Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Good Read

Recently I finished reading a book entitled, The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks. A few years ago I had read a book review about it in the magazine Southern Living and thought it would be good to read. That's the last I thought about it. My sister, Ninny, suggested I read it a few months ago after she had read it and had visited the plantation that the book takes place in on her vacation this summer. I ordered it from our local bookstore and when it came in I couldn't wait to dig in.

The book is full of history of the Civil War and how it affected ordinary people caught up in it.  I'm not a history buff like my husband but this book sounded interesting. The story takes place near Franklin,Tennesee at a plantation called Carnton during the civil war between the states based on a true story that flashes back to 1864 and the afternoon of the Battle of Franklin, five of the bloodiest hours of the war.  While the battle rages on Carrie's McGavock's land, her plantation turns into a Confederate army hospital. Four generals lie dead on her back porch and a pile of amputated limbs rise as tall as her smoke house. She becomes known in later years as the Widow of the South because she tends the graves of the almost 1,500 soldiers buried there. Thousands of other soldiers, Union and Confederate, are buried all around Franklin. This book is about Carrie and how this battle affected her and her family.

My sister and her husband took the seven hour tour of Carrie's house and walked among the graves on the plantation. After reading this book I would have liked to have been with them to see it first hand. Someday I just might have to take that tour myself with my husband.



Ninny said...

After we visited Carnton Plantation, I actually went back and re-read some passages in the book because I could now visualize the area, the house, the interior rooms. It really came alive for me then, for I could picture Carrie's garden, remember the graves of her dead children, see the dinningroom table that so many surgeries were performed on. I could remember walking among the graves she so carefully tended and imagine her doing the same. Great book!!!


Gloria said...

That does sound like a good read. Will have to see if I can get a copy. Thanks for the review!

Oklahoma Granny said...

I've heard about the book and it's now on my 'to-read' list. (Right now I'm reading "Water for Elephants" and I'm kind of a slow reader.) When Ninny blogged about her visit to the plantation I put it on my list of places I'd like to visit someday. Then a couple of days later a photographer that I follow on FB posted wedding photos she had taken at that plantation. They were gorgeous!

JackDaddy said...

Oh my. When you said you would 'like to have been with them', I first thought you were talking about being with them during the Civil War!! :)

altadenahiker said...

History means much more to me when I see it through someone's eyes. You might like First Person America -- it's a compilation of interviews of ordinary and extraordinary folks in the 1930's, part of a WPA project that gave jobs to unemployed writers. I find it very touching.