In 1894 Carrie McGavock is an old woman who has only her former slave to keep
her company and the almost 1,500 soldiers buried in her backyard. Years
before, rather than let someone plow over the field where these young men had
been buried, Carrie dug them up and reburied them in her own personal cemetery.
Now, as she walks the rows of the dead, an old soldier appears. It is the man
she met on the day of the battle that changed everything. The man who came to
her house as a wounded soldier and left with her heart. He asks if the cemetery
has room for one more.
In an extraordinary debut novel, based on a remarkable true story, Robert
Hicks draws an unforgettable, panoramic portrait of a woman who, through love
and loss, found a cause. Known throughout the country as "the Widow of the
South," Carrie McGavock gave her heart first to a stranger, then to a tract
of hallowed ground - and became a symbol of a nation's soul.
The novel flashes back thirty years to the afternoon of the Battle of
Franklin, five of the bloodiest hours of the Civil War. There were 9,200
casualties that fateful day. Carrie's home - the Carnton plantation - was taken over
by the Confederate army and turned into a hospital; four generals lay dead on
her back porch; the pile of amputated limbs rose as tall as the smoke house. And
when a wounded soldier named Zachariah Cashwell arrived and awakened feelings
she had thought long dead, Carrie found herself inexplicably drawn to him
despite the boundaries of class and decorum. The story that ensues between
Carrie and Cashwell is just as unforgettable as the battle from which it is
The Widow of The South is a brilliant novel that captures the end of an era,
the vast madness of war, and the courage of a remarkable woman to claim life
from the grasp of death itself.
Also available as a Time Warner Audiobook, in a Large Print Edition and as an
Wonderfully imagined and beautifully written. Robert Hicks not only
immerses us in history but also in age-old human truths that are the grist of
lasting literature. One of the finest books I've read in years.
The Hartford Courant
A stunning and complex story.
overwrought, this impressively researched novel will fascinate aficionados.
Booklist - Bill Ott
Starred Review. The author gracefully yet
forcefully enters the psychology of these various individuals, each one
representing a certain side in not only the battle at hand but also in the
overarching context of nation rending. And, almost strangely yet certainly
beautifully, from all this carnage emerges a love story that transcends time.
Library Journal - Bette-Lee Fox
We know from the outset about Carrie's
cemetery, but her journey to that place is compellingly told. Highly
recommended for all libraries.
A thunderous, action-rich first novel of the Civil War, based on historical
impressive addition to the library of historical fiction on the Civil War,
worthy of a place alongside The Killer Angels, Rifles for Watie and Shiloh.
Anne Rivers Siddons
A memorable, many-faceted account of one of the definitive events of
our history. To read this thrilling story is to encounter and recognize
something essential of the worst and best about ourselves. What a wonderful story Robert Hicks has told. It speaks powerfully to us
Kevin Baker, author of Dreamland and Paradise Alley
A poignant, evocative account of one of the last bursts of fury in our
terrible Civil War, and what came after. It is a fine story of love, war,
regret, and reconciliation.
Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl with a Pearl Earring
A wonderful novel...Hicks has perfected the art of mixing fact and fiction, and turned the book into a sustained, profound meditation on what it means to live, to love, and to die. Congratulations to Robert Hicks - he has written a moving and magnificent novel.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Melissa Where is Franklin, TN? Our book club read this book and the general consensus was that while it wasn't a favorite book, it did do exactly what the author intended; it put Franklin, TN on the map for many of us and invoked the memory of a historical figure. The book... Read More
was born and raised in South
Florida. In 1974 he moved to
Tennessee where he now lives in
an eighteenth-century log cabin
near Leiper's Fork. His day job
is music publishing and artist
management but his passion is
collecting - including 18th
century maps of Tennessee,
Tennesseana in general and
Southern decorative arts. He
was the driving force behind,
and co-curator of, the Art of
Tennessee exhibition in
Nashville which opened in
September 2003 and has served on
the boards of a number of
historic preservation groups in
Franklin's Charge - a
campaign to preserve the
remaining undeveloped fragment
of the battlefield at Franklin.
He says that he hoped writing...
In this eagerly-awaited third novel, award-winning author Dara Horn brings us page-turning storytelling at its best. Layered with meaning, All Other Nights presents the most American of subjects with originality and insight -- and the possibility of reconciliation that might yet await us.
In the midst of the American Civil War, a southern plantation owner's wife is arrested by her husband and declared insane for interfering with his slaves. She is sent to an island mental asylum to come to terms with her wrongdoing, but instead finds love and escape with a war-haunted Confederate soldier.
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