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

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book on Netgalley from the publisher in return for an honest review*
I Shall Be Near to You, Erin Lindsay McCabe cover
Rosetta doesn't want her new husband Jeremiah to enlist, but he joins up, hoping to make enough money that they'll be able to afford their own farm someday. Though she's always worked by her father’s side as the son he never had, now that Rosetta is a wife she's told her place is inside with the other women. But Rosetta decides her true place is with Jeremiah, no matter what that means, and to be with him she cuts off her hair, hems an old pair of his pants, and signs up as a Union soldier.
Rosetta drills with the men, prepares herself for battle, and faces the tension as her husband comes to grips with having a fighting wife. Fearing discovery of her secret, Rosetta’s strong will clashes with Jeremiah’s as their marriage is tested by war.

Erin Lindsay McCabe studied Literature at University of California, Santa Cruz, and taught high school English before completing her MFA at St. Mary's College of California in 2010. She has taught Composition at St. Mary's College and Butte College and resides in Northern California with her husband and son and a small menagerie that includes one dog, four cats, two horses, ten chickens, and three goats.

I was attracted by the title of this book. It sounded sweet but determent. When reading the synopsis I was curious how Rosetta would pull it off. If she was able to stay on her feet and obviously how it would end. I honestly love the cover too. The soldier could be a woman just as much as a very young boy. Well done.
The first fifty pages introduce you to Rosetta and Jeremiah very quickly. It is soon clear that Rosetta is a tough girl who knows exactly what she wants and she does not shy away from challenges. This gave me the feeling I was starting a story where she would just march trough that war, no emotion showing and come out unscathed. I am glad to say I was wrong.
As soon as Rosetta sets out to join the army the tone changes. She is still one tough lady but her voice shines an interesting light on the whole drilling and going to war situation. In a way she just goes with the guys but she reflects a lot too about the differences between the various man. There are a few of the obvious raw guys pretending they do not care but that is only a small part of the group. McCabe managed to give all the people their own voice. Showing the terror of soldiers when they have to run into a field with the enemy well hidden on the other site. Fear and bravery, revenge and believing in a cause and hurt so much hurt my heart broke. The story does not really go into politics or the position of all the woman who fought in the civil war. It tells the story of one woman who did was she believed this was what she had to do giving an interesting fictional insight on a situation that once was true.

I Shall Be Near to You
Author: Erin Lindsay McCabe
Publisher: Crown
Pages: 320
Format: eGalley
ISBN-10: 0804137730
ISBN-13: 9780804137737
Crown: eBook | Hardcover | Audiobook
I Shall Be Near to You
4 stars

Previous
Next Post »

4 reacties

Write reacties
Kat Balcombe
AUTHOR
26 January, 2014 delete

This one sounds really interesting! I'm glad that Rosetta is such a stand-out. Will definitely be looking this one up!

Reply
avatar
Isi
AUTHOR
26 January, 2014 delete

I have it on my kindle, Ciska, so this time I'm not reading your review now; I'll do it when I read the book myself because I don't want to be influenced by other reviews (though I see you liked it, hehe).

Reply
avatar
Melinda
AUTHOR
31 January, 2014 delete

I love the cover too. The synopsis sounds great too and I'm glad that you liked it. I will *maybe* go and check on Netgalley and get it (even though I'm trying to stay away from it)

Reply
avatar
01 February, 2014 delete

What an interesting concept! It wasn’t uncommon for women to cut their hair and join ranks back in the day, but most books about that are non-fiction.

Reply
avatar