published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers
publish date: March 11, 2014
Seventeen-year-old Violet Dancey has been left at home in Mississippi with a laudanum-addicted stepmother and love-crazed stepsister while her father fights in the war. When she comes across a severely injured Union soldier lying in an abandoned lodge deep in the woods, things begin to change. Thomas is the enemy and yet she's drawn to him. But Violet isn't Thomas's only visitor; someone has been tending to his wounds—keeping him alive—and it becomes chillingly clear that this care hasn't been out of compassion. Against the dangers of war and ominous powers of voodoo, Violet must fight to protect her home and the people she loves.
This is a book about the American Civil war. The book jacket description would lead one to believe the whole book is about Violet and Thomas and their secret romance, but it's not. I don't think she finds him until like halfway through the book. The voodoo stuff only sort of pops up here and there. What I found was this book was sort of a YA mashup of Gone With the Wind and some Anne Rice books. Now, personally, I grew up on Gone With the Wind and Anne Rice so I liked this book.
This book seemed to be mostly about Violet trying to run her farm in the South after her father has gone away to war. She has a new stepmother and stepsister to contend with, not to mention to stress of worrying about whether or not her slave are going to leave her. Then her cousins come to stay with her and they bring along a whole set of new problems. Thomas and the voodoo problems are almost secondary to the conflict raging at her farm.
The book seems to be getting less than stellar reviews. I think perhaps it was presented to readers incorrectly, so expectations were not met. That's just speculation on my part. I would recommend it, but with the warning that it isn't so much about secret forbidden romance and crazy voodoo.