Tamera Alexander's retelling of the events of the Battle of Franklin and its effects on the residents of Carnton had me completely immersed and rooting for these characters based upon the actual residents and soldiers who participated in the unfolding of Franklin and the final days of the war.
Now, as a Canadian, I only have a basic knowledge of the U.S. civil war which is why I was thrilled to find Alexander has done her research, even using actual correspondence from those in and around Carnton. Her attention to detail, even in regards to battle, surgery, and recovery helped me as a reader with no connection to the events catch glimpses of the turmoil of the time (although fair warning readers who enjoy happy endings don't go researching the characters after Alexander pens the end).
Obviously using actual places, events, and correspondence from the primary characters adds a level of depth that is natural but I also appreciate how Alexander respects the people while fleshing out the story of Lizzie, Roland, and even Tempy. She respects their flaws, pain, and their quirks which may have been easier to smooth out, instead allowing them to further richen the narrative. The debates between Lizzie and Roland regarding slavery, the questions of moral men, the trauma of the children and helpers all gave further insight into the era.
With This Pledge was my first foray into Alexander's work but I shall definitely be checking her out again. I highly recommend this book for any fans of historical fiction, romance, civil war era novels.
5 out of 5 stars.
losure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.