Monday, March 9, 2015

Sisters of Shiloh by Kathy & Becky Hepinstall

The Civil War has been popping up all over my bookshelves the past year and I'm happy to say I've managed to finish one of the many books waiting for me at home.  There is something about the Civil War that fascinates me and I can't remember a time when I didn't love to read about it. Perhaps I saw Gone with the Wind too many times as a child!  

Kathy and Becky Hepinstall have written a tale of two sisters fighting for the Confederates in the Civil War.  Sisters of Shiloh is a beautifully written novel that captures the horrors of a war where sacrifices for love were made every day, both at home and in battle.  

Josephine and Libby are two sisters; Libby is the beautiful younger sister; Josephine is the "plain one".  Libby marries Arden, who I'm convinced would have become a horrible abuser if he'd survived the Civil War.  Unfortunately, he signs up on the Confederate side, and during the Battle of Antietam, he's gravely injured.  Libby, convinced she must see him to make sure he's safe, pulls Josephine along and into the thick of the battle.  Josephine finds Arden in the woods, dying.  Before Libby can make it to his side, he's dead.  Only Josephine knows what really happened:  did she help him on his way, or did he die from his wounds?  Libby becomes obsessed with avenging Arden's death and decides she will join the Confederate army disguised as a boy, and kill 21 Yankees--one for every year Arden lived.  Josephine won't let Libby go alone, so both cut their hair, practice their deep voices, and join the Confederate army.  Will they survive?

There's much more to this story, of course.  I won't tell you everything, you've got to read it to discover what happens to Josephine and Libby.  Does Arden continue to haunt Libby in her quest for revenge?  Will Josephine ever reveal what happened that day in the woods?  I loved this book!  The Hepinstall sisters write so beautifully, it's hard to put down.  I found myself lingering over the pages.  The destruction of war is played out against the love of family, the love of country, and the love of sisters who may be at odds with each other, but will do whatever it takes to help each other survive.  

Rating:  8/10 for a powerful story of love and revenge set against the American Civil War.  

Available in hardcover, ebook, and audio.


  1. It sounds fascinating, that two women dress up as soldiers to avenge the death of a loved one. I wonder if they survive it? This book is going on my TBR list:)

  2. What you're saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I'm sure you'll reach so many people with what you've got to say.