I just finished reading an incredibly moving novel Neverhome by Laird Hunt. I had heard an interview with him on the radio and noted down the title. Went looking for it online at my library and requested it, only to find there was a list of others who wanted to read it. Well, my turn finally came and it was well worth the wait. While I waited I also read another of his books "Kind One", also set in the 1800s. It was an interesting story but not as good as Neverhome.
Here's the synopsis from the book flap.
"A dazzling novel about a young woman who disguises herself as a man and goes off to fight in the Civil War. She calls herself Ash, but that's not her real name. She is a farmer's faithful wife, but she has left her husband and donned the uniform of a Union soldier in the Civil War. Neverhome tells the harrowing story of Ash Thompson during the battle for the South. Through bloodshed and hysteria and heartbreak, she becomes a hero, a traitor, a madwoman, and a legend.
"Laird Hunt's enthralling new novel throws a light on the adventurous women who chose to fight instead of stay behind. It is also a mystery story: Why did Ash leave and her husband stay? Why can she not return? How does she conceal her identity, and will she be discovered? Will she ever make it back home?"
This book's premise is based on true stories of women who went to war for both sides dressed as men. When I taught 4th grade my students read the story of a woman who did that in the Revolutionary War. Her name escapes me now, but it was a true story. She was only discovered when she got wounded. The women who serve now in our Armed Forces no longer have to don a disguise. How times have changed.
If you're looking for something to read look for this book!