Soldier Girl Blue Reviewed
If you’re a fan of Civil War fiction with drama, suspense, an engaging plot, and an interesting historical twist, Soldier Girl Blue by J. J. Knights is for you. Inspired by the true story of a young woman who escaped an arranged marriage by fleeing to the United States, disguising herself as a man, and serving in the army during the Civil War, it recounts the fictional story of Emily who does just that. Pretending to be a young man, she serves as a corporal and battlefield nurse on the Union side. The complication of a secret romance with a fellow Canadian, and the introduction of a brutal antagonist who crosses her path more than once and has revenge in his eyes add to the unfolding drama.
I enjoyed reading Soldier Girl Blue. In Emily, Knights presents a heroine of great courage, conviction, passion, and ability: an ordinary young woman who willingly marches into an extraordinary situation and places herself in harm’s way. The narrative is well paced, flowing, descriptive, and suspenseful. Emily’s series of adventures, set against the historical background of bloody battlefields and well-disguised espionage, introduces a wide spectrum of secondary characters from both sides of the conflict. I especially liked the portrayal of several former slaves whose intelligence, courage, and loyalty prove invaluable to Emily’s survival. In recounting Emily’s story, Knights offers a tribute to Canadians who made the journey south to join a war that wasn’t theirs, and to women who served in non-traditional roles as combatants and spies. An entertaining and educational read.