BookBrowse Reviews The Widow of The South by Robert Hicks

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Widow of The South

by Robert Hicks

The Widow of The South by Robert Hicks
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2005, 432 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2006, 448 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


A memorable, many-faceted account of one of the definitive events in USA history. Historical Fiction/1st Novel

From the book jacket: 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.

Comment: Hicks' first novel blends historical fact with fiction.  The story centers on Carrie McGavock, known as 'the widow of the south' - a Confederate woman whose house was commandeered as a field hospital following the Battle of Franklin (fought in November 1864 close to Nashville, Tennessee) - one of the bloodiest battles of the war with 9,200 casualties, mostly Confederate soldiers.  The novel opens 30 years after the battle and then flashes back to the day of the battle - a day when four generals lay dead on Carrie's back porch, the pile of amputated limbs rose as tall as the smoke house, and a wounded soldier named Zachariah Cashwell arrived who would shake Carrie out of her stupor allowing her to find new purpose in her life. 

The story is told from alternating points of view, including Mariah, Carrie's slave-turned friend; Carrie's husband, who returns to his plantation after the war; various soldiers from both sides; Carrie's neighbors; and Confederate general, Nathan Forrest.  This allows Hicks to write about the small human stories from various points of view, as well as the epic catastrophe of the Civil War itself.  In the words of Kirkus Reviews, this first novel is "worthy of a place alongside The Killer Angels (Michael Shaara), Rifles for Watie (Harold Keith) and Shiloh (James Reasoner)."

This review was originally published in November 2005, and has been updated for the September 2006 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.



This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The End of Eddy
    The End of Eddy
    by Edouard Louis
    The End of Eddy has been a publishing phenomenon in Édouard Louis' native France, where it...
  • Book Jacket: If We Were Villains
    If We Were Villains
    by M L. Rio
    22 out of 28 of our reviewers rated If We Were Villains four or five stars, giving it an overall ...
  • Book Jacket: The Islamic Enlightenment
    The Islamic Enlightenment
    by Christopher de Bellaigue
    In this comprehensive and well-researched history, de Bellaigue examines the evolution of Islamic ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Scribe of Siena
    by Melodie Winawer

    Equal parts transporting love story, meticulously researched historical fiction, and compelling time-travel narrative.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Chalk Pit

The Chalk Pit:
A Ruth Galloway Mystery

A string of murders takes Ruth underground in the newest book in the series.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T's A S B Every M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -