Portions of this book contain disturbing descriptions of prison life and conditions. In the manner of historicity, novelists often wrestle with the question of how much to put in, how much to leave out-- too little detail risks giving an incomplete picture; too much risks becoming gratuitous. Since detail is necessary to tell the truth of Andersonville Prison, I chose to err on the side of truth; and even so, a few facts refused to flow from my pen.
Perhaps it was the depth with which the characters are developed, or the vulnerability which they occasionally laid bare before one another? The time frame and setting was fascinating to me, as I learned little of these things in my public school history class which emphasized memorizing names and dates and did a poor job of trying to teach anything more, with the exception of making sure we grasped the severity of slavery in America and Hitler's atrocities. Anyhow, back to point- Tracy Groot has a unique writing style wherein suspense and romance are not the "selling point" nor the elements which draw you back as though you're becoming addicted to the book... Suspense and romance are rather like sweet perfumes of which you get a faint waft on occasion- just often enough to encourage you to seek out their source. The meat of this book, I believe is it's historical content.
I must also compliment Groot on keeping the romance in this novel to the highest level of virtue. The individuals who express a love or affection for one another do so based on character qualities and honorable actions. This book does not contain lust. That is truly something to be commended nowadays. This book reveals beauty and courage in the most unlikely places, all the while describing the depravity of mankind and the destructive nature of willful ignorance.
Near the end of the Civil War, inhumane conditions at Andersonville Prison caused the deaths of 13,000 Union soldiers in a single year. In this gripping and affecting novel, Christy Award winner and critically acclaimed author Tracy Groot recaptures the unsung barbaric truths of the historical Andersonville Prison in a riveting reimagining of the parable of the Good Samaritan.