By ShelleyFraser Mickle
Koehler BooksNovember 2013

Trade Paperback325 pages, $17.95, ISBN: 9781938467691
Subject: History / Women's Lives / Personal Challenges

  1. As the author researched the history for this novel, she passed on extraordinary information, such as that several in Lincoln’s cabinet wanted to let the South go and expand into Canada, creating a separate nation with that land acquisition; also that germ warfare was attempted by trying to release a yellow fever epidemic in Washington, D.C. Did these facts astonish you too? Were there other facts that you learned, expanding your knowledge of the Civil War and your realization of how it changed America?
  2. Hadley has a hard, sad life. When you learn what is driving her, is there information about her daily challenges that is new to you?
  3. When Rissa dies and Eliza takes over Rissa’s identity in the letters she writes to Bennett, do you view her act as immoral or generous? What are all the ways in which her act can be viewed? How much of loving someone is the desire to protect them?
  4. There are many mothers in this story. How are they each different and what do they share: Eliza’s mother, Hadley’s mother, and then Hadley as a mother herself, as well as Eliza?
  5. Susan realizes that Eliza was a marvelous storyteller, just as she attempts to be. Hadley places her faith in the power of story to inform her life. Is the power of story diminishing in our present culture? Are there stories that influence your life?
  6. What in reading this book will you remember as part of your identity as an American?




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