Saturday, January 7, 2017

Good Time Coming by C.S. Harris



I killed a man the summer I turned thirteen . . . 
Thus begins C. S. Harris’s haunting, lyrically beautiful tale of coming of age in Civil War-torn Louisiana. Eleven-year-old Amrie St. Pierre is catching tadpoles with her friend Finn O’Reilly when the Federal fleet first steams up the Mississippi River in the spring of 1862. With the surrender of New Orleans, Amrie’s sleepy little village of St. Francisville – strategically located between the last river outposts of Vicksburg and Port Hudson – is now frighteningly vulnerable. As the roar of canons inches ever closer and food, shoes, and life-giving medicines become increasingly scarce, Amrie is forced to grow up fast. But it is her own fateful encounter with a tall, golden-haired Union captain named Gabriel that threatens to destroy everything and everyone she holds most dear.

Told with rare compassion and insight, this is a gripping, heart-wrenching story of loss and survival; of the bonds that form amongst women and children left alone to face the hardships,depravations, and dangers of war; and of one unforgettable girl’s slow and painful recognition of the good and evil that exists within us all.



OPINION


Back in history, when the men left for war, the women were left behind to look after not only their families and their own work, but also that of their husbands, fathers, and son. Vulnerable, alone, this novel is a depiction of the courageous struggles facing southern women during the American Civil War. 

Farms pillaged and stripped bear, entire towns destroyed, homes plundered, people murdered, women raped, and the extreme hunger people faced as food became scarce. Terror and horror plagued those left behind. 

C.S. Harris has breathed life into a time long past, weaving together a brilliant recounting of the hardships and troubles for women and children, black and white alike. Each page of this compelling story kept me eagerly reading along. Heart-wrenching and bold, the author describes the horrors as well as the triumphs. For those who love this period of history, especially the American Civil War, this is a poignant rendering of what took place. Highly recommended. 

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