As lyrical and poignant as Ahab’s Wife and Cold Mountain, here is a wondrous tale set against the tragedy of the American Civil War. . . . “Jiles carries her gifts with deft precision.”—New York Times Book Review
The Colley family are modest farmers in the Missouri Ozarks. Although Southerners, the Colleys try to remain neutral, a fact ignored by the Union militia who confiscate their livestock, burn their farm, and arrest their daughter, Adair, on charges of “enemy collaboration.”
Yet as this innocent young woman soon discovers, fate can have a double edge. While imprisoned, she falls in love with her interrogator, a Union major who helps her escape. Transferred to the front lines, he promises he will survive and marry her. And Adair, now an escaped convict, must begin her own harrowing journey through the wilderness and enemy territory to find the family she left behind.
In unsentimental yet elegant prose, Paulette Jiles reveals the universal horrors of war and its irreparable damage, and introduces a wonderful new character in a memorable, touching story.