Authentic voices shape this fresh look at a familiar story, the American Civil War, beginning with the rapid buildup of tension between North and South and continuing into early summer of 1862. But the narrative grip comes through the eyes of civilians, trapped in the conflicts of obedience to government and historic refusal to participate in warfare. Their options press with insistence (enlisting, fleeing, buying a substitute, or paying a fee) as the demands intensify. From the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to Chicago and Iowa, five narrators tell the experiences of Amish, Mennonite, and German Baptist communities of conscience. Whether following an inquisitive girl in the mountains, an eager young man transplanted in the city's promise, or a bishop determined to hold the line with pioneers in Iowa, readers will choose their heroes- and villains-in-the-making. In this opening book of the series the ominous shadows of duty and belief intertwine with characters' desires and fears, leading toward restless resolutions.
Evie Yoder Miller is retired from teaching, most recently at UW-Whitewater in Wisconsin. Her new trilogy carries elements of her previous fiction: historical, Eyes at the Window (2003), and literary, Everyday Mercies (2014).