Monday, May 11, 2015
Book Review: Gone for a Soldier by Marsha Ward
Author: Marsha Ward
Enjoyment Rating: ***
Source: Digital Copy
Content Alert: Some war-related violence
Mary is only fourteen-- way too young to be married according to her parents, but she's hopelessly in love with Rulon Owen, who will be leaving their small Virginia town to enlist at the beginning of the Civil War. Mary and Rulon marry, and when he leaves, they expect that he will be back by Christmas, or at the very least before their first child arrives, but as we know the war wasn't as quick as they thought it would be.
While many novels about the Civil War focus on male characters and storylines, my favorite thing about Gone for a Soldier is that it's a story about women and relationships. While at first glance, the story is Mary and Rulon's love story, it's really more about what happens to Mary while he's gone-- going through childbirth without her husband, developing a relationship with her mother-in-law, championing the girl she hoped would become her sister-in-law, and gaining enough maturity to see her relationship with her mother from a different perspective. Gone for a Soldier is interesting and well done, and I love the point of view it shows.