This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Jennifer Joyce
Sisters Josephine and Libby are close, spending their childhoods together in the orchard near their family home. But when Arden moves into a neighbouring house and takes an interest in Libby, Josephine feels their bond beginning to shatter. Libby is enthralled by Arden and Josephine feels herself being pushed away, watching from the side lines as the pair fall in love.
Several years later, Libby and Arden have married, but soon after Arden signs up to fight in the civil war that is raging in America. When Arden is killed, Libby decides to seek revenge. Donning the disguise as a man, Libby – now Thomas – sets out to kill 21 soldiers of the opposition, one for each year of Arden’s too-short life. Wanting to protect her sister, Josephine joins in the crusade, becoming Joseph and setting out for battle.
Set mainly in the 1860s during the American Civil War, Sisters of Shiloh tells the story of love and the harsh realities of a brutal and bloody war. I did feel for Josephine to begin with as she felt she was losing her sister to Arden. It was an interesting relationship to explore, but I felt Josephine was a bit too clingy at times and should have realised that her sister had her own life to lead and they couldn’t freeze themselves in their idyllic childhoods forever. Having said that, I didn’t like Arden at all so, jealousy aside, I could see why Josephine would take against him too. I admired her fierce loyalty to her sister, even risking her life to seek revenge for the death of a man she despised.As the book is set during a war, there are some quite graphic battle scenes. Being rather squeamish, this wasn’t my favourite aspect of the book, but it is to be expected. Libby and Josephine – or rather Thomas and Joseph – encounter some quite horrific events and some quite emotional ones too with the death and injuries sustained by the soldiers.
I don’t know much about the American Civil War so I found parts of the book a little confusing, particularly at the beginning, but I did quite enjoy the story, gore aside. I didn’t feel any great connection to any of the characters and I felt the ending was a bit rushed, but overall I thought it was a good, well-researched story.