Published in the US at the beginning of December, C.S. Harris’ sweeping saga set during the American Civil War tells the powerful tale of the surviving women and children left behind. Here C.S. Harris talks about Good Time Coming...
The American Civil War was so destructive, bloody and divisive that it is still a delicate topic 160 years later. Even today, Americans tend to shy away from the painful realities of its cruel history. There are still those who would like to deny that slavery was an ugly, dehumanizing institution that has left a persistent legacy of racism, hatred, fear and brutality.
At the same time, the war that ended that heinous practice was waged with unconscionable brutality: cities full of women and children were deliberately, ruthlessly bombarded and besieged to the point of starvation. Crops were wantonly destroyed, livestock slaughtered, homes ransacked and burned. Civilians were used as forced labor, subjected to collective punishments and women were raped. Yet talking about the horrible realities of that war, and the way it was fought, is often misconstrued as attempting to condone slavery or the revolt that ended it. This is unfortunate because, apart from the importance of accepting historical realities, the experiences of those days have much to teach us about the human condition and about ourselves.
As a historian and novelist, I wanted to write about the Civil War as seen through the unflinchingly honest eyes of a child: a twelve-year-old girl named Amrie St. Pierre with loved ones fighting for both North and South. As the daughter of fierce abolitionists living in Louisiana, Amrie is both a part of (and in another sense outside of) her beleaguered community. When the deprivations, dangers and heartache of the war intensify, Amrie is forced to grow up fast. She learns she is stronger than she realized and cherishes the bonds formed among the women and children, who have been left to cope with a world falling apart around them. But at the same time, Amrie must face the dawning recognition that good and evil exist within us all and that’s a painful lesson indeed.
PRAISE FOR GOOD TIME COMING
“This is top-notch historical fiction, thoroughly researched and vividly presented revealing the Civil War in all its brutality . . . an excellent story, full of suspense and historical detail.” Publishers Weekly
“This story of love, loss, and growing up under some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable is beautifully written, superbly researched, emotionally engaging and gripping from first page to last. A must for old-school fans of historical fiction.” Booklist Starred Review
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