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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Good Time Coming- By C.S. Harris- Feature and Review


A powerful tale of the survival of the women and children left behind during the American Civil War by the author of the Sebastian St Cyr mysteries."
It s the beginning of the American Civil War and the Union army is sailing down the Mississippi, leaving death and destruction in its wake.
The graceful river town of St. Francisville, Louisiana, has known little of the hardships, death, and destruction of the War. But with the fall of New Orleans, all changes. A Federal fleet appears on the Mississippi, and it isn t long before the depredations and attacks begin.
For one Southern family the dark blue uniform of the Union army is not the only thing they fear. A young girl stops a vicious attack on her mother and the town must pull together to keep each other safe. But a cryptic message casts doubt amongst the town s folk. Is there a traitor in the town and can anybody be trusted?
Twelve-year-old Amrie and her family have never felt entirely accepted by their neighbors, due to their vocal abolitionist beliefs. But when Federal forces lay siege to the nearby strongholds of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, the women and children of St. Francisville find themselves living in a no man s land between two warring armies. Realizing they must overcome their differences and work together to survive, they soon discover strengths and abilities they never knew they possessed, and forge unexpected friendships.
As the violence in the area intensifies, Amrie comes to terms with her own capacity for violence and realizes that the capacity for evil exists within all of us. And when the discovery of a closely guarded secret brings the wrath of the Federal army down on St. Francisville, the women of St. Francisville, with whom Amrie and her mother have shared the war years many deprivations and traumas, now unite and risk their own lives to save them.



Good Time Coming: A Sweeping Saga Set During the American Civil WarGood Time Coming: A Sweeping Saga Set During the American Civil War by C.S. Harris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Good Time Coming by C.S. Harris is a 2016 Severn House publication.

“War in all men’s eyes shall be a monster of iniquity, in the good time coming

Nations shall not quarrel then, to prove which is the stronger

Nor slaughter men for glory’s sake

Wait a little longer.”

This is C.S. Harris like you have never known her before! The popular author of the beloved Sebastian St. Cyr Victorian mystery series has taken on the Civil War from the Southern perspective, in a raw, powerful, work of historical fiction that will leave you as haunted as the characters brought to life through the pages in this book.

St. Francisville, Louisiana, a river town that has escaped much of the hardships of the war, finds their luck has turned when New Orleans falls.

Twelve year old, Amrie is surrounded by good friends and family, although her parents garnered some disdain due to their abolitionist leanings. But, when the realities of war soon closes in around them on all sides, the women left behind to fend for themselves, must pull together, because they will need every single ounce of fortitude and courage to face the very dark, violent, and dangerous times ahead of them.

First of all, it is important to note, this book is about the harsh realities of war, which means it can be very violent, harsh, brutal and painful. The author does not hold back or sugar coat anything, laying bare a stark depiction of the hardships and cruelty all southern women, from the genteel and well bred, protected ladies, to those less fortunate, both black and white, endured during the Civil War.

The story is told from the first- person perspective of Amrie, as she relates the atmosphere of her hometown, the fear that gripped them, the Federal attacks that not only left the land raped and scorched, pillaged and ruined but also left many women and children in that same condition.

Amrie, and her mother, are two strong women, ahead of their time, who exhibited forward thinking, and did what had to be done to protect themselves. They suffered great losses, felt a deep compassion and learned the depths of which humanity can sink or rise when faced with unbearable adversity.

The author has thoroughly researched journals and writings of Southern women who lived during this time, and boldly strips away that common myth that the Union soldiers did not rape or abuse women – all women- while they tore through the south.

Amrie’s voice is so heart wrenchingly real, so compelling and soulful, I felt as though I was living the events she described through her eyes. But, every single woman in this book will touch you in some way. Some were likeable, some remained an enigma, while others were a true inspiration and heroes in their own right.

This story is intense, but the characters are worth the emotional wringer you must endure, with a heart thumping, edge of your seat conclusion that filled my heart and allowed me to experience a little peace of mind, knowing these strong, admirable women would make it through to the next chapter of their lives despite the scars indelibly seared on their souls, with grace and aplomb, will do right by one another, and will become an inspiration and role model for many generations to come.

This in an outstanding novel, written with sympathy, but with bold candor, with no holds barred! I can’t express how impressed I am with the job C.S. Harris did with this book. I applaud her bravery and skill in addressing such difficult passages and subject matters and ugly truths that were badly in need of exposure.

Overall, this book is extraordinary and remarkable!! Hilda’s words to Colonel O’Keefe will ring in my ears for many days to come, and I will carry Armie’s courage and her incredible story in my heart for a long, long time to come.





Candice Proctor, aka C.S. Harris and C.S. Graham, is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than a dozen novels including the Sebastian St. Cyr Regency mystery series written under the name C.S. Harris, the new C.S. Graham thriller series co-written with Steven Harris, and seven historical romances. She is also the author of a nonfiction historical study of the French Revolution. Her books are available worldwide and have been translated into over twenty different languages. 

Candice graduated Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude with a degree in Classics before going on to earn an MA and Ph.D. in history. A former academic, she has taught at the University of Idaho and Midwestern State University in Texas. She also worked as an archaeologist on a variety of sites including a Hudson's Bay Company Fort in San Juan Island, a Cherokee village in Tennessee, a prehistoric kill site in Victoria, Australia, and a Roman cemetery and medieval manor house in Winchester, England. Most recently, she spent many years as a partner in an international business consulting firm. 

The daughter of a career Air Force officer and university professor, Proctor loves to travel and has spent much of her life abroad. She has lived in Spain, Greece, England, France, Jordan, and Australia. She now makes her home in New Orleans, Louisiana, with her husband, retired Army officer Steve Harris, her two daughters, and an ever-expanding number of cats. 

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