Beyond These War-torn Lands
by Cynthia Roemer
The Civil War is a complicated time in history and far from black and white. Not every Confederate was a villain and not every Unionist a hero, and depending on where you live today, the opposite might be the light they are cast in. Either way, humans are involved, and, let’s face it, humans are complicated people. That is why I love this story so well. The characters displayed on both sides of the War were real, messy, and trying to do what they believed best for their families and their country. As a reader, you didn’t have to agree with them, but you understood where each character came from, and that is so important for developing an understanding of and interacting with people of opposing viewpoints today.
Caroline is a young woman who wants to help others, but her faith and societal beliefs are challenged when she stumbles upon an enemy soldier who will die without her intervention. Her choice to be Christ-like and to hide and care for the Union soldier puts her and her family in a dangerous position while opening both her and Sargent Gallagher’s eyes to aspects of the War neither had previously considered. Although eventually separated by circumstances and war, the love these two developed for each other holds steadfast and true while pushing them to become better individuals. This is a story where readers become and grow with the characters through circumstances no one wants to endure. Faith and viewpoints will be challenged, and readers will walk away thinking about the character long after the story has ended.
I recommend this story to those who enjoy Civil War history, want characters who are challenged and grow as individuals and couples, and want romances that are sweet but enduring.
Genre: Historical Romance, Civil War 1864 – Maryland & Virginia
The War brought them together ~ Would it also tear them apart?
While en route to aid Confederate soldiers injured in battle near her home, Southerner Caroline Dunbar stumbles across a wounded Union sergeant. Unable to ignore his plea for help, she tends his injuries and hides him away, only to find her attachment to him deepen with each passing day. But when her secret is discovered, Caroline incurs her father’s wrath and, in turn, unlocks a dark secret from the past which she is determined to unravel.
After being forced to flee his place of refuge, Sergeant Andrew Gallagher fears he’s seen the last of Caroline. Resolved not to let that happen, when the war ends, he seeks her out, only to discover she’s been sent away. When word reaches him that President Lincoln has been shot, Drew is assigned the task of tracking down the assassin. A chance encounter with Caroline revives his hopes, until he learns she may be involved in a plot to aid the assassin.
What I loved: The realness of the characters’ struggles really drew me in, especially Andrew’s as a soldier. The horrors of war were made real, and the struggle between wrong, right, and what is necessary were equally felt. It really brought to life a part of history that is hard to wrap my head around.
Favorite Character and Why: I really loved Andrew. He was steadfast yet did not cower from having his beliefs challenged. He was a man who allowed God to work in him, and always strove to do what was right, even at the potential cost of his life.
Who would like this? I recommend this story to those who enjoy Civil War history, want characters who are challenged and grow as individuals and couples, and want romances that are sweet but enduring.
Special Notes: This was one of the best stories written from a soldier’s perspective that I’ve read in a long time. Also the handling of opposing viewpoints was masterfully done and not glazed over.