Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander Review

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Synopsis: A novella to launch a brand new three-book series . . .

In the midst of war and the fading dream of the Confederacy, a wounded soldier and a destitute widow discover the true meaning of Christmas, the cost of love . . . and of loving again.

Recently widowed, Aletta Prescott struggles to hold life together for herself and her six-year old son. About to be evicted, she sees an advertisement for the Ladies Aid Society Auction and applies for a position—only to discover it’s been filled. Then a chance meeting with a wounded soldier offers another opportunity. And friendship. But can she trust him? Is Jake Winston the man he appears to be? Having lost everything once, Aletta is determined to guard not only her own heart, but also her son’s.

Captain Jake Winston, a revered Confederate sharpshooter, suffers a head wound at the Battle of Chickamauga. When doctors deliver their diagnosis, Jake fears losing not only his greatest skill but his very identity. As he heals, Jake is ordered to assist with a local Ladies Aid Society auction. He respectfully objects. Kowtowing to a bunch of “crinolines” isn’t his idea of soldiering. But orders are orders, and he soon discovers this group of ladies—one, in particular—is far more than he bargained for.

Set against the backdrop of the real history of Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee, Christmas at Carnton is a story of hope renewed and faith restored . . . at Christmas.

My Thoughts: I believe this is the first Civil-War era Historical Fiction book that I’ve read and I found it very enjoyable. This book follows Aletta, who is a recent widow, following her husband Warren’s death as a Confederate soldier. She is facing dire straights, as are many women in the community, and receives an opportunity to work at the Carnton plantation.  It also follows Jake, a wounded soldier, who is visiting Carnton and coming to terms with his injuries.

I have visited the Gettysburg battlefield many times as it’s not far from my home and have often thought about what the soldiers experienced but this book caused me to consider what their wives went through. There were some heartbreaking and emotional moments throughout the book. It was such a dark and uncertain time in history, and I really enjoyed how Aletta stayed strong and used her experiences to help others.

I adored the characters and the setting at Carnton. I had heard many of my bookish friends raving about Tamera Alexander’s books and I have to agree that she is a great storyteller…she made the people and places come to life.

I am definitely looking forward to the release of the next book and would highly recommend this one.

My Rating: 4.5 stars

I received this book from Booklook Bloggers to review.

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