Nineteen-year-old Carrie Ann Bell is independent and spirited. The only thing she really fears are the Union soldiers fighting against her Confederate friends. When her youngest sister runs away from home, brave Carrie Ann is determined to find her and bring her back. Disguised as a soldier, she sets off—only to find she’s fallen into the hands of the enemy.
Her childhood friend Confederate Major Joshua Blevins has warned her against these Yankees: they’re all devils, ready to inflict evil on unsuspecting young women. When Colonel Peyton Collier arrests her for her impersonation of an officer, it seems to confirm all her fears.
Soon, though, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, gallant colonel. He rescued her, protected her, and has been every inch the gentleman. Carrie Ann discovers that her foe has become her ally—and more than that, someone she could love. But the arrival of Joshua in the Union camp as a spy will test her loyalties. Will she protect someone who has been like family or be loyal to this stranger to whom she wants to offer her heart? When her world is being torn apart around her, whom should she trust?
Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, A Thousand Shall Fall is framed around compelling characters and a very romantic setting in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Andrea Boeshaar’s extensive research guarantees historical accuracy and romance genre enthusiasts and Civil War buffs alike will enjoy the Christian perspectives on actual historical events.
Boeshaar’s characters Peyton and Carrie Ann will enthrall you with their spunkiness. I love reading about characters who face challenges with spark, and Carrie Ann excels at that. She never does what is expected and doesn’t know the fancy manners that Peyton’s social class required, and her mistakes are funny and lighten the dark mood of war.
Dark it is. Boeshaar doesn’t gloss over the gruesomeness of battle in the 1860s, and one can nearly smell the gunpowder floating in the air. The horrors of battle are vividly described, and those issues are important for us to remember if we’re to understand the time period accurately.
While the war is a fascinating topic, the story is a bit slow-moving at times. The characters spend lots of time in conversation, which is important for them to deepen their relationship. With so many different types of action happening throughout this time period, there were many times when I wished that the author had picked up the pace fo the plot. I was ready for action long before the characters took it, and yet when it came it was quite satisfying.
One other interesting angle to me is the setting. With family living in the Shenandoah Valley, I enjoyed reading about the place I’ve been exploring for the past 8 years. Because Boeshaar sets the scene so well, I can almost see the way Winchester and Woodstock must have looked during the War. This ‘virtual historical exploration’ was fun.
The pace aside, my biggest problem with the story was that it ended. By the end I really wanted to know more about Carrie Ann and Peyton’s story, but the book ended just when it was getting really good. I hope Boeshaar picks up right where she leaves off in the sequel.
Andrea Boeshaar is the cofounder of American Christian Fiction Writers and runs “The Writer’s ER,” a coaching service for writers. She is the author of thirty published works, including Threads of Faith, a finalist in the Inspirational Readers Choice Awards. Andrea is also the author of a popular devotional and regularly blogs on a number of sites.
I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.