Sunday, December 7, 2014

Shenandoah: Daughter of the Stars ~ A Civil War Story by Nancy Johnson

  • File Size: 2037 KB
  • Print Length: 147 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0989435644
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: eFrog Press; First edition (May 11, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00KAJ50M4

 May 11, 2014

Purchase a copy here.
During the turbulent years of the Civil War, three young people struggle to follow their dreams as the war devastates their homeland and their way of life in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

Hannah Yeager works hard on her family’s farm and teaches young children in a nearby school. She and her parents remain loyal to the Union. Secretly her fourteen-year-old heart thrills to romantic literature. She dreams that someday she will find a true love. When she does, he is a handsome Confederate colonel.

The strong female character of Hannah will appeal to girls who often see the Civil War as all about the boys. Hannah is empowered by “The Crazy Man” who lives in nearby caves. She learns from him that she can do what she must do.

Hannah’s thirteen-year-old brother, Willy, is spirited and headstrong. He rebels against his family’s values and seeks adventure by joining an outlaw raider band, terrorizing the Union Army.

Charlie Richison is a cadet at the Virginia Military Institute. He dreams of bringing honor to the Confederacy, to his family, and to himself. He joins other VMI cadets to fight against the Union Army in the Battle of New Market.

Shenandoah, Daughter of the Stars, presents the beauty of the valley and the devastation brought by the war. It shows the effect of the Reconstruction years which follow the war. It presents real people, General George Armstrong Custer, General “Stonewall” Jackson, General John Breckinridge and shows their effect on the lives of valley residents.

Shenandoah examines the perennial dilemmas presented by war. 

My take on this book:
Shenandoah: Daughter of the Stars by Nancy Johnson took me back to the days of the Civil War where fourteen year old Hannah Yeager, her thirteen year old brother Willy and their friend Charlie Richison find themselves growing up all too quickly because of the war that it raging around them. Hannah is content with life on the family farm, but her brother Willy longs to be a part of the action and runs off to join a band of raiders while Charlie finds himself in the midst of a struggle when the Virginia Military Institute is drawn into a skirmish in the Battle of New Market. When the fighting comes to the Yeager farm Hannah's life will never be the same. 

Nancy Johnson creates very believable characters with Shenandoah: Daughter of the Stars. Her writing easily evoked real emotion allowing me to understand the urgency that Willy felt in wanting to join the fighting, but I could also understand his parents perspective as well. Each character lends a unique voice to the story, providing different perspectives that really add dimension to the story. I loved the strength of Hannah, and the character of Crazy was one that I could really believe might have lived during that time. Ms. Johnsons writing paints a vivid portrait of the tumultuous times that went on during the war, that along with the mentioning of many very real people lent a sense of realism to the story, making me feel like I was getting a bit of a history lesson as the story unfolded. The great attention to detail coupled with very realistic characters, and more than a few surprising twists made for a page turning read, one that left me wanting to know more about Hannah and Willy. A story that will appeal to young and old alike, especially fans of civil war fiction. While this book is the third in a series it can easily be read as a stand alone, I really had no idea that it was part of a series until I finished it. A civil war fiction tale that allows us to see events unfold thru the eyes of three very unique characters.

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