Book Review: Widow of Gettysburg

16 Jul

405777When a horrific battle rips through Gettysburg, the farm of Union widow Liberty Holloway is disfigured into a Confederate field hospital, bringing her face to face with unspeakable suffering–and a Rebel scout who awakens her long dormant heart.

While Liberty’s future crumbles as her home is destroyed, the past comes rushing back to Bella, a former slave and Liberty’s hired help, when she finds herself surrounded by Southern soldiers, one of whom knows the secret that would place Liberty in danger if revealed.

In the wake of shattered homes and bodies, Liberty and Bella struggle to pick up the pieces the battle has left behind. Will Liberty be defined by the tragedy in her life, or will she find a way to triumph over it?

Widow of Gettysburg is inspired by first-person accounts from women who lived in Gettysburg during the battle and its aftermath.


Green-1-thumbnailAward-winning author Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage in her readers through both fiction and nonfiction. A former military wife herself, she offers encouragement and hope to military wives worldwide through her Faith Deployed ministry. Her novels, inspired by real heroines on America’s home front, are marked by their historical integrity and gritty inspiration.

Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, with a B.A. in English, concentration in writing. She is an active member of the Christian Authors Network, the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Military Writers Society of America.

She loves Mexican food, Broadway musicals, Toblerone chocolate bars, the color red, and reading on her patio. Jocelyn lives with her husband Rob and two small children in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Visit her at

My Impressions:

The Widow of Gettysburg is historical fiction at its best. Jocelyn Green manages to bring the reader right into the action in this novel set just prior to the battle of Gettysburg through the horrific battle and into the days following the battle that changed the course of the war and the civilians and the military that lived through it. The first person accounts by women of the town of Gettysburg (many of the letters and diary entries introduce chapters) give the novel authenticity. Although it is the second book in a series set during the American Civil War, it is easily read as a standalone novel.

Liberty  Holloway is a young woman who never felt she was worth anything. Those feelings were instilled in her from a young age by the aunt who raised her. Now widowed and without family of any kind and faced with an imminent battle and difficult choice, Liberty must decide just who she is — a woman with her own convictions and passions or the iconic figure dubbed by the townspeople as the Widow of Gettysburg.

The Widow of Gettysburg‘s core strength is its characterization. Green manages to make all of the characters — Liberty, former slave Bella, Confederate conscript Silas and reporter Harrison Caldwell — real in their motivations, fears, and hopes and dreams. I became very invested in each of their stores. The real women of Gettysburg are also integral to this story. As stated on page 113, “The women the men had been fighting to protect were the ones picking up the pieces in the aftermath of battle.” Green also brings to life the horrors of battle, especially the aftermath of critically injured soldiers. Much of the novel is set in Liberty’s home which quickly becomes a field hospital for the Rebels. The amputation scenes are very real, but never feel overly graphic. The overarching themes of freedom and truth of who one is in God are naturally presented. The spiritual truths speak without being preachy in any way.

If you enjoy historical fiction and want a novel that is well-writen and authentic in its portrayal of events, then pick up The Widow of Gettysburg. Great companion reading for Killer Angels.

Highly Recommended.

(Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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