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June 15, 2024

A Beautiful Civil War Story Based on True Events

by Susan Roberts

Inspired by true events of the Civil War, a coming-of-age survival tale about two sisters and the harrowing journey that will change their lives forever…

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of historical fiction novel The Lost Women of Mill Street by Kinley Bryan
May 2024; Blue Mug Press; 978-1737915232
ebook, print (305 pages); historical fiction

I read a lot of historical fiction but rarely about the Civil War.  The Lost Women of Mill Street by Kinley Bryan is a well-written and well-researched book based on a true event when 400 mill workers were arrested and sent north from Roswell, Georgia when General Sherman burned his way through Georgia near the end of the Civil War.

Clara and Kitty are sisters who worked in a cotton mill.  Their parents were dead and Clara promised her mom on her deathbed that she would always take care of her little sister.  Kitty had respiratory problems due to the lint in the air and Clara was trying to get her moved to a safer part of the mill.  Even though the work is hard and the days are long, both sisters are happy to have food to eat and a roof over their heads.  In 1864, the Federal troops showed up in Roswell and burned down the cotton mill.  They rounded up all of the people who worked at the mill, arrested them, and sent them north to Marietta and after they signed a loyalty oath to the North, they moved to Cincinnati.  Clara tried to find work but was often rejected due to prejudice against them for being from the South.  Can Clara and Kitty find work and make a home in a northern city where there is so much discrimination against Southerners?  Can they find happiness in their new lives?

This coming-of-age book is a beautiful story about two sisters.  Clara wants to totally take care of her sister while Kitty wants to test her own independence and live the life that she wants. Both girls have to grow up and find the happiness that they desire.  This book is a story of family, love between sisters, and finding happiness in life no matter what circumstances you are in.

I learned a lot while reading this book.  I never knew that civilians were arrested and sent away from their homes.  There was also a lot of information about making hats that I found very interesting.  If you enjoy books with strong and resilient women characters, this is the book for you.

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.   

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