The Widow of the South

Robert Hicks, Author
Robert Hicks, Author . Warner $24.95 (426p) ISBN 978-0-446-50012-8
Reviewed on: 06/20/2005
Release date: 08/01/2005
Ebook - 978-0-7595-7438-0
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-7595-1444-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-59483-579-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 551 pages - 978-0-446-55888-4
Open Ebook - 978-0-7595-1443-0
Open Ebook - 978-0-7595-1445-4
Hardcover - 708 pages - 978-0-446-57882-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-59483-109-6
Paperback - 436 pages - 978-0-446-69743-9
Ebook - 978-0-7595-1442-3
Paperback - 540 pages - 978-0-552-77340-9
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Hicks's big historical first novel, based on true events in his hometown, follows the saga of Carrie McGavock, a lonely Confederate wife who finds purpose transforming her Tennessee plantation into a hospital and cemetery during the Civil War. Carrie is mourning the death of several of her children, and, in the absence of her husband, has left the care of her house to her capable Creole slave Mariah. Before the 1864 battle of Franklin, Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest commandeers her house as a field hospital. In alternating points of view, the battle is recounted by different witnesses, including Union Lt. Nathan Stiles, who watches waves of rebels shot dead, and Confederate Sgt. Zachariah Cashwell, who loses a leg. By the end of the battle, 9,000 soldiers have perished, and thousands of Confederates are buried in a field near the McGavock plantation. Zachariah ends up in Carrie's care at the makeshift hospital, and their rather chaste love forms the emotional pulse of the novel, while Carrie fights to relocate the buried soldiers when her wealthy neighbor threatens to plow up the field after the war. Valiantly, Hicks returns to small, human stories in the midst of an epic catastrophe. Though occasionally overwrought, this impressively researched novel will fascinate aficionados. Agent, Jeff Kleinman. Major ad/promo, 15-city publicity tour. (Aug.)

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