I have added to reviews I have written for excellent or exceptional novels. The following is the review for a very solid 5 star read:
THE SAFEGUARD: A NOVEL OF GEORGIA IN 1864 by Diana Wilder, Historical Novel (crossing into romance), 457 pages, ISBN: 978-0692548349
An Exceptional Slice of History:
For readers who enjoy exceptional historic fiction, Civil War fiction or romantic fiction, THE SAFEGUARD: A NOVEL OF GEORGIA IN 1864 is one novel I recommend as a must read.
When Union troops crossed through Northwest Georgia during Sherman’s march on Atlanta, the mistress of a plantation showed compassion for all wounded soldiers, and opened her home as a hospital where she took it upon herself to care for these men. So impressed by her actions, the Union commander avoided foraging of her plantation and the adjacent town. As the Union forces continued their march to Atlanta, the General left a Safeguard, a wounded Union soldier, to protect the plantation (the mistress and hospitalized soldiers) and the town. Once Union forces vacated, bands of outcasts pillaged, raped and murdered in the communities left unprotected behind Union lines. The Union Safeguard became entangled providing protection against overwhelming odds to a community sympathetic to the Confederacy but concerned for their safety.
The storytelling by the author is fantastic. All characters are well developed, and this reader quickly developed empathy for them…. Even actions of the antagonists found my understanding and sympathy. I found this story a better portrayal of this time in history than GONE WITH THE WIND.
Disclaimer: I have communicated with the author, Diana Wilder, for about two years on authors’ threads. I finally decided to place her novel on my reading list. I am very happy I did. Now that I’ve read this work, she has become one of my all-time favorite authors.