Perhaps Gone With the Wind is to blame, but novels about the Civil War are usually assumed to be about the South. Erin Lindsay McCabe's debut I Shall Be Near To You is a welcome deviation from the expected norm. Set in the North about a husband and wife who both enlist to fight for the Union, this story offers tender insights into the sadness of war. It also elaborates on a little-known historical fact: some women dressed as men to fight in the Civil War.
Rosetta and Jeremiah are young lovers who marry at the outbreak of the Civil War. Growing up in a sheltered farming community in upstate New York, they dream about moving to Nebraska, purchasing land, and running their own farm. Everyone expects the war to be over quickly, and the soldier's pay would provide the much-needed startup capital for the new venture. After Jeremiah enlists, Rosetta is left alone in a small cabin ...
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