The story begins as the Civil War is winding down. Mae Parrish works in a mill along with many other women in village of Roswell, Georgia—and one man, Creighton Branagan, who was not conscripted because he is deaf. Everyone assumes he is stupid, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Creighton, a handsome man, has been judged wrongly for his handicap but he is a smart man and protects his young nephew against all who would harm him.
When the Union troops show up, Mae and Creighton are arrested with hundreds of mill workers for treason and sent to northern prisons because they manufactured Confederate uniforms. The story tells of their journey by wagon and train and their imprisonment and after. During the course of many hardships, Mae and Creighton fall love.
I loved the story. The theme seemed to be a new life out of the ashes of the past and overcoming the hardships life throws at us. It’s very cleverly written and will draw you in. Ziegler shows us America as the war was ending, a country torn apart, a devastated South. People had to find new lives. In the midst of it, Mae and Creighton help each other. Only Mae can understand Creighton’s crude speech and protect him from those who would harm him. And he helps her move on. There is laughter, too.
Creighton is a complex, noble hero; Mae is a feisty heroine with an indomitable spirit… just what Creighton and his nephew need. Their adventures on the way to love will keep you turning pages.
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