Fire by Night

Written by Lynn Austin
Review by Carol Anne Germain

Set during the American Civil War, this novel highlights the experiences of two young women of the era. While Julia Hoffman, a wealthy socialite, is quite different from Phoebe, a rural farm girl, they are in search of a similar quest: respect. Both are eager to participate in the war effort and must deceive to become active. Julia lies about her marital status to serve as a nurse, while Phoebe dresses as a man to enlist in the Army. Throughout the book, we witness the personal and spiritual growth of each of these valiant women.
Austin juxtaposes their day-to-day life and wartime experiences and then carefully merges their stories with the development of a deep and thoughtful friendship. This romantic epic, though set during a horrific war, is a heartwarming tale of women with determination. Fire by Night is the second book of the Refiner’s Fire series. Candle in the Darkness, the first volume, received the 2003 Christy Award in the historical fiction category.