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Chronicle of an ordinary Union soldier caught up in extraordinary events through a collection of letters.
"In 1862 Private Grant Taylor of the 40th Alabama Infantry regiment began writing home to his wife Malinda. Thus started an almost three year correspondence of some one hundred and sixty letters of one rural Alabama family that chronicle the American Civil War." "Neither a slave-holder nor a secessionist, thirty-four year old Taylor reluctantly went to war with his neighbors when faced with the Confederate draft and its stigma. His writings contain few exclamations of support for the Confederacy or expressions of patriotism, and as the conflict went on, his morale only declined. Taylor's early letters deal with topics like the vain attempt to secure a substitute and accounts of local men maiming themselves to avoid military service. These incidents offset romanticized legends about the eagerness of some Southerners to fight the Yankees. Throughout, Taylor tells a grim solider's story of hard marching, short rations, inadequate clothing, illness, and the constant fears of being wounded or killed in battle." "Some thirty-two of Malinda Taylor's own letters to her husband are part of this invaluable correspondence. Her letters offer a rich source on what the war did to Southern yeoman society. She records the problems of running the family farm and caring for their young children often on her own. Malinda gained self-reliance that made her husband uneasy. Despite all their trials, the Taylors remained a loving couple not afraid to express their feelings for each other."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Seeking solace in the wake of her husband’s death, a woman embarks on a new life on the Irish coast, where her mysterious new neighbor offers a rekindled sense of happiness, however short-lived Helen moved to a small ocean-side village for the isolation—to be alone with the waves, birds, and changing seasons. Newly widowed, she spends her days painting in her glass-walled studio atop a hillside on Ireland’s northwest coast. From her perch she can study the rocks and dunes of the land sloping into the sea, the fishing boats rocking in the tide, and the railway station, abandoned for forty years, now being refurbished by Roger, an Englishman and veteran of the Second World War. Her friendship with Roger develops slowly, but in tandem with her growing affection for him is an intractable suspicion over his past. As the Troubles continue to settle over Ireland, Helen experiences sparks of happiness with Roger. Meanwhile, her son Jack, a radical living in Dublin, is increasing his involvement with an impassioned group of Irish guerillas, unwittingly setting in motion a series of events that lead to a shocking conclusion for both him and his mother.

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