With This Pledge (Carnton #1) by Tamera Alexander ~ 448 pages ~ published 1/8/19 by Thomas Nelson
On the night of November 30, 1864, a brutal battle in Franklin, Tennessee, all but decimates the Confederacy and nearly kills Captain Roland Ward Jones. A decorated Mississippi sharpshooter, Jones has a vision on the battlefield and, despite the severity of his wounds, believes his life will be spared. But a life without his leg, he can’t abide. He compels Elizabeth “Lizzie” Clouston—governess to the McGavock family at the Carnton mansion—to intervene should the surgeon decide to amputate. True to her word, Lizzie speaks on his behalf and saves not only the captain’s leg but also his life.
When a fourteen-year-old soldier dies in Lizzie’s arms that night, the boy’s final words, whispered with urgency, demand that Lizzie deliver them to their intended recipient. But all she has is the boy’s first name. And, as she soon discovers, there’s no record of him ever having enlisted. How can she set out alone across a land so divided by war and hatred to honor her pledge? Even more, does she dare accept Captain Jones’s offer to accompany her? As he coalesces at Carnton, romance has blossomed between him and Lizzie—a woman already betrothed to a man she does not love.
What I Thought:
I have been a giant fan of Tamera Alexander’s work for a long time, so when I heard that she was releasing the first book in a new series I was ecstatic! A vast majority of the books that she writes take place near where I live, and that makes them even more fun for me. This new series takes place during the Battle of Franklin, which happened in November 1864 in Franklin, Tennessee. I live about 30 minutes from there, and have been to Carnton Plantation multiple times, so this sounded like an awesome book…and it was!
The historical setting is during the American Civil War, but the main attraction of the book for me was the romance. It was based on real people, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Clouston and Captain Roland Ward Jones. Alexander used their actual love letters in the novel! I loved Lizzie so much. She was a governess who was anti-slavery in the Civil-War-era south, which wasn’t something that you tended to shout from the rooftops. She was so strong, but also kind. Honestly, I kind of want to be her when I grow up 😉 The love story between Lizzie and Roland was so sweet, and had a very nice slow burn.
The side characters were also so well done. Tempy, Carnton’s cook, was an absolute delight, as was George, Roland’s manservant. Getting to see the way that Carnton was used as a hospital during the war was absolutely fascinating. It is one thing to go to the plantation in modern times and try to picture it, but entirely another to have a brilliant author describe it in such vivid detail. I could really picture it, which I always appreciate.
Overall, I thought the book was very well done. The characters were well written, the setting vivid and detailed (but not too much!), and I learned some things about Tennessee’s Civil War history. If you are interested in learning more about the Civil War, this is a great series to get started on. I can’t wait for the next one!
I gave With This Pledge 4.5 STARS! Check this out if you are a fan of Christian historical fiction!
Are you interested in learning more about this book/series? Check out the links below!
Have you read With This Pledge? How about any of Tamera Alexander’s other books? Are you a fan of Civil War historical fiction? Let’s talk down in the comments!
Love and happy reading,