I Shall Be Near to You by Erin Lindsay McCabe: Review




I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for an honest review.

“…We will be together again because he has been bound to me almost since the first I knew of him.”

“I shall always be near to you.”

When Jeremiah and his friends begin to talk about joining the Union army, Rosetta takes her future into her own hands. But even after marrying the man she loves, she realizes that she won’t be content to sit at home and wait for him to return to her. Driven by the thought of the money that she can earn for their future together, she does the unthinkable and disguises herself as a man to join in the fighting with him.

Despite Rosetta’s reasons for joining the army, this novel is far from being just a love story- though her love for Jeremiah is what gives her the strength she needs to continue on. Through the battles and hardships that come with the war, Rosetta discovers who she is as a woman. Her marriage is tested and her love for her husband reaffirmed as they both struggle to survive the Civil War that has split the country.

After feeling like I’ve been in a reading slump for the past month or so, I can’t even begin to explain how much of a relief it was to read this book. I found myself devouring Rosetta’s story once I started reading in earnest. Her voice sucked me in and I immediately felt a connection to this woman despite our differences. She isn’t some starry-eyed patriot fighting for the good cause. She’s a woman in love. A woman who has a dream of a better life with a home of her own. The war to her is something to survive; a way to gain the money she and Jeremiah need to start their new lives. She’s vulnerable and scared but strong when she needs to be and resourceful. Not to mention clever; she’d have to be to hide her gender from a group of strange men.

This story is beautifully written. There were times when I actually found myself feeling queasy at the descriptions of the battles or breathless in anticipation at what might happen next. More than a few times I had to force myself to put the book down so I could really absorb a passage. Rosetta’s narration only made things that much better. I felt like I was watching everything unfold with her.

I was excited about reading this book and I was not let down. It was exactly what I was hoping it would be and I could definitely see myself rereading it in the future.

Grab a copy here (Link leads to BookDepository- shipping is free for many countries!)


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