Rose Rating: Four Roses
Title: Divided Loyalties
Author: Mary K Tilghman
Genre: Historical Fiction / Historical Romance
When Union and Confederate soldiers march by eighteen-year-old Maureen’s Sharpsburg farm, she must choose where her loyalties lie. Will she stand with family or country?
After the Battle of Antietam, Maureen decides to listen to her heart and volunteer as a battlefield nurse. But her father forbids it and demands she stay home to help care for the farm. The young soldier who loves her fears for her safety. Danger and disease follow her every step of the way.
Illness and a tragic turn of events threaten to derail Maureen’s mission. When the young woman finds herself a patient in her own hospital, burning up with fever, she questions whether she can go on. In these, the darkest of days, Maureen struggles to summon the strength she needs for the work she is called to do.
What I Loved About this Book:
Divided Loyalties is the perfect title in that this story explores the heartbreak that resulted from having friends and neighbors fight on opposites sides of the Civil War. The book also provided an interesting perspective from an immigrant family who left Ireland to avoid the famine and found themselves wanting to defend their new country. I enjoyed the bravery and strength of the main character, Maureen, who served as a nurse during the war despite her father’s well-meaning but fierce objections. She also defied her would-be suitor, Patrick, who made an ill-fated attempt to dissuade her from helping the wounded soldiers. Though this book is characterized as a historical romance, the romance is essentially a minor subplot, and I wouldn’t necessarily call this a romance novel. That being said, it is still an excellent novel and well worth the read.
Sexual Content: None.
Overall: Light on romance, but an enjoyable read.
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