Why I Want To Hi-Five Clara Barton

 

Clara Barton

I am in the midst of another round of research, this time looking into certain aspects of the Civil War, when I stumble across a letter written by Clara Barton that makes me wish I could go back in time and hi-five her.

I am sure many of you recognize the name of Clara Barton. Additionally, I would say most of you associate her name with nursing. What you may not know is that she also founded and ran an office which searched for the missing soldiers of the Civil War. Today the building where the office was located is a museum and the museum has made several valuable pieces of history available online for public viewing. Included in these are several primary sources, such as letters written by family members requesting Ms. Barton’s help in locating their loved ones.

This may sound quite sad to read, and I would imagine most are, however, one particular set of correspondence left me with a huge grin on my face and (as I mentioned before) wanting to give Clara Barton a very 21st-century hi-five.

The letters to which I am referring include:

  • a letter from a Eugenica Hitchins, who is searching for her brother (April 17, 1865),
  • a letter from the “missing” brother (Oct. 16, 1865), and
  • Clara’s retort (Oct. 23, 1865).

Yes, retort. It seems this particular brother wasn’t overly bothered with letting his family know that he was still alive and felt quite mortified by having his name “blazoned all over the county.” He callously demands to know “what he has done” to deserve this. He goes so far as to say that those concerned for his welfare should simply “wait until I see fit to write them.” I kid you not. Oh, and did I mention, his mother had also been looking for him until she died and his sister made a deathbed promise to their mother that she would find him?

The beauty, the glorious, fantastic part of this story, however, comes in Clara’s retort. You absolutely have to read it in full to truly appreciate it, but here’s a highlight for you:

“‘What you have done’ to render this necessary I certainly do not know. It seems to have been the misfortune of your family to think more of you than you do of them and probably more than you deserve from the manner in which you treat them.”

Oh, and it goes on from there. You can practically feel the heat of her righteous fury simmering on the page (or screen as it may be).

I am telling you, this is a lady I want to be friends with!


Originally published: February 4, 2016

 

Let’s chat!  Did you know about Clara Barton’s post-war efforts? If you had to guess, what would you say was this man’s reason for not contacting his family? What do you suppose happened after he received Clara’s letter? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

My Review – His Frontier Christmas Family

My Review - His Frontier Christmas Family

about-the-book-2

A Family Made at Christmas

After taking guardianship of his late friend’s siblings and baby daughter, minister Levi Wallin hopes to atone for his troubled past on the gold fields. But it won’t be easy to convince the children’s wary elder sister to trust him. The more he learns about her, though, the more he believes Callie Murphy’s prickly manner masks a vulnerable heart…one he’s starting to wish he was worthy of.

Every man in Callie’s life chose chasing gold over responsibilities. Levi—and the large, loving Wallin family—might just be different. But she can tell he’s hiding something from her, and she refuses to risk her heart with secrets between them. Even as they grow closer, will their pasts keep them from claiming this unexpected new beginning?

Why This Book:

If you’ve read my bio or followed my blog for any length of time, you know I’m a sucker for stories involving the fatherless.

Opening Line (from Chapter 1):

Near Seattle, Washington Territory
December, 1874

Someone was watching her.

First Impressions:

The first chapter of this novel was uniquely compelling with its combination of one family’s life upheaval and an underlying sense of mysterious danger. I was never quite sure if Callie’s family was truly safe or what they might do next and I kept reading to find out.

Characters:

California “Callie” Murphy – Every male in her family has been struck by gold fever and Callie’s been left to pay the price for it, despite the best of intentions.

Levi Wallin – Made a mistake in his youth that continues to haunt him despite his faith and recent calling to become a pastor.

Frisco and Sutter Murphy – Callie’s 9 year old twin brothers, named after San Francisco and Sutter’s Mill. They are about as rambunctious and mischievous as you could want or expect two boys of their age to be.

Mica Murphy – Callie’s toddler niece; the son of her brother, Adam. Mica has a delightful disposition.

There is a whole Wallin family involved, with many brothers, a sister, and several sister-in-laws, not to mention Levi’s parents. However, they all spend about an equal amount of time “on screen” and we don’t get to know any of them in depth. Nevertheless, they still ring true as well-developed characters and you do get the sense there is more to their stories, which hints at the other books in the series without leaving you feeling you are missing any vital information regarding the story at hand – the story of Levi and Callie.

As is almost always the case, there are two or three more main characters whom I cannot identify without giving away their significance and possibly spoiling some of the intended surprise.

Emotional Engagement & Pacing of the Story:

This story was a slow, steady burn. It didn’t hurry me through, but it didn’t put me to sleep either. The characters were unique, sweet, and unpredictable enough to maintain my interest in what happened next in their lives.

Elements I especially liked/disliked:

While I have no family members struck by gold fever, I felt I could relate to Callie’s situation of having been repeatedly burned in relationships and feeling reluctant to put herself back out there. I also liked seeing the true-to-life struggle of two people learning how to parent together when their individual natural inclinations don’t always entirely match.

Themes:

The theme of this novel is turning one’s eyes from the past and learning to appreciate the present while looking toward the future with optimism. Another way to put it would be:  Focusing on the past wastes the present and poisons the future.

Ending:

While there was a certain amount of predictability, I can’t dislike the predictability. I think it’s what we look for in this particular type of book. Also, the ending did hold a bit of a surprise for me as there was such a gap between particular events I’d nearly forgotten about the thread which created the twist.

Overall Rating:

3.5 out of 5 stars

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Other Books in the Series


About the Author

Regina Scott started writing novels in the third grade. Thankfully for literature as we know it, she didn’t actually sell her first novel until she had learned a bit more about writing such as vocabulary, sentence structure, and plot. After numerous short stories and articles in magazines and trade journals, she got serious about her novel writing. The Unflappable Miss Fairchild was her first novel to be published (March 1998).

Besides her novels, Regina Scott has had published three Regency novellas (“The June Bride Conspiracy” in His Blushing Bride, “Sweeter Than Candy” in A Match for Mother, and “A Place by the Fire” in Mistletoe Kittens). Two of her novels, A Dangerous Dalliance and The Twelve Days of Christmas, have been translated into German. A Dangerous Dalliance and The Incomparable Miss Compton have been translated into Italian. Starstruck and Perfection have been translated into Dutch.

Regina Scott and her husband are the parents of two sons. They reside in the Tri-Cities of southeast Washington State and are members of the Church of the Nazarene. Born in 1959 and raised in the Seattle area, Regina Scott is a graduate of the University of Washington. She comes by her writing talent naturally–both her parents are excellent writers in their vocations as teacher and electrical technician. Her mother envisioned the plot for “Sweeter Than Candy,” the novella which was written as a tribute to her.

Regina Scott is a devout Christian and a decent fencer; owns a historical, fantasy, and science fiction costume collection that currently takes up over a third of her large closet; and has been known to impersonate an independent consultant specializing in risk communication.

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On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Tour Schedule

December 4th:
Launch
underneath the covers
Becky on Books
Author Kathleen Denly
December 5th:
Nicole’s Book Musings
Rockin’ Book Reviews
Book Lover in Florida
Heidi Reads…
Jorie Loves A Story
December 6th:
Deal Sharing Aunt
Hearts & Scribbles
Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang!
December 7th:
Reading Is My SuperPower
Paulette’s Papers
Christy’s Cozy Corners
I Am A Reader
December 8th:
Tell Tale Book Reviews
Backing Books
Locks, Hooks and Books
Inside the Mind of an Avid Reader
Janices Book Reviews
December 9th: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

1 winner will win an autographed print copy of His Frontier Christmas Family along with a set of rustic burnt-wood Christmas decorations the Wallin family would be pleased to own.
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 Let’s chat!

Have you ever faced an unexpected roadblock or life event that completely changed your plans for the future?

TWEETABLES:

Focusing on the past, wastes the present and poisons the future. #Romance #BookReview

Check out this #BookReview of Regina Scott’s latest novel, His Frontier Christmas Family!

My Review – Love Held Captive

My Review - Love Held Captive

about-the-book-2

After the War Between the States, a Confederate officer longs to heal the heart of a beautiful woman—but first he’ll have to right the wrongs that were done to her.

Major Ethan Kelly has never been able to absolve himself of the guilt he feels for raiding a woman’s home shortly before he was taken prisoner during the Civil War. He is struggling to get through each day until he once again crosses paths with Lizbeth Barclay—the very woman he is trying to forget.

Life after the war is not much different for former Captain Devin Monroe until he meets Julianne VanFleet. He knows she is the woman he’s been waiting for, but he struggles to come to terms with the sacrifices she made to survive the war.

When Ethan and Devin discover that their former colonel, Adam Bushnell, is responsible for both Lizbeth’s and Julianne’s pain, they call on their former fellow soldiers to hunt him down. As the men band together to earn the trust of the women they love, Lizbeth and Julianne seek the justice they deserve in a country longing to heal.

Why This Book:

My first attempt at a historical fiction novel was set in early nineteenth century Texas, so the setting of this novel immediately caught my attention.  Then the premise of a man falling for the woman whose home he previously raided absolutely hooked me. Guess that’s why they call it a “hook.” 😉

Opening Line (from Chapter 1):

The Menger Hotel San Antonio, Texas
Thursday, October 31, 1867

She never should have had her back to the door.

First Impressions:

Above I shared the first line from the first Chapter because I felt it stood stronger as a stand alone sentence than the first sentence of the prologue. However, the prologue takes us through Ethan Kelly’s raid of Lizbeth Barclay’s home. For me, this prologue was the ultimate test of the author’s skill – to make us understand and care for a man raiding the home of an innocent, vulnerable, and clearly traumatized starving young woman. Fail here and I may despise the hero, leaving me no reason to continue reading. (Who wants to read a romance where an innocent woman falls for an evil man and that is the happily ever after?) Well, I am thrilled to report that Shelley Shephard Gray navigated this minefield with success and finesse. By the end of the prologue I may have questions about Ethan’s choices, but I don’t despise him and I want to see him succeed. So I keep reading.

Quote Image - Love Held Captive - Door

Characters:

Captain/Major Ethan Kelly – Son of a wealthy family, he has trouble adjusting to normal life after the war.

Lizbeth Barclay – Lost everything in the war – her home, her family, her sense of safety & self worth. Her dreams. When her path reunites with that of Ethan Kelly’s she isn’t living. She’s still just surviving.

Captain Devin Monroe –  A loyal friend, and the choosiest man I’ve ever read about, no woman has ever caught his fancy. Till he meets Julianne Van Fleet.

Julianne Van Fleet – Though she never approached the battle field, nor had her home raided, the war has left her with scars nonetheless. Hers just aren’t the visible kind.

Colonel Daniel Bushnell – (Yes, I know the description names him “Adam Bushnell”, but I assure you, in the novel his name is Daniel.) A twisted man with his own agenda, the power of his military rank went to his head and he isn’t ready to let the power go.

Quote Image - Love Held Captive - Spark

Emotional Engagement & Pacing of the Story:

The stories behind these characters is emotionally powerful and as a reader I became immediately invested in seeing them succeed in finding healing and happiness. The story had me firmly in its grip all the way through to the end. I didn’t want to put it down and I didn’t want to say goodbye when it was over.

Elements I especially liked/disliked:

The unique premise of this book is what hooked me and the author didn’t disappoint in her execution. Not only did this author present unique situations, but she provided fresh feeling characters to experience them.

Quote Image - Love Held Captive - Truth Ally

Themes:

Recovering from tragedy and making sense of it in the context of God’s goodness.

The difficulty of discerning right and wrong in tragic circumstances.

Forgiveness of self and others.

Ending:

Without giving too much away, I will say that I loved the twists the author took on her way to this novel’s conclusion. It’s very tempting to say more, but I don’t want to give anything away. Just trust me, you won’t be disappointed by the ending of this novel.

Overall Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

Did I mention Love Held Captive releases TOMORROW? 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

(none of the links in this review are affiliate links)

Let’s chat!

Which part of this novel most appeals to you?

Have you ever encountered a hero you couldn’t stand? Did you finish that book? What makes you despise a hero?

If you’ve read this novel:  This author handles matters thoroughly dipped in gray – no black or white here – how do you think she did?

TWEETABLES:

He raided her home. Can he earn her trust and win her heart?

Will their past destroy their future?

He won’t let his power go. How many will pay the price?

Rising from tragedy, they must fight for their future.

I didn’t want to put it down, nor say goodbye when it was over. 

This story had me firmly in its grip all the way through the end. 

Psst! Feel free to borrow any of the photos in this post for sharing on social media and remember to tag me @KathleenDenly !

 

Professional Reader
View Disclosure of Materials HERE.

 

Why I Want To Hi-Five Clara Barton

Clara Barton

I am in the midst of another round of research, this time looking into certain aspects of the Civil War, when I stumble across a letter written by Clara Barton that makes me wish I could go back in time and hi-five her.

I am sure many of you recognize the name of Clara Barton. Additionally, I would say most of you associate her name with nursing. What you may not know is that she also founded and ran an office which searched for the missing soldiers of the Civil War. Today the building where the office was located is a museum and the museum has made several valuable pieces of history available online for public viewing. Included in these are several primary sources, such as letters written by family members requesting Ms. Barton’s help in locating their loved ones.

This may sound quite sad to read, and I would imagine most are, however, one particular set of correspondence left me with a huge grin on my face and, as I mentioned before, wanting to give Clara Barton a very 21st century hi-five.

The letters to which I am referring include a letter from a Eugenica Hitchins, who is searching for her brother, a letter from the “missing” brother, and Clara’s retort. Yes, retort. It seems this particular brother wasn’t overly bothered with letting his family know that he was still alive and felt quite mortified by having his name “Blazoned all over the county.” He demands to know “what he has done” to deserve this. He goes so far as to say that those concerned for his welfare should simply “wait until I see fit to write them.” I kid you not. Oh, and did I mention, his mother had also been looking for him until she DIED and his sister made a DEATHBED PROMISE to their mother that she would find him?

The beauty, the glorious, fantastic part of this story, however, comes in Clara’s retort. You absolutely have to read it in full to truly appreciate it, but here’s a highlight for you:

“‘What you have done’ to render this necessary I certainly do not know. It seems to have been the misfortune of your family to think more of you than you do of them and probably more than you deserve from the manner in which you treat them.”

Oh and it goes on from there. You can practically feel the heat of her righteous fury simmering on the page (or screen as it may be).

I am telling you, this is a lady I want to be friends with!