Title: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War
Author: Karen Abbott
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publish Date: September 8, 2015 (Today!)
Source: TLC Book Tours
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Seventeen-year-old Belle
Boyd, an avowed rebel with a dangerous temper, shot a Union soldier in
her home, and became a courier and spy for the Confederate army, using
her considerable charms to seduce men on both sides. Emma Edmonds
disguised herself as a man to enlist as a Union private named Frank
Thompson, witnessing the bloodiest battles of the war and infiltrating
enemy lines. The beautiful widow Rose O'Neal Greenhow engaged in affairs
with powerful Northern politicians and used her young daughter to send
information to Southern generals. Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy Richmond
abolitionist, hid behind her proper Southern manners as she orchestrated
a far-reaching espionage ring—even placing a former slave inside the
Confederate White House—right under the noses of increasingly suspicious
My Two Cents:
"Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy" is a fantastic nonfiction narrative about four women and their daring undercover actions during the Civil War. In my own head, I typically don't think about women having a role in fighting the Civil War. We don't typically hear about them out on the battle field unless they are in a nursing role. This book sheds light on some of the bravery that women showed during the Civil War.
The Civil War definitely isn't my favorite historical event to learn about but with books like this to make it a lot more exciting to me, it makes me think that maybe I need to give the Civil War more than a passing glance when it comes to my reading. I love nonfiction, especially narrative non-fiction. This book has something for everyone. There's great people and great story lines. There's intrigue and espionage. I found myself reading parts of it to my husband even though I'm totally making him read this book now that I've finished!!!
This book is anything but dry and feels very much like fiction. The way that the author weaves in so much detail about these four women and their lives really drew me into the book. Some of the women identify with the Union and some identify with the Confederacy but all four are committed to their various causes. It was so interesting to me to see how of these women were able to move about in a society that it wasn't necessarily very permissive for women at that time. I love that the way that the author told the story of all of these women. It was really well done and I would love to read more by this particular author!