Read what people think about The Spy Lover by Kiana Davenport, and write your own review.

Summary | Reviews | More Information | More Books

The Spy Lover

by Kiana Davenport

The Spy Lover
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Aug 2012
    303 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Reviews

Page 2 of 5
There are currently 38 reader reviews for The Spy Lover
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Erin G. (Dulles, VA) (12/22/12)

The Spy Lover: not the book its title suggests
The title "The Spy Lover" implies a certain combination of intrigue and romance, but this book about the tragedies of the Civil War instead focuses on loss, desperation, courage in battle, and the toll of war on its survivors. Unlike most Civil War sagas, however, The Spy Lover explores the experiences of a diverse range of characters: a Chinese immigrant conscripted into the war, his part-Native American daughter. This book was not at all what I expected, but anyone interested in a different perspective on the Civil War will find it fascinating.
Kay K. (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) (12/20/12)

The Spy Lover by Kiana Davenport
This book would be a civil war enthusiast's dream. The historical elements are detailed in their brutal reality. The underlying story of a Chinese immigrant, Johnny Tom, fighting as a Union soldier and his daughter spying for the Union as a battle field nurse brings home to the reader the toll on the human heart and soul. When it comes to taking sides on an issue the sides blur when the details narrow down to person to person . The reader learns an important lesson about love through Davenport's Warren Petticomb. This book was a satisfying read.
Carmen S. (Elkins, Arkansas) (12/20/12)

Loved this book
I loved this story about the Civil War. The book made me feel I was there, and I felt the characters pain. Just a haunting, beautiful read.
Judith M. (San Diego, CA) (12/20/12)

Horrifying yet Compelling
This is not your glory depiction of the War Between the States. It is graphic, emotional, introduces unknown to me facts about Chinese fighting in the war and rings true. I have always felt my letters written home by family members at the end of the war and their release from Union prisoner of war camps were sad and poignant, but this book helped me realize what they really went through.
Rebecca J. (Knoxville, TN) (12/19/12)

The spy lover by Kiana Davenport
I had several books to read and was busy with the holidays when I received this book about Chinese immigrants in the Civil War! I was not excited - until I started the book. This is an absolutely beautiful story told by three characters - a Chinese immigrant who is fighting for the North, his long-lost half Chinese/half Indian daughter who is nursing and spying for the North, and a Confederate soldier who is falling in love with the daughter. The character descriptions are exceptional and I learned a lot of historical fact about the Chinese in the Civil War about which I was clueless. If you like historical fiction and/or a cry-your-eyes-out romance, this is the book for you!
Power Reviewer Lucy B. (Urbana, Ohio) (12/18/12)

The Spy Lover
No story that deals with the civil war (especially in light of the number of casualties on both sides, the maimed soldiers who go on living with their injuries, brothers fighting brothers) could be considered a "happy story." But reading on different levels gives us opportunities to think about all sides of situations. This novel by Kiana Davenport that also deals with the life in a war camp, immigrant soldiers, and nurses tending the wounded. Congratulations to the author for this deeply moving story. She has covered a lot of situations and also included some of her family history. I will be recommending this book to my friends.
J W. (Davis, CA) (12/18/12)

Unexpectedly GOOD
This book turned out to be a wonderful surprise for me. I abhor romance novels of any kind and was afraid, as I began reading, that this was what the story would be. It was so much more. It is a history of this country during the most horrific time of our existence as a nation. I think all the wars the United States has been involved in since the Civil War, including Viet Nam, pale in comparison. Ms. Davenport writes with such authenticity that the horrors are brought to life and placed at our feet, unable to be ignored.
Her story presents her characters honestly. That her own family history contributed to this novel makes it even more interesting. I knew nothing of the 'foreign' element of the fighting forces and found this eye-opening. Then the aftermath of the war, the anger and hopelessness, brought about such awful atrocities toward anyone who could be used as a scapegoat.
The story is sometimes a challenge due to its honesty. But the author's depiction of the strength of the human soul to survive and thrive is well worth the read. First, this is a war story. And this is a Love story - love in its many forms - and the absolution love can provide.
This is a book I will not soon forget and one I will read again.
Janet P. (Houston, TX) (12/18/12)

Tinker, Soldier, Spy
The Civil War comes to life with Kiana Davenport's THE SPY LOVER. The author's graphic telling of a Chinese immigrant who had to escape China to save his life, only to be conscripted from a ship to serve in the Union Army, where he encounters
more hatred and prejudice from the troops and officers with whom he serves, is at times hard to read. But Johnny Tom is on a mission; he is searching for his wife and daughter. Davenport's story is one of love: love for one's fellowman, love for family and love for country. The imagery of the most gruesome settings -- field hospitals reverberating with the hum of saws; corpses littering the battlefields and poppy fields of worn women -- creates a vivid landscape. Johnny Tom's wisdom is what carries the book. Davenport has mastered the art of the novel.

More Information

Readalikes

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Here I Am
    Here I Am
    by Jonathan Safran Foer
    With almost all the accoutrements of upper middle-class suburban life, Julia and Jacob Bloch fit the...
  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

    A devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Sweet Caress
by William Boyd

William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably within its pages. It captivates.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

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.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.