I Shall Be Near to You Hardcover – 28 Jan 2014
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"A girl as tough as Katniss Everdeen. A romance out of "Twilight." A historical backdrop as strong as "Cold Mountain." These things combine in the extraordinary story of Rosetta Wakefield, a young woman from""rural New York who follows her childhood sweetheart, Jeremiah, into the Civil War... McCabe makes every sentence count, with a narrative full of authentic dialogue, historical realism, and great feeling. Loosely based on true events, including the letters of the more than 200 women who are known to have served as men in the Civil War, this beautiful novel is literary but will have crossover appeal for more sophisticated YA readers as well, who will find Rosetta an unforgettable heroine." --"Booklist," starred review
"McCabe has created a tough, realistic woman who is equally committed to being a good soldier and a good wife. "I Shall Be Near to You" is both a poignant love story and a gritty war experience, and is highly recommended." --"Historical Novels Review"
"McCabe's debut novel...is a shining story of enduring love... McCabe portrays Rosetta brilliantly--think "True Grit"'s Mattie Ross--as she narrates her story with energy, self-perception, courage and unremitting love for Jeremiah. McCabe's thorough research lends verisimilitude to army life, all cook fires, salt pork, hardtack, thin blankets and marches into terror. McCabe's descriptions of battle's chaos and mayhem...is reminiscent of Crane's "The Red Badge of Courage."..Based on often overlooked history, McCabe offers an extraordinary novel, one creating a memorable character through which we relive our national cataclysm." --"Kirkus," starred review
"A real gem...In the long, distinguished history of Civil War fiction, Erin Lindsay McCabe has presented us a book that might be for the ages. Her novel, "I Shall Be Near to You," tells a passionate love story that moved me as much as I've been moved in years. Her heroine, Rosetta Wakefield, is as compelling a warrior as any that ap --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
About the Author
ERIN LINDSAY McCABE studied Literature at University of California, Santa Cruz, and taught high school English before completing her MFA at St. Mary's College of California in 2010. She has taught Composition at St. Mary's and Butte College and resides in Northern California with her husband and son and a small menagerie that includes one dog, four cats, two horses, ten chickens, and two goats. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The novel begins with Sarah Rosetta Wakefield's early family life and her motivation to leave her family to join the army. The duties she was assigned and the battles she fought are based on her own story, and that of other women, who secretly enlisted in the army.
In a poignant, authentic first person narrative, I could not help but to be drawn into the struggles and challenges Sarah so stoically faced. From first page to last, this was a gripping tale demonstrating the guts and glory and indescribably courage the few exemplary women demonstrated in order to be near their husbands or simply to seek to improve their circumstances for later in their lives.
"I Shall Be Near To You" is based on factual events, and is full of vibrancy and emotion. It is definitely a must read! Buy it for your mothers, wives, or daughters!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
written and period appropriate that it was easy to be transported back to the Civil
War. Rosetta was a well developed character and I foundit was easy to be swept into
her life during the late 1800's. I appreciated the Author's Note describing how the book
was created through letters, pictures, fact and fiction. I love this genre.
I judge a book by how much I want to read it often letting other things slide as much
as I can during the day. I read this over the weekend and loved every minute of it.
The pace was good and the ending believable and heartbreaking all at the same time.
I recommend it most highly!
Erin Lindsay McCabe has effectively used the first person narrative style to humanize Rosetta and to evoke an emotional response from the reader. Grammar, syntax, and style add authenticity to the presentation of Rosetta's background as a young farm-raised woman whose education is limited. Letters written by the characters - to be opened upon their death - are touching and may, upon reading them, result in the reader shedding tears.
"I Shall Be Near To You" highlights the strict parameters of behavior and the scarce career opportunities available to women during the mid-nineteenth century. The appeal that enlisting in the army provided to those of lower economic classes is apparent throughout the novel. By enlisting and fighting the War, many men saw an opportunity to advance and provide a better life for their families.
Readers who enjoy historical fiction, based on factual events, will want to read "I Shall Be Near To You". Be prepared to lose yourself in Rosetta's life and experiences; this is a book you may have difficulty setting aside. I highly recommend "I Shall Be Near To You". I will be suggesting it to my Book Club as a choice for next month's book selection.
After Jeremiah has left, Rosetta realizes that her life is by his side. Her home is empty without him. She cuts her long, beautiful hair and stays up all night to tailor some of her husband's clothes to fit her.
Upon finding his regiment, Jeremiah is not happy. He fears for her safety. However, she continues to insist that there is nothing back home for her, that her place is with him. After a time, he is glad she has come. She trains with the men, as she and Jeremiah grow closer as husband and wife.
This book is a gem! The character development is incredible. Rosetta, being a woman who is not very educated, says and does some amusing things, but her common sense always saves her in the end. She seemed so real.
Be sure you do not miss the author's notes at the end of the book. In her notes, she tells about women, including the real Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, who really did fight in the Civil War, disguised as men. The author admits that she tried to portray war as realistically as she could.
This is an extraordinary, but unusual, love story. The author shows us the strength and determination of true love. I will not forget this unforgettable book!
This is a love between equals and that love radiates right off the page. Having endured teasing and aching disappointment from a father for whom she can be everything but a son, Rosetta is strong and likable. Jeremiah is good man who clearly loves and accepts her for who she is.
I won’t lie; it’s an emotional read but one well worth the teary-eyed moments. Erin McCabe is a shining talent and this glimpse into the life of women soldiers in the civil war highlights an important and too long overlooked piece of American history. Well done.
Knowing that, this book is not for the faint of heart. Or for people who have issues with language in a book. There is a good amount of swearing throughout the book. Rosetta and Jeremiah's love story is not perfect in any way but is a gripping tale of what love looks like in the midst of war. What someone might do to stay near and protect the ones they love.
Overall this book is good, but sometimes the writing can get choppy with Rosetta's flashbacks to her childhood. Be careful as well for this is not a movie type book. This is war and sometimes that doesn't always have a happy ending.
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.