details are
not descriptive, and other than one scene where wounds are cautorized
with hot knives there is little to make anyone squeamish.