Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Fire By Night by Lynn Austin
This is a civil war drama that will unfold before your eyes as a movie!
Julia Hoffman has the world at her disposal. Born into a wealthy family, beautiful by any one's standards, and a future that promises marriage to practically any beau she chooses-including very wealthy prospects-Julia appears to have it all. But when she secretly overhears her crush, the Reverend Greene, describe her as selfish and spoiled, she embarks on a personal journey to become anything but. Joining the war effort as a nurse-and that effort alone entails many lies-she finds a life of meaning and soon realizes that even with the reverends wink of approval, she needs this life. More so than the life she is pressured into pursuing as a wealthy heiress performing what she considers mundane activities. As her journey reaches its culmination, she realizes what she wanted in life was not at all what she needed. Is she ready to follow her heart and embrace the life God wants her to lead even if it costs her everything and everyone?
Phoebe Bigalow-aka Ike-is a different story all together. As her brothers set off for war, her only option is to be nanny to a wealthy family. After one day of cooking and child rearing responsibilities, she accepts what she already knew. Being a girl, and doing girl things, is not for her. So she cuts off her hair, grabs a union uniform, and heads off to war as a man. Completely successful in posing as a man, she is known for her height, sharpshooting abilities, and her skill at fighting. As she begins a friendship with Ted, Phoebe is schooled in friendship. Never hearing affirming words from her now dead parents, and never knowing what love meant, she is sometimes confused but always warmed by the new feelings she experiences. But her friendship with Ted takes twists along the way and ends with the ultimate expression of sincere love.
Chapters alternate back and forth between Phoebe and Julia until their paths intersect and from that point on, you literally can not put the book down. The details given related to war and war injuries are some of the most vivid ever written. Austin did not write this for the faint of heart but instead for real war fans. At several points in the story I could not contain tears, and for me, that is the exception. This is an in depth story of choices made, the path the heart follows, and how God orchestrates the outcome of our decisions if we trust him.
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; Reprinted edition (November 1, 2003)
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1.1 inches