Where Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson
This book is hands-down my favorite Civil War novel of all time. My jaw absolutely dropped at how well this story was written and all the details that went into this story. I have never felt so immersed in history as I did in Where Dandelions Bloom. Every time a battle detail or name was dropped, my history nerd brain went wild, knowing exactly what was going to happen historically but no idea of how it would intersect and affect the characters of the story. Seriously, I could read this one over and over and over again.
Genre: Historical Romance, 1861, Early Civil War
Cassie Kendrick is on the run. Her abusive father arranged her marriage to a despicable man, but she’s discovered an escape. Disguised as a man, Cassie enlists in the Union army, taking the name Thomas Turner. On the battlefields of the Civil War, keeping her identity a secret is only the beginning of her problems, especially after she meets Gabriel Avery, a handsome young photographer.
Anxious to make his mark on the world and to erase the darkness and guilt lurking from his past, Gabriel works with renowned photographer Matthew Brady to capture images from the front lines of the war. As Gabriel forges friendships with many of the men he encounters, he wonders what the courageous, unpredictable Thomas Turner is hiding.
Battling betrayal, their own personal demons, and a country torn apart by war, can Cassie and Gabriel learn to forgive themselves and trust their futures to the God who births hope and healing in the darkest places?
What I loved: The history in this book was the most astounding I have ever read. There were so many incredible details, and to see it through the eyes of a woman disguised as a man and a photographer sent to record the War, it was just word defying.
Favorite Character: Aside from the main characters, whom I absolutely loved, Jonah was a favorite. The orphaned boy who joined the war efforts stole my heart from the beginning.
Who would like this: Anyone who loves great historical details, stories of women soldiers, espionage, the Civil War, and hope in desperate times.
Rating and Why: I gave this a six-star rating because it totally blew me out of the water. Everything was so amazingly detailed, yet seamlessly woven together that it takes my breath away. Even now, weeks later, all I can do is shake my head in wonder. And now, every time I see a dandelion I see hope. It truly is amazing to transform something I once took for granted as being a weed into a symbol of hope.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher. The review above was influenced in no way by this and the above opinions are my own.