Tending to the army’s sick and wounded meant leading a life her mother does not understand and giving up a handsome and approved suitor. Yet Charlotte chooses a life of service over privilege, just as her childhood friend had done when he became a military doctor. She soon discovers that she’s combatting more than just the rebellion by becoming a nurse. Will the two men who love her simply stand by and watch as she fights her own battles? Or will their desire for her wage war on her desire to serve God?
Wedded to War is a work of fiction, but the story is inspired by the true life of Civil War nurse Georgeanna Woolsey. Woolsey’s letters and journals, written over 150 years ago, offer a thorough look of what pioneering nurses endured. This is the first in the series “Heroines Behind the Lines: Civil War,” a collection of novels that highlights the crucial contributions made by women during times of war.
Publisher and Release Date: River North, Moody Pulbishers Fiction – 20 June, 2012
Time and Setting: American Civil War, New York
Genre: Christian Fiction, Military Fiction
Heat Level: 2 (warning – there is a rape scene)
Reviewer Rating: 4.5 stars
Review By: Sabrina
I have been eager to read this book ever since I downloaded the sample in May. Something about the fierce determination of Charlotte’s character had me wanting to read more of her. After completing the novel, I am pleased to report that the book lived up to my expectations! This beautifully written story created a realistic view of Charlotte’s life and struggles and I felt like I was experiencing things right alongside her. There was no holding back in its apt and descriptive details of life as a war nurse. We’ve endured the “ugly” together and I feel connected to Charlotte and her cause because of it. What a life! To be so brave – Charlotte is a woman with a calling who courageously embraced it.
We start off in New York City where our protagonist lives. We get a clear understanding of her character from the start and it was easy for me to rally behind her. While most ladies of her station are content with superficial giving, Charlotte is looking to do more. When civil war breaks out, she is determined to help. For the first time, female nurses are being recruited to tend the wounded soldiers. Charlotte, sensing her opportunity, volunteers despite knowing she will face opposition from home.
Charlotte leaves behind a beau to whom we are introduced early in the book. Phineas seems perfect in every way, but you can sense Charlotte isn’t in love with him. I believe she wants to love him, but there is a hint that her affection is placed elsewhere and, well, when you can’t release your heart from one there’s usually no room for another. I imagine this is why it is so easy for her to leave. Phineas, however, is not giving up so easily. He is determined to win her over and plans on doing everything he can to make her love him.
Parallel to Charlotte’s story, we have Ruby, a sweet, poverty-stricken immigrant from Ireland whose husband has just enlisted in the New York union. He does this in an effort to gain a better life for him and his wife. Ruby, however, falls on hard times as there is no money coming in and she is left to fend for herself. It is a rough life and with limited options Ruby is going nowhere fast. I admit to crying for her and raging bitterly at the unfairness of her predicament. Ruby’s struggles were difficult to get through and I admired her strength. When the two women finally come together I found myself relaxing and feeling just a bit easier.
But wait – there is a love story hidden in all of this. It is subtle, as our two lovers are apart for most of the book. However, once they finally come together it was a happy “hurrah” moment for me. While I would have preferred a little more time with our couple, the story was so engaging overall that I was only slightly disappointed with the brief HEA.