Friday, August 13, 2010
Review of Caves, Cannons and Crinolines
Title: Caves, Cannons and Crinolines
Author: Beverly Stowe McClure
Author web site: http://beverlystowemcclure.wordpress.com/
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Genre: YA historical
Format: trade paperback
Release date: Sept. 15, 2009
Caves, Cannons and Crinolines, is thought provoking young adult historical novel. Set in the days of the Civil War where families are torn apart, readers are given a very real picture of life in 1863. Ms. McClure has clearly done her research and skillfully brings her characters to life.
The main character, Elizabeth Stamford, or Lizzie as she is called by her family, is a girl on the brink of young adulthood. Everything she knows has been thrown into confusion and turmoil as the Yankees lay siege to her home in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Lizzie’s two older brothers have gone off to war, leaving Lizzie home with her younger brother, Nat, her mother, two slaves, and her father, who is a doctor.
With shelling occurring on an almost daily basis, the family is forced to move from their lovely home to a cave carved into the hillside behind their house. Food is scarce, tempers are high, and living conditions difficult. Lizzie is torn between her desire to please her family, and her convictions that even girls should fight in the war. How does a young girl deal with this conflict?
Lizzie has a lot of growing up to do, and in the midst of death and despair, love comes calling in a most unlikely young man. Is Lizzie up to the challenge? Will her family support her choice? Can love blossom despite the stench of blood and the pounding of cannon balls?
We all know the North fought the South because President Lincoln believed all men should be equal, despite the color of their skin. Ms. McClure lightly deals with this subject as Lizzie struggles to determine if her family’s slaves, Aunt Lois and Uncle Morris, are happy. Lizzie thinks of them as family, but do they feel the same way?
Ms. McClure answers these questions and more, but you’ll have to read Caves, Cannons and Crinolines to find out the answers. I know I enjoyed reading this novel and felt transported to another time and place each time I picked it up to read another chapter.