I have been invited to speak to the UDCW in Melbourne, FL on March 21, 2020. So excited!
The Grand Illusion is more than a Civil War novel, it is also a coming of age novel as the
character, Alexandra, comes to terms with who she is and what she must do as
she impersonates a man to be a soldier and spy. Alexandra struggles to come to terms
with the choices she makes. By the end of the novel these choices and experiences
have made her confident and mature. The gender roles that Alexandra disregards are
finally being challenged publicly today, but still, not without great risk. That is why The Grand Illusion will resonate with today's youth.
“We were all crowded in the trenches. I was exhausted, but I couldn’t get any sleep. My thoughts were swallowed by the thick, hot night air. The spirits of the dead boys of our company huddled in the trenches next to me. I looked at the posture of my men and saw their raw, nervous tension. Some soldiers scribbled last-minute messages to loved ones. Others wrote their names, regiments, and the addresses of their families on slips of paper and stuffed them into pockets or pinned them to shirts. It was a superstition with them now like a rabbit’s foot or some other lucky token. We knew the more battles we were in the slimmer our chances of surviving the next one would be. We wanted to be sure our bodies would be identified. No one wants to be lost in death.”
Fifteen-year-old Alexandra is sent to live with her grandmother in Virginia in 1861 to receive instruction on how to be “a proper lady.” The country is already in the grips of Civil War when a battle begins nearby. Eager to observe and not be detected, she borrows a young man’s clothes. Hidden behind trees, Alexandra watches as the first Battle of Bull Run unfolds before her.
After the devastating clash, Alexandra is drawn onto the field when a Union officer mistakes her for an out-of-uniform soldier. She makes a conscious decision to carry on the charade and joins the fight disguised as Alex, a Union soldier. Throughout her incredible journey she becomes friends with Clara Barton and meets Mary Todd Lincoln. Disguised as a black man, Alexandra spies for Alan Pinkerton in General Lee’s camp. She meets Harriett Tubman and helps a black family escape through the Underground Railroad.
On October 16 the Northbrook Public Library posted my interview in their Local Authors media section. So very grateful to have hometown support!
Click the link below to read my interview.
Today, the empowerment of women is happening all around the world, but women have proved their strength and devotion to family and country long before 2019. In the American Civil War, over four hundred women dressed as men to serve as soldiers and spies. The character of Alexandra is based on the real life experiences of Sarah Edmonds Seelye, Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, and the other women who disguised themselves as men to serve as soldiers in the American Civil War.
In this book, Alexandra is assigned to the Forty-Eighth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and all her ventures follow the progress documented
by this regiment throughout the war.
I’m thrilled to share this story with you! I hope you laugh, and cry, and fall in love.
American Round Table on Tuff TV
Kids’ BookBuzz, Provided 5 Stars Rating
Maggie - Age 14: I would recommend this book to anyone who is really interested in the Civil War, anyone who is looking to be inspired, or anyone who is just looking to enjoy a great book filled with action!
Reviewer considers the book to be something that everyone should read. Reviewer would definitely read it again.
iUniverse has awarded The Grand Illusion the honor of Editor's Choice and Rising Star Awards.
If you would like to provide a review or make any comments, please email me using the form below.
Search: The Grand Illusion a girl soldier in the civil war.
Expand your paperback or hardback book collection. Add a copy of The Grand Illusion to your shelves. First addition copies are still available.
E-books also now can be found online!
The Grand Illusion is for all ages. Teens through Adults.
Would my 14 year old son like the book?
Absolutely! The excitement of hunting, battles, and spies will keep his interest.
Is it all about battles and bloodshed?
Not at all. The story has tender moments of helping to save slaves lives, meeting other historical women so important to the Civil War history such as Clara Barton and Harriet Tubman.
Questions? email me using the form below.
by Caralyn frooman lipschutz