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 X
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!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Ensemble
    The Ensemble
    by Aja Gabel
    In May 1994, the members of the Van Ness String Quartet are completing their final graduate recital ...
  • Book Jacket: The Electric Woman
    The Electric Woman
    by Tessa Fontaine
    In 2010, author Tessa Fontaine's mother had a near-fatal hemorrhagic stroke, leaving her with a...
  • Book Jacket: The Female Persuasion
    The Female Persuasion
    by Meg Wolitzer
    A college freshman struggling for identity. A 1960s feminist icon attempting to maintain her ...
  • Book Jacket: A Lucky Man
    A Lucky Man
    by Jamel Brinkley
    If his debut collection of short stories, A Lucky Man is any indicator, Jamel Brinkley is poised on ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Harbor of Spies by Robin Lloyd

A captivating thriller-at-sea set in Spanish colonial Havana in the 1860s.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Eternal Life
    by Dara Horn

    The award-winning author returns with an ingenious novel about what it would mean to live forever.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Comedown

The Comedown by Rebekah Frumkin

A blistering dark comedy that explores delineating lines of race, class, religion, and time.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I Wouldn't T H W A T-F P

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.