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Laura Malone Elliott
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The civil war has broken out, and Annie Sinclair's Virginia home, Hickory Heights, is right in the line of battle. Caught up in the rising conflict, Annie and her mother tend to wounded soldiers while Annie's older brother, Laurence, enlists in the Confederate cavalry under Jeb Stuart. Even Annie's rambunctious baby brother, Jamie, joins John Mosby, the notorious "Gray Ghost." Faced with invading armies, Annie is compelled into a riskier role to protect her family and farm. She conceals Confederate soldiers and warns Southern commanders of Union traps, and the flamboyant Jeb Stuart dubs her "Lady Liberty."
Annie's loyalty is clear until a wounded Union officer is dragged onto her porch. Saved from a bullet by a volume of Keats' poetry he keeps in his pocket, Thomas Walker startles Annie with his love of verse. After several chance encounters, Annie is surprised by her growing interest in the dark-eyed Northerner as they connect through a shared passion for poetry.
As the war rages on, Annie begins to question some of the values driving Virginia's involvement. Then tragedy befalls Hickory Heights, and Annie becomes the subject of a shocking accusation. She must confront the largest quandary of all: choosing her own course.
L. M. Elliott crafts a stirring novel that carries readers from the Manassas battlefield to fancy-dress balls to the burning of the Shenandoah Valley while capturing the tenacious spirit of a young heroine facing an extraordinary, complex time in American history.
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