The Spy Lover by Kiana Davenport
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Living in the deep South, usually, when I think “Civil War” I picture white men in either blue or grey uniforms, Abraham Lincoln and Emancipation Proclamation, or the antebellum homes in my area that are still standing. However, Kiana Davenport’s novel “The Spy Lover” has added a whole new dimension to the Civil War for me. Her story follows the journey of Johnny Tom, a Chinese man who is kidnapped into the Confederate army and later defects to the Union side, his daughter, Era, a spy for the Union, and her lover, Warren, a Confederate soldier handicapped by the war. “The Spy Lover” truly offers an untold and unique perspective on the Civil War. Thanks to Davenport I have a new understanding and respect for the minorities that served on both sides.
I recommend this book to everyone interested in Civil War history. However, I must say this novel is not for the faint of heart. Davenport doesn’t sugarcoat the Civil War like “Gone With The Wind” does. This novel realistically depicts death and injury on the battlefield and in the makeshift hospitals, as well as violence against women and minorities. Having finished the novel, I feel like I just got out of the war myself! The story is the right mix of action and drama. The characters came off the page for me, and I was moved by each of their longings for peace and something to live for in and after wartime.
I look forward to Davenport’s future novels!
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