Caves, Cannons and Crinolines by Beverly Stowe McClure

Author: N A Sharpe / Labels: , , , , ,

Beverly Stowe McClure is an award-winning, multi-published author. In Caves, Canons and Crinolines she delves into the pages of history, bringing them to life in this young adult historical novel. The story has been inspired by events of the American Civil War, and chronicles the hardships and triumphs of her engaging characters as the horrors of war invade their lives.

Fourteen year old Elizabeth (Lizzie) Stamford and her family live in war-torn Vicksburg. The family is deeply involved with the war efforts – the father is a doctor working diligently in the nearby hospital tending to the wounded; brothers Willie and Joseph are serving with the troops in Virginia. Not unlike many of the surrounding families, Lizzie, her mother and young tender-hearted brother Nat, have to abandon their beautiful home after a shell comes crashing through the home. They seek refuge in a local cave and begin to set up housekeeping in this dingy hole in the earth in order to avoid the blast of cannons and gunfire. Every time the artillery fires the ground shakes and dust and dirt falls all around them in their cave. McClure’s vivid descriptions draw you right into the chaos and fear of the time.

I was immediately drawn into the story with the emotional letter from Lizzie to her brother Willie. She is quite upset with the separation of the family, and life is no longer as they once knew with the city under siege. Civilians are caught in the middle and no where is safe…not even the caves, but they do their best to find shelter and survive this ordeal…and the precocious girl hatches a plan. She cuts her hair, and, disguised as a young man, enlists to wage battle against their attackers.

Soon she finds war is not as black and white as she once thought. Living through the horrors of battle and seeing the fields littered with corpses, she is quite overwhelmed and overcome with it all and she quickly retreats towards home. In her journey she meets a Yankee soldier and finds he isn’t at all what she expected a Yankee to be like. She learns many life lessons in her adventures including compassion and the “enemy” is not necessarily the monster she imagined but, confusingly enough, has beliefs and ideals that are very much like her own.

I highly recommend this story. The characters are compelling, the story well written and thought provoking. Please, if you have a chance, stop by Realms of Thought for a guest post and interview with Author Beverly Stowe McClure!

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Beverly Stowe McClure said...

What a wonderful review, Nancy. You make me want to read the book. :)

I appreciate you hosting me today and look forward to your tour. The Internet is great. Where else can we read about so many good books and meet such wonderful friends.

Thanks for all you do. You're the best.

Anonymous said...

Great review of Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines! This is one book I know I will enjoy reading again and again. Beverly has a wonderful way of bringing her characters to life. I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

N A Sharpe said...

LOL, Beverly - they should have you read this type of a book when you are studying history...makes it so much more interesting than just memorizing dates, names, and places!

N A Sharpe said...

thanks so much for stopping by - one of the things that I love about Beverly's books is they are each so different. One thing you can always count on though, is there will be compelling characters you can identify with!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Thanks for your kind words, Susanne. I'm so glad you enjoyed Caves.

You're absolutely right, Nancy. I know the leaders of the world are important, but history classes should also teach more about the common people, how they lived and survived difficult times.

Aw, Nancy. You're so nice. Characters, to me, are the most important part of a story. I always hope my characters feel real to the reader.

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