Title: I Shall Be Near to You
Author: Erin Lindsay McCabe
I think history is a very interesting topic to discuss or read about in various genres. I love to read historical fiction that is based on a real person, journals left behind or events. What Erin has written is based on a real woman who decided to join her husband in the Union Army while pretending to be a man. She cut her hair, took her husband’s clothes and altered the clothes to loosely fit to her height.
I admire the courage of woman who braved the cruel reality of being a soldier for many various reasons other than to be near a loved one. The characteristic of bravery plus knowing real women did join the fight as soldiers drew me to the book. However, the farther along I got in the tale; different aspects in the book disappointed me. First is the use of foul language. While a word here or there doesn’t bother me, it became much too frequent to the point where it distracted my ability to read or enjoy the story. Second is the lack of action at the beginning of the book. It took a very slow start with the main female character having flashbacks to her childhood. After awhile it just was hard to follow the train of the character’s thoughts or perspective.
One positive about the story is the beauty and modesty regarding the consummation of the marriage. It was nice to see it portrayed without the use of describing the act. I wish I could recommend the book, but due to the foul language in abundance I just cannot.
My rating is 2 stars.
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