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Review: Faith

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Review: Faith

30 Mar Posted by in Reviews | Comments Off on Review: Faith
Review: Faith

Faith by Lyn Cotefaith
Reviewed by: Pam Graber
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Tyndale House
Publication Date: April 1, 2016

As a woman and a peace-loving Quaker, a Civil War battlefield is the last place Faith Cathwell expected to find herself. When her friend, Shiloh – a freeborn black woman – is snatched by slave catchers and sold into slavery, Faith and Shiloh’s sister, Honoree, see nursing the troops at the battlefield as their ticket into the South to search for her. An abolitionist, Faith believes in the cause of the Northern states. Her family has hosted a stop on the Underground Railroad at their Cincinnati home for several years, helping a number of runaway slaves to safety. As a battlefield nurse, Faith’s abilities are tested to their very limits. She knows she can’t search in enemy territory by herself but who can she ask to help?

Union Colonel Devlin Knight is from a house divided. His cousin, Jack, serves with the Confederacy and Devlin himself owns a slave. When he encounters the Quakeress Faith, it is because he needs her healing skills for the cousin he has rescued from sure death on the battlefield. Spending time with her brings out his every protective instinct. What is a lady like her doing walking the battlefield after every skirmish, treating the injured and dying with equal amounts of care and compassion? As Dev and Faith grow closer, can they see a future – together – in a world being blown apart daily by mortar fire?

If you’ve never read about the conditions for both prisoners of war and military hospital patients during the Civil War, this book is a wakeup call! The almost complete lack of supplies – including medicines and basics like salt for the food – was stunning to me and I HAD read other books on the Civil War. What I didn’t know was the complete disrespect that female nurses endured on a daily basis. I always thought of nursing as an honorable and honored profession but in this book the nurses might as well have been your basic cleaning ladies. Faith has a vast knowledge of healing using herbs. Patients she treats tend to live and she gently fights for sanitary conditions, especially in the operating tent. Even with her track record, the head surgeon Dr. Bryant is the only one on her side.

Readers of historical fiction with a Civil War slant will be immediately engrossed in this book. The story is well told and the characters are well defined from the passionate abolitionist, Faith, to the honorable yet conflicted Colonel Knight to the high and mighty Dr. Dyson. Each person shows their character – or lack thereof – early on. I was especially intrigued by the portrayal of the slaves in contrast to the freeborn blacks. This is a not-to-be-missed book!
I received this book from Tyndale House in exchange for my honest review.

Rating PG: Civil War hospitals were pretty gruesome places and some of the situations Faith finds herself in would be difficult for the very young reader to understand.

Reviewer’s copy was provided by the Publisher.


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