Book Review: Yankee in Atlanta

23 Jun

When soldier Caitlin McKae woke up in Atlanta after being wounded in battle, the Georgian doctor who treated her believed Caitlin’s only secret was that she had been fighting for the Confederacy disguised as a man. In order 
to avoid arrest or worse, Caitlin hides her true identity and makes a new life for herself in Atlanta.

Trained as a teacher, she accepts a job as a governess to the daughter of Noah Becker, a German immigrant lawyer, who enlists with the Rebel army. Then in the spring of 1864, Sherman’s troops edge closer to Atlanta. Though starvation rules, and Sherman rages, she will not run again. In a land shattered by strife and suffering, a Union veteran and a Rebel soldier test the limits of loyalty and discover the courage to survive. Will honor dictate that Caitlin and Noah follow the rules, or love demand that they break them?

 

Jocelyn Green is a former journalist who puts her investigative skills to work in writing both nonfiction and historical fiction to inspire faith and courage.

Her books have finaled in the Christy Awards and Inspirational Readers Choice Awards, and have won gold from the Military Writers Society of America and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.

Complex and nuanced characters, rich historical detail and twisting plots make her novels immersive experiences. Her fiction has been praised by Historical Novel Society, Romantic Times, Library Journal, historians specializing in her novels’ time periods, as well as popular and acclaimed authors Laura Frantz, Lori Benton, Jody Hedlund, Sarah Sundin, Joanne Bischof, Julie Lessman, and more.

Jocelyn loves Broadway musicals, the color red, Toblerone chocolate bars, Mexican food, and well-done documentaries. She lives in Iowa with her husband, two children, and two cats she should have named Catticus Finch and Purrman Meowville.

Visit her at jocelyngreen.com, and receive a free gift when joining her e-newsletter mailing list at jocelyngreen.com/subscribe.

 

My Impressions:

By The Book chose Yankee in Atlanta by Jocelyn Green as our June selection. A well-researched historical, this novel surprised all the Southern gals in my group. Many of us are Georgia natives, yet we didn’t know some of the history surrounding Sherman’s march to capture Atlanta. Since I am originally from Florida, I really was at a disadvantage before reading this book. FYI, you really can’t base your Civil War knowledge on Gone with The Wind! LOL! Thanks to Green we now are much better educated, especially about the home fronts in both North and South. Great writing, characters, and plot made this one a highly recommended read.

After disguising herself as a man, 23-year old Caitlyn McKae finds herself on the wrong side of the battle lines when she awakens in a Confederate hospital in Atlanta. A northerner, Caitlyn must learn to survive as she awaits either a chance to escape to the North or the arrival of northern troops. She finds refuge in the home of immigrant lawyer, Noah Becker. But war pulls all in the home into its inexorable grip.

There are a lot of things to like about Yankee in Atlanta. The characters are well-developed and easy to relate to. Their struggles, both physical and spiritual, touched my heart. There are two parallel storylines in the book that connect the characters, some who live in Atlanta and others that live in New York City. Historical details of the time period, including the living conditions of both cities during the Civil War give the novel authenticity. I also found myself doing my own bit of research. I love when a book makes me dig deeper into its subject matter. The revival that broke out among the troops from the North and South is explored too. It was heartening to see how God used the worst of times to reach men (and women) for Him. God’s will versus our own is just one spiritual theme. One character, Vivian, expressed that concept so well as she advised “Hope! Always hope, but in God alone. Wait, yes, but on the Lord. Expect Him to do great things and trust His timing rather than demanding that He follows yours.” Those are words I should certainly incorporate daily.

Yankee in Atlanta provided a great deal of discussion — the effects of war on soldiers and civilians, the role of women during the period, the lessons that can be learned even today. If you are looking for a book for your discussion group, this one is a great pick. Part of the 4-volume Heroines Behind The Lines series, it shares some characters with the other books, but is easily read as a standalone.

Highly Recommended.

Great for Book Clubs.

Audience: older teen to adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(I purchased this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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