An extraordinary novel about a strong-willed woman who disguises herself as a man in order to fight beside her husband in the Civil War, inspired by a real female soldier's letters home
Rosetta doesn't want her new husband, Jeremiah, to enlist, but he joins up, hoping to make enough money that they'll be able to afford their own farm someday. Though she's always worked by her father’s side as the son he never had, now that Rosetta is a wife she's told her place is inside with the other women. But Rosetta decides her true place is with Jeremiah, no matter what that means, and to be with him she cuts off her hair, hems an old pair of his pants, and signs up as a Union soldier.
Rosetta drills with the men, prepares herself for battle, and faces the tension as her husband comes to grips with having a fighting wife. Fearing discovery of her secret, Rosetta’s strong will clashes with Jeremiah’s as their marriage is tested by war. Inspired by over 250 documented accounts of the women who fought in the Civil War while disguised as men, I Shall Be Near to You is the intimate story, in Rosetta’s powerful and gorgeous voice, of the drama of marriage, one woman’s amazing exploits, and the tender love story that can unfold when two partners face life’s challenges side by side.
"McCabe has given us a memorable tale of love in the midst of war, loyalty and faith in the maelstrom of our nation's greatest tragedy." (Howard Bahr, author of The Black Flower and winner of the Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction)
"Inspired by the actual letters of a woman who fought in the Civil War...McCabe offers a feminine perspective on a dark time in US history." (Publishers Weekly)
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- david ortega