I am always on the lookout for a new-to-me authors to read and came across this gem by Terry D. Heflin. Scarlett Hem, Book 1 in The Scarlett Hem series is the story of a young widow, Rebecca Beaumont O’Connell, daughter of an affluent Maryland family who struggles to make a difference by becoming, of all things, a spy for the North.
As with any conflict, the Civil War in particular, produced divided loyalties. For the Beaumont family, her parents, Rebecca and her husband, James, supported the north, her brother Joseph, the south.
At a time when women were essentially expected to be seen and not heard, Rebecca is different. She is beautiful, witty, intelligent and talented with very definite views on the state of the world she lives in.
Rebecca stood rigidly by the parlor’s cold fireplace when word arrived. James perished at Antietam.
Devastated by the death of her husband, she enters her official year of mourning. Shortly before it is to conclude, her father arranges for a party at their home. Rebecca, a very talented pianist, asks to play. Against her very proper mother’s wishes, (her official year of mourning is not quite concluded), she does and becomes fascinated by snippets of conversation about the war. Without appearing to do so, she listens. And learns. And meets the dashing Robert Harper, a friend of her late husband, James.
And thus, the stage is set for her life.
Now that your year of mourning has passed, you might…secretly...wish to become active in Mr. Lincolns fight to keep the Union together.
With Robert’s help, she travels to Virginia to visit her cousin, Elise, also a widow, and poses as a Confederate sympathizer. Once there, she becomes part of a network of socially prominent women who pass information north for many months.
Ms. Heflin’s descriptions of the time, the fashions, even the manners are so vividly told, you can easily imagine yourself there. A great story filled with suspense, intrigue and romance as well as memorable, well-developed characters and historical accuracy. An epic tale of life in the south during tumultuous times and one woman’s struggle to make a difference. The vivid descriptions, historical accuracy and a thrilling storyline combine to make this one of the most enjoyable stories I’ve read in a while. Highly recommend!
I found you before. I will find you again.
It is a series and does have a cliff hanger but is well worth the read. I have already downloaded book two!
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Available on Amazon: Buy Scarlet Hem Now
Book Two in Scarlet Hem Series