Friday, December 14, 2018

With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander

About the Book:

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Clouston's quietly held principles oppose those of the Southern Cause – but when forty thousand soldiers converge on the fields of Franklin, Tennessee, the war demands an answer. The Carnton home, where she is governess, in converted into a Confederate field hospital; and Lizzie must gather up her fortitude to assist the military doctor with surgeries that determine life or death – even as she fears for the life of Towny, her fiance and lifelong friend.

A young soldier's last wish is that she convey an urgent message to his mother. She vows to do so, but Lizzie knows little more than the boy's first name. That same night, decorated Mississippi sharpshooter Captain Roland Ward Jones extracts a different promise from Lizzie: that she intervene should the surgeon decide to amputate his leg.

Lizzie is nothing if not a woman of her word, earning the soldiers' respect as she tends to the wounded within Carnton's walls. None is more admiring than Captain Jones, who doesn't realize she is already pledged to another. When Towny vanishes after a crushing battle in Nashville, Lizzie must confront the costs of war. And torn between love, principles, and promises made, she struggles to be true to her own heart while standing for what she knows is right – no matter the cost.

From the pages of history and the personal accounts of those who endured the Battle of Franklin, Tamera Alexander weaves the real-life love letters between Captain Roland Ward Jones and Miss Elizabeth Clouston into a story of unlikely romance first kindled amid the shadows of war.

My Thoughts:

With This Pledge is the first full-length novel in Tamera Alexander's Carnton series. I was immediately drawn into the story by the tragic imagery of the Battle of Franklin's aftermath. Though the aftermath is extensive and Lizzie is right in the middle of it all, I found the story sobering, but not depressing.The author noted that she intended to authentically portray the experiences of those involved while weaving a compelling story of hope and that is exactly what she did. Hidden in the shadows of war, racism, slavery, and death, there is love. Not only romantic love, but also sacrificial love that bears the burdens of others.

The perfectly paced love story between Roland and Lizzie was steady and never angsty. There was always progression as they formed a deep, profound attachment. The characters' differences prompted them both to consider another's perspective and search for truth. They grew spiritually as their relationship blossomed.

I recommend With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander to fans of historical fiction, especially those interested in the Civil War period. Five stars!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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