Saturday, July 7, 2012

New Review: Kathleen Woodiwiss’ ASHES IN THE WIND – Captivating Civil War Romance! And One of Her Best!

When Kathleen Woodiwiss did romance well, there was no one better--and such a novel is ASHES IN THE WIND. To my thinking, it's up there with her best (THE FLAME AND THE FLOWER, THE WOLF AND THE DOVE and SHANNA).

It is a compelling tale of a young Southern woman from Louisiana who loses everything in the Civil War...the Yankees take her family and her home and finally even her identity. Disguised as a boy for her safety, 17-year old Alaina MacGaren thinks to seek refuge in her uncle's home in New Orleans. But before she can reach him she encounters a group of soldiers who who harass her. She is saved by a young Yankee surgeon, Captain Cole Latimer from Minnesota, a man of honor and great medical talent who is respectful of Southerners. He takes "Al" the boy (Alaina's new identity) under his wing and gives "him" a job at the Yankee Army hospital. Al returns the favor and saves the doctor's life one night when he is drunk and set upon by thieves and tossed into the Mississippi River. In the process of caring for Cole in her uncle's home, much happens, and a great mix-up occurs that casts a shadow on the rest of the story.

It is a magnificent story, well told with great plot twists and accurate history of the era, woven in so that you understand what is going on in the Civil War, particularly in Louisiana. Her characters are richly drawn. You will feel you are living it and you will celebrate Alaina's strength and intelligence. She plays many parts and Woodiwiss does them all so well. You won't regret reading this one--it's a keeper!

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