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    Awe-Inspiring!

    "She's given her pledge, and she's a woman of her word." The ravages of our nation's Civil War had reached the lovely Carnton estate; spreading death and destruction across the rolling hills of Tennessee as far as the eye could see, following the heinous battle of Franklin. Governess Elizabeth "Lizzie" Clouston's job quickly detoured from teaching students the basics of education to assisting a field doctor with the grizzly task of removing limbs and suturing indescribable wounds; the McGavock's fine home being populated with dozens of wounded soldiers. Among those brought to the estate for surgery is Captain Roland Jones, who with Lizzie's perseverance, convinces the army surgeon to save both of his legs, paving the way for a painstakingly slow road to recovery. In the meantime, their hearts begin to travel the path of attraction, only to be reminded that Lizzie is already betrothed to another and the dear captain remains convinced that owning one's fellow man is perfectly humane. It's an impasse that seems impossibly improbable to span. "Freedom. Choices. Promises." In the author's own words, "these three themes run with vivid undercurrent through this story, just as they continue to run through our still too-divided country". Rich in character and resonating with the depth of history, "With This Pledge" is a story that offers a lasting tribute to those who fought to the death and to those who lived to make a difference.
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    With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander

    With This Pledge #1 Carnton by Tamera Alexander Franklin, Tennessee 1864… The Civil War comes marching right across the spacious yards of the Carnton home and the lives of everyone there are forever changed. The Carnton's governess, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Clouston, finds herself helping the wounded in a way she never envisioned. Does she have the stamina to do all that is required of her? What of the men injured in battle, will their lives ever go back to a “normal” way of life or will their injuries follow them home—if they make it home? Captain Roland Jones is one of many wounded soldiers that Lizzie cares for. He is concerned about his men, how the war will end and what that will mean for them all. Lizzie and Roland are drawn to each other but there are commitments and obstacles that may prevent them from developing a deeper relationship. What plans does God have for them? The battle in Franklin, Tennessee really happened—called the bloodiest battle of the Civil War—and both of the main characters are based on real people and their experiences. With historical accuracy Tamera Alexander weaves a powerful story with such vivid detail the reader is transported back in time among the characters. As a retired RN I am especially interested in the medicinal and medical practices of that time. The detailed descriptions of the doctors performing surgery in such devastating conditions was so realistic it was as if I was there helping administer the chloroform. I cried along with Lizzie at different parts of the story and prayed along with her for all in her care. I appreciate the spiritual elements woven throughout the story-line and the impact following God in all areas of her life has, not only on Lizzie, but those around her. Tamera Alexander includes historical notes giving the reader details about the actual occurrences portrayed in this story. With This Pledge is a powerful, emotion-filled story that will stay with me for some time. ~I received an ARC copy of this book from the author/publisher (no monetary gain were exchanged), this is my honest review~
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    With this Pledge

    This story is so well written.. The reality of the time in history is made very clear. The emotions and conflicts of two different points of view was made very real. The physical pain that was endured was brought to life. The strength that was found in God was shown by simple trust. The characters in the story were brought to life in such a way that you feel you know them personly Tamera Alexander is one of my favorite writers. Thanks for sharing this story.
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    A Carnton novel rich with history

    Tamera Alexander used the letters from the real Lizzie Clouston and Captain Roland Jones along with historical and personal accounts to weave this fascinating story. I thought With This Pledge was well-written with gentle pacing. With This Pledge is filled with rich historical details along with descriptions of the clothing, homes, conveyances, battles, wounds soldiers suffered and much more. The battle scenes are realistic along with the injuries the soldiers received. Many people had conflicted feelings about the war as evidenced by Lizzie. Slavery was a contentious issue. Owning people was wrong, but Southerners needed the slaves to work their plantations and they could not afford to pay wages to the number of workers needed. The book is brought to life thanks to the descriptive writing. The religious content is strong with our main characters being Christians who share their faith and live to set an example to others. I like that the author included books that were popular during this time period like A Christmas Carol. The romance between Lizzie and Roland is sweet. It plays out softly, naturally and respectfully. The dialogue suited the time period with its formality and word choices. I am giving With This Pledge 4 out of 5 stars. There were some areas that were not as engaging (battle details for example) and I would find myself skimming the text for the next intriguing section. Readers will enjoy this sweeping historical romance its multifaceted story and relatable, heartwarming characters.
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