I’m so happy today to be taking part in the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour of SISTERS OF SHILOH — a Civil War story of two sisters who go off to war. I absolutely loved it!
Libby and Josephine aren’t very similar, but their bond as sisters is fierce. Libby marries neighbor boy Arden, while Josephine still hasn’t been kissed. When Arden is killed in battle, Libby vows to avenge his death by killing 21 Yankees, one for each year that Arden lived. Josephine can’t let Libby go on her own, and joins her in the disguise of two young men heading off to war. During their “enlistment”, Libby and Josephine learn to fight, survive the elements, and endure the amazing hardships that existed for Civil War soldiers, all while hiding their true identities. Libby’s love for Arden brings him close in spirit – close enough that he talks to her and guides her actions. Josephine however, falls in love with a fellow soldier, which brings complications of its own.
I just loved this story and read it in one day. The writing is so beautifully evocative. I’ve never read a book with two authors where you couldn’t see the seams where the two writing styles came together.
I never share quotes from books – in part because they ask you not to share from ARC’s unless you know it is in the finished work – but this first sentence is so exquisite that I had to stop and re-read it:
Libby waited for her dead husband in the woods, her breath making clouds in the cold night air.
I love that opening. I loved these characters. I loved this book!
Here’s some info from HFVBT:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Formats: Hardcover, Ebook
About the Authors
Kathy Hepinstall grew up outside of Houston, Texas. Kathy is the best-selling author of The House of Gentle Men, The Absence of Nectar and Blue Asylum She is an award-winning creative director and advertising writer. She currently resides in Santa Barbara, California with her husband. Visit Kathy’s Blog.
Becky Hepinstall grew up outside of Houston, Texas. She holds a degree in History from the University of Texas in Austin, and currently resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia with her husband, a Navy pilot, and their four children.