Guest Reviewer – Jen Roman
Quakeress Faith Cathwell and her dear friend and freeborn black woman Honoree volunteer as nurses to Union soldiers on a battlefield near Vicksburg, Mississippi. Being an Abolitionist doing a job “unsuitable” for a woman and being friends with a black woman on top of it all make Faith unpopular in camp. She and Honoree want to help the Union soldiers as they fight for freedom everywhere, but they also have another reason for being there. Honoree’s sister Shiloh was kidnaped and sold into slavery in New Orleans, and they are doing reconnaissance in hopes of finding her. Among the people who do not take kindly to Faith is Captain Devlin “Dev” Knight of Baltimore. He is from a border state and while he fights for the Union, he owns slaves at his plantation back home. He and Faith clash on pretty much everything under the sun, but somehow, they both are happier in each other’s presence.
With a title of Quaker Brides, it’s pretty safe to say that Faith and Dev will end up together; how they get to that point takes up the majority of the book. They have different outlooks on life and different ways of doing things. Their backgrounds also account for their differences, as Faith is more geared towards individual liberties and treating everyone equally, while Dev grew up with a man servant. Still, they do want the same things out of life; they just go about it very differently. Throughout the story, we see Faith’s compassion for others influence Dev not just in his personal life, but also in his professional life. He started out the war not expecting to live through it, but by the end he is ready to share the rest of his life with Faith.
I’ve read many a book about the Civil War and the various complexities it brings to the lives involved, so the theme of this book was not new to me. However, I wasn’t disappointed, as each character was detailed with both good qualities and flaws. Faith, Honoree, Dev, and even some of the doctors portrayed in the book are fully developed, and as I read, I could picture them in my mind. They have their strengths and weaknesses, yet their personalities make them interesting and relatable. I liked seeing them transform throughout the battles as they became more world-weary and ready to be done with the blood and fighting. Honoree, always the strong personality, even softens a bit, both to her surprise and mine. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and storyline and look for the next book in this Quaker Brides series.
The book Faith does contain some descriptions of battle wounds, but otherwise, it does not contain violence. There is no profanity, and the effort of each character to maintain propriety means that there is nothing sexual in the book, either. I highly recommend this book to people who like to read about the Civil War, or anyone who enjoys a good romance. High-school level readers and up should enjoy this book.