I can’t say enough good things about Robert Hicks’ The Widow of the South. I’ve read good reviews and I’ve read some tirades as well but I personally loved this book. I liked this book just as much as I did Geraldine Brooks’ Year of Wonders and that is possibly my favorite book of all time!
Hicks’ tale centers on the small town of
wife of a
Over 1700 Confederate dead were hastily buried in a nearby field after the battle. When the owner of the field decides to return it to cultivation, Carrie and her husband move all the soldiers to their property, creating the only private Confederate cemetery. So, all of that is the real story. Hicks’ takes this framework and imagines a life for Mrs. McGavock, her family, and some of the soldiers that you will find in no history book yet it provided me a glimpse into what that time might have been like, unpleasant as it no doubt was. It is not an easy topic, nor is Mrs. McGavock all that easy to like but she does mature into a character I can respect. There is a great Author’s Note at the back with some additional information on the Battle of Franklin as well as archival photos of the McGavock plantation, Mrs. McGavock herself, and the cemetery.
The bookgroup I'm a member of chose The Widow’s War for our February title and I had never heard of it or the author, Sally Gunning, beforehand. I’m always excited to pickup something new and unheard of…reading wise (and from my perspective obviously, sorry all you Sally Gunning fans out there!).
What a great, strong female character we have in Lyddie
m and Lyddie’s daughter is clearly not happy with Lyddie in the house. There are consequences if she stays, consequences if she goes, and consequences if she marries and Lyddie is becoming tired of the consequences of men’s decisions for her and about her. Can one woman gain independence in such a system? Why would she even want to?
The events of this book take place nearly 100 years before the Seneca Falls Convention in