BEYOND THESE WAR-TORN LANDS by Cynthia Roemer
SERIES: Wounded Hearts #1
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Fiction
PUBLISHER: Scrivenings Press, LLC
RELEASE DATE: August 3, 2021
The War brought them together ~ Would it also tear them apart?
While en route to aid Confederate soldiers injured in battle near her home, Southerner Caroline Dunbar stumbles across a wounded Union sergeant. Unable to ignore his plea for help, she tends his injuries and hides him away, only to find her attachment to him deepen with each passing day. But when her secret is discovered, Caroline incurs her father’s wrath and, in turn, unlocks a dark secret from the past which she is determined to unravel.
After being forced to flee his place of refuge, Sergeant Andrew Gallagher fears he’s seen the last of Caroline. Resolved not to let that happen, when the war ends, he seeks her out, only to discover she’s been sent away. When word reaches him that President Lincoln has been shot, Drew is assigned the task of tracking down the assassin. A chance encounter with Caroline revives his hopes, until he learns she may be involved in a plot to aid the assassin.
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“Until hatred is banished, there can be no room for healing.”
I enjoy reading about the Civil War era in the United States for much the same reason I enjoy reading about the Holocaust. Even though both time periods feature the worst of humanity’s treatment of fellow Image-bearers (which are often difficult to read), they also feature some of the best of humanity – people who courageously stood up for what’s right and risked their own lives to save the lives of others. Caroline Dunbar & Drew Gallagher in Beyond These War-Torn Lands are examples, albeit fictional, of such heroes.
Caroline has the misfortune of being the daughter of a staunch supporter of the Confederacy, and as such her decision to save the life of a wounded Union soldier (Drew) puts her at risk of losing everything she cares about – her home, her family, her dreams for the future. Maybe even her life. Of course, Drew’s life is at stake too, even more so than Caroline’s, and on more than one front. First he needs to heal from his battle-injuries without being discovered and sent to prison – or worse – then he needs to stay alive as the Civil War shifts and becomes even more volatile. It’s not long before something else of utmost importance is at stake – their hearts. I loved watching Caroline and Drew fall in love. Their romance is innocent and sweet while at the same time charged with the tension of their situations and the awareness of the precious fleetingness of life. The author does a great job of giving these characters layers and personality and making the reader care very much what happens to them.
I also loved the way the author seamlessly wove the history that Caroline & Drew were living into the framework of Beyond These War-Torn Lands. While rich in historical detail, it never felt at all like a textbook. It also whet my appetite for further reading about some of the battles and incidents related to the Civil War and also hit home for my own tangential family history at a certain juncture of the story. I’m not going to say much more than that lest I deprive you of the ‘aha’ moment I enjoyed, because regardless of my own family lore there will be a moment when some things will fall into place for lots of other readers, too. And yes, I may have gasped out loud when it did so for me, causing me to even more eagerly lean in to the last third of the novel than I already had been.
Bottom Line: Full of surprises and heart, Beyond These War-Torn Lands delves into a familiar history in a fresh way. Caroline and Drew’s sweet romance will have you alternating between swoons, anxiety, and relief as you follow their journey across the pages, and they will each lay their own claim to your heart. Each of them operates with admirable integrity and strength, despite the fallout, and it was encouraging to see through them the reminders of God’s personal care for His children. I have to confess, however, that Angel the horse was my favorite character haha! The theme of loving your enemies and doing good to those who hate you shows up in a variety of ways, touching my heart & moving me each time. Looking forward to reading book two!
(I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book which I read via Kindle Unlimited. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / loved it!
KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion
Cynthia Roemer is an inspirational, award-winning author who enjoys planting seeds of hope into the hearts of readers. Raised in the cornfields of rural Illinois, Cynthia enjoys spinning tales set in the backdrop of the mid-1800’s prairie and Civil War era.
Cynthia feels blessed that the Lord has fulfilled her life-long dream of being a published novelist. It’s her prayer that her stories will encourage readers in their faith. Her Prairie Sky Series consists of Amazon bestseller, Under This Same Sky, Under Prairie Skies, and 2020 Selah Award winner, Under Moonlit Skies. Her fourth novel, Beyond These War-Torn Lands, is her first Civil War novel, and Book One in her new Wounded Heart Series. Book Two in the series, Beyond Wounded Hearts, releases March 14, 2023.
She writes from her family farm in central Illinois where she resides with her husband of twenty-nine years. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Visit Cynthia online at: www.cynthiaroemer.com
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What about you? What makes you want to read Beyond These War-Torn Lands by Cynthia Roemer?