Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

Neverhome by Laird Hunt

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Set during the Civil War, the story brings readers right into the battle lines where a female Indiana native, Ash Thompson, disguises as a male and enlists to help the cause when her husband is unable to.  She is recognized by her general for being a sharpshooter and has even earned the camaraderie of her fellow fighters.

In fact, she even uses her ability to change genders to trick the Rebels when she is captured.  Despite having to always look over her shoulder, she gives her trust to a local nurse and the two form a friendship.

When Ash refuses to stay with Neva, the nurse turns her in and she is left to rot in insane asylum until she can find a way to escape. And if she can escape, will the rest of her journey take her home to her beloved husband, Bartholomew, or is there more in the war effort she hopes to accomplish?

The format of the book my be difficult for some readers, as the story doesn’t give much of Ash’s background and how she was so successful in her disguise, which ultimately requires readers to suspend disbelief. Additionally the voice, told from Ash’s perspective, of the narrator speaks how they would have spoken at that time and takes some getting used to. This was an interesting concept for historical fiction, but unsuccessfully executed in my opinion.

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