Soul of a Crow

Ab­bie Wil­liams

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews Adult Fiction - CAMILLE-YVETTE WELSCH

Cen­tral Av­enue Pub­lish­ing Soft­cover $16.95 (384pp) 978-1-77168-036-3

Wil­liams pop­u­lates her his­tor­i­cal fic­tion with peo­ple nearly bro­ken by their ex­pe­ri­ences.

Set in the af­ter­math of the Amer­i­can Civil War, Soul of a Crow, the sec­ond book in the award win­ning Dove se­ries, traces the har­row­ing jour­ney of a cou­ple and their loved ones try­ing to start a new life in the West. Ab­bie Wil­liams’s novel en­livens the Restora­tion years, show­ing the toll that the war took on both men and women, and the de­prav­ity and mad­ness that some­times arises from the chaos of war and vi­o­lence.

Wil­liams pop­u­lates her his­tor­i­cal fic­tion with peo­ple nearly bro­ken by their ex­pe­ri­ences: ex-sol­diers driven mad, women forced into pros­ti­tu­tion, chil­dren grow­ing up with­out par­ents. At the be­gin­ning of this novel, deeply wounded cou­ple Lorie Blake and Sawyer Davis are in love, and have al­ready been se­verely tested—she from be­ing sold into pros­ti­tu­tion, then kid­napped and nearly killed, he from the dev­as­ta­tion and vi­o­lence of war that took his loved ones and his sta­bil­ity.

Child­hood friend Boyd Carter and his young brother Mal­colm travel with the cou­ple from a Ten­nessee that no longer feels like home—their houses and fam­i­lies burned, killed, or taken by sick­ness. The crew heads north to un­cle in or­der to start a new life, but their old lives, the atroc­i­ties of war, and the acts com­mit­ted to save each other and them­selves trail them closely.

Wil­liams spends a great deal of time set­ting the at­mos­phere and cli­mate of the post-civil War era, the dif­fi­cul­ties South­ern­ers faced at home and as they moved around the coun­try. This makes the first hun­dred pages move a bit slowly as it takes time to es­tab­lish the mul­ti­ple lev­els of con­flict. Though there is some steam be­tween Sawyer and Lori, it is not the fo­cus of the story. The plight of vet­er­ans so pro­foundly af­fects their ex­pe­ri­ence as a cou­ple that the love story is in­sep­a­ra­ble from the time in which it oc­curred, mak­ing the novel a good op­tion not just for ro­mance en­thu­si­asts but for his­tory buffs as well.

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