A Thousand Shall Fall

Written by Andrea Boeshaar
Review by Elizabeth Knowles

The year is 1864, and Virginia is ravaged by the Civil War. Young Carrie Ann Bell, an independent journalist like her absent father, has chosen not to take sides. When she disguises herself as a soldier and sets off to find her wayward fifteen-year-old sister, Carrie Ann finds herself in a conflict of loyalties between old Confederate friends and new Yankee ones. She meets Colonel Peyton Collier, a Union cavalryman, and their connection grows as Carrie gamely nurses wounded soldiers. She becomes part of Peyton’s family household, and again, allegiances collide. This is an inspirational book, and the characters’ faith carries them through much adversity. The tragedy of war is depicted without pulling any punches.

Well-researched and rich with American history both political and social, this is a satisfying read with a large supporting cast. Carrie Ann has a complex backstory that may be laying some ground for the planned sequel. The book is flawed somewhat by its one-dimensional villains, but readers will enjoy spunky, loyal Carrie Ann and handsome, principled Peyton, as well as Peyton’s charming Aunt Ruth and her freed-slave companion Tabitha – a bit stereotypical, but good fun anyway. This is the first book of the Shenandoah Valley Saga by this multi-published Christian fiction writer.