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REVIEW: WEDDED TO WAR POWERFUL DEBUT NOVEL BY JOCELYN GREEN




ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jocelyn Green, the wife of a former Coast Guard officer, is an award-winning author, freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives (Moody 2008), along with contributing writers, and its sequel, Faith Deployed...Again: More Daily Encouragement for Military Wives (Moody 2011). She is also co-author of Battlefields & Blessings: Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq/Afghanistan (AMG Publishers 2009). Her books won the Bronze and Gold Medals, respectively, from the Military Writers Society of America (religious/spiritual category) in 2010. Her Web site for military wives, www.faithdeployed.com, won third place in a national contest held by the Evangelical Press Association in 2010.

Jocelyn's debut novel, Wedded to War, releases in July 2012 from River North Fiction.

Jocelyn was the founding editor for www.WivesinBloom.com, the online magazine of Christian Military Wives (a branch of Christian Military Fellowship). She is also a contributor to the Web site www.StartMarriageRight.com. Jocelyn's Facebook page for military wives (www.facebook.com/faithdeployed) has the largest following of any other Christian military wife page on Facebook to date.

Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, with a B.A. in English, concentration in writing. She is a frequent speaker at military wife events, women's church groups, and writers conferences, and is an active member of the Evangelical Press Association, Christian Authors Network, the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Military Writers Society of America.

Jocelyn and her husband Rob have two small children and live in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She loves books, movies, concerts in the park, Broadway musicals, Mexican food, Caribou Coffee, chocolate (especially Toblerone), traveling and being outside with her family. Favorite authors include C.S. Lewis, John Ortberg, Carolyn Custis James, Anne Lamott and Phillippa Gregory.

Visit her at www.jocelyngreen.com or drop her a line at jocelyn@jocelyngreen.com 


WEDDED TO WAR
By Jocelyn Green
Published by Moody Publishers
ISBN# 978-0802405760
398 Pages

Back Cover: In Wedded to War, tending the Union army's sick and wounded would mean leaving Phineas Hastings, the man Charlotte Waverly's mother, Caroline, approved of, for an existence Caroline could not understand. To honor the father she lost to Cholera, Charlotte chose a life of service over privilege-just as her childhood friend, Caleb Lansing, had when he became a military doctor. She quickly discovers that she's combatting more than just the Rebellion by working in the hospitals. Would the two men who love her stand by and watch as she fights her own battles? Or would their desire for her wage war on her desire to serve God?

She fought to get her place, and she fought even harder to keep it.Though Wedded to War is a work of fiction, the story is inspired by one Civil War nurse, Georgeanna Woolsey, whose letters and journals, written over 150 years ago, offer a thorough look of what pioneering women nurses endured during the Civil War. This is the first novel in the series, Heroines Behind the lines: Civil War, offering an inside look at women's contributions during times of war.

Review: Jocelyn Green teleports readers to the frontlines of the Civil War, through the eyes of medical personal trying to save lives, in her debut novel, Wedded to War.

I was instantly drawn into this fascinating story and sympathized with Charlotte, the main character and her family situation. Charlotte is a strong-willed, opinionated woman who loves God with her whole heart. She faces opposition from her family and friends when she shares she’s call to be a nurse. She also gets some flack from medical organizations she wishes to join. No one could understand why a woman of privilege (who’s never worked a day in her life) wants to volunteer to be a nurse and go into the trenches of war. Was she mad? Did she have a death wish? Charlotte explains to a friend, “For the first time in my life, I feel as through I may actually have some value to other people. Not for what I look like but for what I do. I am part of something bigger than myself.”

After a family relative signs up to help fight the war it becomes personal. She can’t stay home; attend parties and social events anymore. The test, could she be strong enough to be true to her call, herself and God?

Remember the scene in Gone with the Wind, when Scarlett O’Hare is overwhelmed by her surroundings as she helps the Doctor with the wounded, and dying? The camera follows Scarlett running outside to escape the sights and sounds of war only to run into more of the same. There is no escaping the soldiers bleeding and dying bodies.

This author not only shows you this type of scene through Charlotte eyes but she goes a step further. She does an incredible job of allowing the reader to experience the nitty-gritty of the Civil War without getting grotesque. The reader experiences the unforgettable sights, sounds, smells and struggles medical professionals went through in order to help soldiers and themselves survive! Jocelyn is a well crafted writer. She paints scenes in her novel that made me feel as if I were actually there!

Charlotte is confronted in the field by a Doctor, “Sympathy doesn’t save lives. Science does. Efficiency does. If you feel too deeply, it will cloud your judgment, slow you down. I know it’s hard for a woman to understand – that’s why medicine has always been a man’s job!”

She is then accosted by a female administrator of the hospital who tells her, “If you want to be accepted as a nurse, you will do as the Doctor says and not ask questions. Asking questions implies that you do not trust the Doctor’s decisions, his diagnosis, or his treatment. It implies that you could do it better. That he is incompetent. That’s grounds for dismissal…if you don’t drop that strong-minded, women-of-reform attitude, no Doctor, and I mean not one, will want to work with you.”

She had her work cut out for her. No one said it’d be easy. Charlotte didn’t make comments like these or her family’s disapproval get her down. “She knew eventually they’d have to accept women into the ranks, even if it were through doing the dirtiest of jobs: with Gods help she’d make it thru.” It’s funny that nowadays the nursing field is mostly thought to be a woman’s job.

I liked how this author showed the Civil War and the struggles from many different angles. Not only did she highlight Charlotte a woman of privilege, fighting her way into the battle field to become a nurse, but she showed what it was like to be a woman left behind when her husband goes off to fight in the war.

Ruby was the woman left behind to try and figure out how to do life alone. Ruby was honest and strove to do the right thing in Gods eyes. She didn’t know how she was going to make it on the $2.50 per week she made sewing. How would she make it until her husband sent her money? Some women she knew were turning to prostitution to make it through. She was horrified at the idea. She’d think of something else. But the reality was her sewing job took up over 12 hours of her day there wasn’t much time to do a whole lot else. Would God provide a way when there seemed to be no other way?

Of course predicators raise their ugly heads in times like these. Jocelyn shows that side of the war too. She shows how in horrific situations some people take great delight in the fact they have found a way to make themselves rich in the middle of others misfortune.

During the war the innocent and desperate were abused and forced into prostitution (much like human trafficking today). Others made money through scams. Sad all this accrued when the country and its people really needed to work together for the common good!

Wow, what an amazing story based on real women in history. When I finished the last page of this book I was changed, much like how I felt after watching Dances with Wolves and Gone with the Wind. Both movies opened my eyes to things I never thought of before or knew existed and it changed how I viewed periods of American history. If only our history book in school was this exciting and memorable. Grin! This is a great book club pick as there is so much to talk about in it. This book is to be experienced and then shared with friends. I highly recommend it.

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network
www.bookfun.org

4 comments:

  1. "POWERFUL DEBUT NOVEL," indeed, Nora!!! I was also privileged to read Jocelyn's book, and it is OUTSTANDING!!! A master at research, Joss has penned a remarkable novel that opens one's eyes to the what really went on during the Civil War, and all amid a wonderful love story that kept me turning pages far into the night.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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    1. Thank you so much Julie! I consider that high praise indeed, especially coming from you, an author whose storytelling is some of the most spell-binding I've ever read. By the way Nora, I loved Julie's books before I knew about the Book Club Network, but it wasn't until I joined TCBN that I connected with her! So thank you Nora for everything you do, too!

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  2. Nora, I'm so glad you enjoyed the book! Thanks again so much for taking the time to read and review it.

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  3. I like how you put that Julie!! It was an amazing book and Totally agree with you Julie. Thanks Jocelyn for the opportunity to read a book that let me take a peak at history from a whole new angel!

    CONGRATS!! On your new novel!!

    Blessings

    Nora St.Laurent
    The Book Club Network
    www.bookfun.org

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