4 out of 4 stars
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TREACHERY AT MIDNIGHT: A Daughter’s Remembrances of the Civil War, Wayside Rest, and her (Special) Friendship with Cole Younger by D. L. Rogers is a historical fiction based on the story Lizzie Brown keeps alive in her family. On Christmas in 1923, 76-year-old Lizzie tells her story to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren from her perspective at 13 years of age. She tells them of her home, Wayside Rest, where a traveler could stop for friendship and a meal. Lizzie explains that the war was about more than slavery, but politics, money, family rights, and state rights. Although her father owned slaves, he was a Constitutional Unionist who believed that the country should not divide in two, and differences could be discussed and resolved peacefully. By reading this book, you will find out how Mr. Brown protected his slaves before and after the war. Find out how Lizzie's father and brothers dealt with a civil war that pitted many family members, friends, and neighbors against each other. As stated so accurately in the book, war changes people, and they do things they never thought they would.
I liked several things about this book. Firstly, the author begins the book with diagrams of the Brown home and the surrounding property. These helped me understand where certain events occurred. Secondly, the author uses unique and humorous phrases to describe the characters' emotions and the weather conditions. For example, "sizzling like a chicken in an oven" made me feel the temperature of a hot summer day. Thirdly, from the author's description of the characters, I felt like I knew them personally, and I was in the house, yard, or barn with them. Finally, the author ends the book by providing additional information that helped me understand the events leading up to and during the Civil War. This information included: Lizzie's obituary, a summary of the "real" story behind Kansas and Missouri’s involvement in the Civil War, a reference list, and a listing of dates of the events leading up to the battles in the Civil War.
There was nothing I disliked about the book. In parts of the book, it became clear to me that Lizzie was from Missouri and she disliked and blamed Kansas residents for a lot of the problems. However, at other times, she does make it clear that the battles between Missouri and Kansas went both ways, and both sides committed atrocities against the other.
I gladly give this book 4 out of 4 stars. I did not find a single error in the entire book. Therefore, I believe the book has been exceptionally well-edited by a professional editor.
I recommend this book to anyone interested in historical fiction concerning the Civil War or Cole Younger. The book does contain some borderline profanity that may be offensive to sensitive readers, but it is not inappropriate for teenage and adult readers. The only religious content is personal prayers for safety and their dead by the characters and should not be offensive to most readers.
TREACHERY AT MIDNIGHT
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