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.


Return to Shirley Plantation by Carrie Fancett Pagels, Volume One of Murray Pura’s Civil War Series-Cry of Freedom.

Return to Shirley Plantation is a fast-paced novella interwoven with the intricacies of life, against the backdrop of the Civil War.

The lives of everyone on the plantation are upended when the Army commandeers the old home grounds for a field hospital, spreading the injured soldier’s shoulder to shoulder as far as the eye can see.

Angelina Rose is a freed slave of one-eighth African blood. She disguises herself as a widow in mourning, helping in the home until she can earn enough money to free her dead sister’s children.

Matthew Scott is the owner of Scott’s Theatrical Troupe. He is abducted by the Confederate Army and forced to serve because of his father’s politics as a Copperhead congressman.

Angelina and Matthew are immediately attracted to each other, but Angelina knows she must guard her heart and secret at all costs.

A Christian theme runs throughout the book, along with the rich history of the Civil War.

I have to thank The Book Club Network, Inc. @   for introducing me to so many new authors to include: Murray Pura, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Braxton DeGarmo, Carol McLeod, Gregg Farah, Alice Jay Wisler and Kathi Macias just to name a few.

This book was given to me free of charge through The Christian Book Network @  in exchange for an honest review.

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The Last Waltz by Murray Pura

I’m re-posting this because it has been awhile since I posted it and my post on Monday will be Return to Shirley Plantation-the first of the Civil War Series.

Murray Pura has woven a unique story transcending time and circumstances in The Last Waltz, Volume 2 of his Civil War Series.

Charity Davis, the wife of farmer Mitchell Davis, has been caring for the farm since he and their two sons joined the Army to fight in the Civil War.  They have been gone for two years, and her loneliness has become an ache.

One day Charity sees a regiment of soldiers and runs down the long road from her house to meet them, asking if any have seen her husband Mitchell.  Finally giving up, she heads back to the farm only to hear her name called. Turning, she sees her beloved Mitchell propped up on his horse between two other soldiers.

Charity is understandably upset over Mitchell’s wound, but she soon becomes happier when learning he will be able to stay overnight.

As they talk, Mitchell reads to Charity of King Hezekiah’s request of the Lord in Isaiah 38.  Mitchell shares how the passage prompted him to pray for one perfect day with Charity.

So begins their extraordinary day together before Mitchell returns back to his regiment.

Murray richly portrays their love and joy in each other throughout their amazing day together.  A day filled with laughter, love and foreshadowing, a day to cherish forever.

This book was given to me free of charge through The Book Club Network in exchange for an honest review.