Christmas at Carnton: A Novella by Tamera Alexander

My Review

Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, and when Tamera Alexander writes it, it’s even more special.

Miss Alexander’s Christmas at Carnton novella is the introductory story to her upcoming series, The Carnton Novels, based on the history of the Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee-near Nashville. She adroitly takes a small slice of time centered around Civil War history and brings to life the hardships endured not only by the soldiers but also the families they left behind.

I felt heartbroken for Aletta Prescott, expectant mother, mother to adorable little Andrew and widow of Warren. Facing foreclosure with no employment prospects, Aletta doesn’t lose faith or hope. In fact, she perseveres under unimaginable circumstances and is steadfast in her beliefs.

Captain Jack Winston, a wounded Confederate soldier, is demoralized when he is commanded to assist with the Women’s Relief Society auction, spearheaded by the mistress of Carnton Plantation, Mrs. John McGavock, wife of Colonel McGavock.

My favorite character is Tempy. Even though she has suffered an inconceivable early life, she hasn’t let it break her, and Miss Alexander writes her story with depth, feeling and just a touch of espièglerie.

I received this book from NetGalley and Fiction Guild. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

A Christmas story to launch a brand new three-book series . . . The Carnton Novels

Amid war and the fading dream of the Confederacy, a wounded soldier and a destitute widow discover the true meaning of Christmas – and of sacrificial love.

Recently widowed, Aletta Prescott struggles to hold life together for herself and her six-year old son. With the bank threatening to evict, she discovers an advertisement for the Women’s Relief Society auction and applies for a position – only to discover it’s been filled. Then a chance meeting with a wounded soldier offers another opportunity – and friendship. But can Aletta trust this man?

Captain Jake Winston, a revered Confederate sharpshooter, suffered a head wound at the Battle of Chickamauga. When doctors deliver their diagnosis, Jake fears losing not only his greatest skill but his very identity. As he heals, Jake is ordered to assist with a local Women’s Relief Society auction. He respectfully objects. Kowtowing to a bunch of “crinolines” isn’t his idea of soldiering. But orders are orders, and he soon discovers this group of ladies – one, in particular – is far more than he bargained for.

Set against the backdrop and history of the Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee, Christmas at Carnton is a story of hope renewed and faith restored at Christmas.