Skip to main content

This Side of The River: A Novel by Jeffrey Stayton: A Book Review

This Side of The River: A Novel
Author: Jeffrey Stayton
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Nautilus
Release Date: February 15, 2015
Pages: 256
Source: This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: At the end of the Civil War, a group of young, angry Confederate widows band together, take up arms, and march north to Ohio intent to burn down the home of General William Tecumseh Sherman.

      My review: A group of Confederate widows are filled with hatred  against General Sherman for what his army had done to them. In order to satisfy their lust for revenge, they get together, grab their guns, and march north to Ohio to burn down General Sherman’s home. Their chosen ringleader is Captain Cat Harvey, a Texas Ranger with a dark side. When the widows start to see Cat Harvey’s sinister side, they soon begin to wonder what price they have to pay for their common cause.

     The story is told from many points of view from both genders male and female. But the main characters are the widows and their leader with Cat Harvey. At first, the widows are full of fire, hope,and happiness that they are marching north. They also admire their ringleader, Cat Harvey, for they fall in love with him and compete for his affections. Yet, the story takes a dark turn when they are abused by Cat Harvey. They feel ashamed of themselves and come to despise him. However, it is through Cat Harvey’s abuse that these women become stronger and are more of a sisterhood. They take care of each other and make their own decisions. I admire these women because they are tough-as-nails and men are proven to be fools for underestimating them.

     Cat Harvey is an interesting character. At first, he seems to be the hero in the story, but in actuality he is the villain. He is haunted by a dark past and doesn’t believe he can be redeemed. I really disliked his character, but I found him funny when he cross-dresses as a widow and wears clown make-up and rides an elephant. This is because he considers himself a widow of the cause because he has lost his wife and daughter.

     Overall, this book is filled with betrayal and revenge, but also friendship, hope, redemption and choices. This book questions the meaning of justice. The characters and setting are well-developed. The writing is lyrical and heart-breaking. There are some adults scenes in this book for there are graphic details about Captain Cat Harvey abuse of the widows. Yet I recommend this for fans of historical fiction and Civil Wars fans alike.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn: A Book Review

The Rose Code Author: Kate Quinn Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Harper Collins Release Date: 2021 Pages: 635 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: 1940, Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire.        Three very different women are recruited to the mysterious Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes.       Vivacious debutante Osla has the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses – but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, working to translate decoded enemy secrets. Self-made Mab masters the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and the poverty of her East-End London upbringing. And shy local girl Beth is the outsider who trains as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts.       1947, London.        Seven years after they first meet, on the eve of the royal wedding between Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, disaster threatens. Osla, Mab and Beth are estranged,

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki: A Book Review

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Author: Allison Pataki Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Ballantine Release Date: February 15, 2022 Pages: 381 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Mrs. Post, the President and First Lady are here to see you. . . . So begins another average evening for Marjorie Merriweather Post. Presidents have come and gone, but she has hosted them all. Growing up in the modest farmlands of Battle Creek, Michigan, Marjorie was inspired by a few simple rules: always think for yourself, never take success for granted, and work hard—even when deemed American royalty, even while covered in imperial diamonds. Marjorie had an insatiable drive to live and love and to give more than she got. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar’s treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood’s biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweath

Interview with Ezra Harker Shaw

     Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Ezra Harker Shaw. Ezra Harker Shaw is the author of the upcoming novel, The Aziola's Cry , which will be released on May 7, 2024.   Ezra Harker Shaw gives us insights into the lives of two legendary figures, Percy and Mary Shelley. These two lovers lived a life of literature and love while being on the run from a world that has often misunderstood them! Thank you, Ezra Harker Shaw! What drew your interest in the love story of Mary and Percy Shelley? When I was about sixteen years old, I lived in Dublin. I'd dropped out of school and I was drifting without any real direction in my life. I used to wander down Nassau street in the mornings on my way to the internet cafe where I would write to my friends and work on stories. There was a lovely little bookshop I often used to pop into, and one day, quite on a whim, I bought a thin Dover Thrift edition of Percy Shelley's poems for 2€.  Over the years I kept dipping into it: I