The Fairness of Beasts
In 1862, the American Civil War is raging, and the battle lines are clearly delineated between the Union and Confederate forces. Emma Evers spends what seems a lifetime traveling with a paid guide, Lebo, to find her two children, Sarah and Jacob, and Dr. Rory Brett, who had been courting her. References are given to an earlier, traumatic series of events in Panama that emotionally devastated Jacob. Rory and Jacob were making headway through those memories before Rory was called away to battle. The doctor only wanted to treat soldiers in battle but is called to do much more while being relentlessly pursued by Jonathan Cohen, a Union soldier bent on capturing Rory for “desertion.” Emma’s journey is phenomenal, reflecting the conflicts and challenges of traveling in wartime America. Her children face life-and-death struggles and grittily manage to survive, disappearing onto the infamous “orphan trains.” Meanwhile, Emma’s sister, Kathleen McEmeel, discovers her husband has been injured. He’s a gentle and kind man whom Kathleen wishes was tougher and stronger.
This riveting historical novel, book three in the Widow Walk saga, depicts every possible difficulty of the Civil War, from dangerous travel conditions to heroes, cowards and crooks, to treatment of deserters and traitors. The realism convinces the reader he or she is living through these numbing conditions. The story will make you want to return to the first two books of this saga. A gritty reminder that life demands fighting for love instead of allowing it to “wither” on the vine, The Fairness of Beasts is fierce, profound historical fiction.