Friday, June 6, 2014

I'll Make a Man Out Of You

"I ain't going back there, not without you."
--Erin Lindsay McCabe, I Shall Be Near To You

Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Pages: 304
Publication Date: January 28th, 2014
Source: Borrowed from Library
Goodreads Description

An extraordinary novel about a strong-willed woman who disguises herself as a man in order to fight beside her husband, inspired by the letters of a remarkable female soldier who fought in the Civil War.

Rosetta doesn't want her new husband Jeremiah to enlist, but he joins up, hoping to make enough money that they'll be able to afford their own farm someday. Though she's always worked by her father’s side as the son he never had, now that Rosetta is a wife she's told her place is inside with the other women. But Rosetta decides her true place is with Jeremiah, no matter what that means, and to be with him she cuts off her hair, hems an old pair of his pants, and signs up as a Union soldier.

With the army desperate for recruits, Rosetta has no trouble volunteering, although she faces an incredubous husband. She drills with the men, proves she can be as good a soldier as anyone, and deals with the tension as her husband comes to grips with having a fighting wife. Rosetta's strong will clashes with Jeremiah's while their marraige is tested by broken conventions, constant danger, and war, and she fears discovery of her secret even as they fight for their future, and for their lives. Inspired by more than 250 documented accounts of the women who fought in the Civil War while disguised as men, I Shall Be Near To You is the intimate story, in Rosetta’s powerful and gorgeous voice, of the drama of marriage, one woman’s amazing exploits, and the tender love story that can unfold when two partners face life’s challenges side by side.
Rosetta The plot? The tagline of this book should be 'Badass bitch joins the military to stay with her husband.' BOOM. I mean, it doesn't get much cooler than that. All the details surrounding why Rosetta left and why she feels the need to follow Jeremiah made my heart ache. I felt along with her need and desire and desperation not to be separated from him. You really FEEL with her and what she is going through. She is an amazing mix of strength, courage, vulnerability, and femininity. If you don't think those things could be combined in a personality, you are so wrong because Rosetta exemplifies this perfectly. I loved that Erin Lindsay McCabe was able to capture a woman's feminine softness AND tough as nails strength.

The Setting I really haven't read too many books taking place during the Civil War. I tend to gravitate towards WWII Europe and 1400-1500s and 1800s England...I know! I should be ashamed as an American that I don't read more books taking place in my own country...sorry? I now want to read more though. It is heartbreaking to read about these men fighting their own countrymen but also extremely interesting. The scenery is painted right in front of you and the battles are vivid. Which is good and bad, haha.

The Nursing Battle wounds obviously ensue and I loved every minute of reading about tending wounds and taking care of the wounded soldiers. Yes, I'm a weirdo. I think I was born in the wrong decade because I am so all over that kind of rugged, in the trenches nursing. I would do that in a heartbeat. Also, the Clara Barton reference...clutch. Well played.

The Feels Just as you feel along with Rosetta, you feel along with this band of misfits from Flat Creek. There are a lot of emotions while reading this book and it hurt so good...*sniff*

The Background While I loved the romance in this book and felt along with Rosetta, I wish I would have had a little more connection to Jeremiah individually. We only know him from the current storyline and the snippets of his and Rosetta's past courtship. I would have LOVED to have more flashbacks to them falling in love. We do get them and I loved them which is why I wanted more.

Backstage Pass
This is a beautiful story of courage and strength in the face of overwhelming odds of fatality. It is based on true stories of woman fighting in the Civil War and really, it doesn't get more badass than that.

1 comment:

  1. I'm very curious about I SHALL BE NEAR TO YOU! It sounds like one of those novels that has the potential to deeply move me. Plus, I don't think I've read nearly enough novels set in this particular era or place so that's a major bonus! I'm glad that you wound up enjoying this -- and got me excited about it too!


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