Georgia, 1864: Sherman’s army marches inexorably from Atlanta to the sea. In its path: the charming old city of Savannah, where the Lester ladies—attractive widowed Sara and her feisty twelve-year-old daughter Hattie—struggle to save the family rice plantation. When Sherman offers the conquered city to President Lincoln as "a Christmas gift," Hattie and the feared general find themselves on a collision course that will astonish both of them.
In this rousing new tale, "the godfather of the historical novel" (Los Angeles Times) tells a story of battlefield danger, wartime romance, and indomitable courage. The rich cast of characters includes a corrupt judge who positively exudes Dickensian wickedness; a fast-talking, piano-playing reporter from New York; a pair of thwarted young lovers; a raffish Indiana cavalryman; a valiant former slave who practices birdcalls with surprising results; and a whole carpet-bagful of rascals, rebels, and real soldiers who marched with Sherman.
Together they bring to life an almost forgotten moment in the Civil War—a season of simmering hostilities, rising hopes, and empty stockings—perhaps the most strife-torn yet heartwarming Christmas in all of American history.
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John Jakes is the author of sixteen consecutive New York Times bestsellers. His most recent work, Charleston, was his top-selling hardcover novel of the last ten years and appeared on bestseller lists coast to coast.From AudioFile:
The Christmas of 1864 wasn't a merry one in Savannah, as the Union forces took control of the Confederate city. Tensions simmered between the Union forces and the defiant Southerners. Against this backdrop, widowed Sara Lester and her 12-year-old daughter, Hattie, take refuge in a friend's Savannah home, only to have a rough encounter with rogue Union foragers. The incident angers young Hattie and offends the Union occupiers, leading the girl to a confrontation with William Tecumseh Sherman. Dylan Baker, who knows his way around a Southern accent, puts a bit of exaggeration in his accents and characterizations to highlight the human comedy in this wartime conflict. His approach helps reveal the central characters in both the harsh light of a tense situation and, later, in the softer, warmer glow befitting a holiday season. J.A.S. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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