Friday, June 26, 2009

Two Girls of Gettysburg by Lisa Klein

[description from B&N]

Lizzie and Rosanna are cousins. But when the Civil War breaks out, fifteen-year-old Lizzie finds herself committed to the cause of the Union, while Rosanna is swept up in the passions of the old south—and in her love for a young Confederate officer. Torn in their alliances, yet as devoted as sisters, each girl finds herself grappling with the senseless brutality of war, and the sacrifices that must be made in order to survive. It will take one of the war’s bloodiest battles—fought on the farmlands of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—to bring them together again. Unflinching in its portrayal of war, and inspiring in its depiction of two resilient young women, this is a historical novel of exceptional depth and reach.


Mixed feelings about this one, so I'll just jump right in:

One of my main problems with this book was that I never felt that Rosanna and Lizzie were best friends. They keep talking about how much they miss each other and how they're friends, but they weren't together long enough for me to really believe they're friends. It was like the only ties between them was that they used to live together and are related. Sure, they're stories intertwined at times, but often it felt like they were two totally separate stories. The girls were together at times as well, but still.

The girls' voices were so drastically different as well that it separated their stories even more. Rosanna's diary entries are sad, emotional, and packed with a bit too many historical details and descriptions, while Lizzie's are more hopeful and...sweet, I suppose. (She had an actual romance going on. A predictable one, but still sweet.) The tones definitely helped to show the girls' distinct personalities and they're development throughout the novel, but it separated them a bit too much. Rosanna's chapters were filled with so much detail that it became tedious and I looked forward to Lizzie's chapters more.

Two Girls of Gettysburg is a bit predictable and boring at times, but the great characterization and war action make it enjoyable. It's interesting to see the two separate sides of the war at once. Still, I think I'd recommend this one to those who really like historical fiction.

I'll still be on the lookout for another book by Lisa, especially this one, because it sounds awesome.


Links: Lisa's website


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