First part of a Civil War trilogy, this book does a good job of interlacing the beginnings of the War Between the States with the actions of her fictionalized characters. It is 1859 and John Brown has come to Harper's Ferry.
Kiernan, who has been in love with Jesse Cameron most of her life, is good friends with Daniel Cameron and their sister Christa. Jesse makes a difficult decision - to fight on the Union side, even though it estranges him from Kiernan, his family (they are wealthy Virginia plantation owners) and life-long neighbors.
Kiernan is a loyal rebel, a Virginian who, like Jesse's brother Daniel, supports the Confederacy. Kiernan marries a man she doesn't love because he is a Confederate too. Thus begins a tale brimming with love, hate, desire and despair.
All the characters breathe, struggle and grieve that their way-of-life is disappearing. Jesse's situation is a particularly fascinating study in the anguish of family unity coming apart over states' rights. Graham does such a good job of building tension; if Jesse wasn't already used to going his own way (he was a physician as well as a soldier), it might be hard to believe he could withstand the pressure.
The thing that was a bit too convenient was the number of times Jesse was able to intervene in the local situation. However, Graham has a good answer for this ... Virginia (where the action was taking place) was embroiled most in the fighting, particularly during these early years.
The research done to make this novel realistic was extensive - and it shows. I can hardly wait for the next book! 4.5 stars
Cameron's Saga: Civil War Trilogy
1. One Wore Blue (1991)
2. And One Wore Gray (1992)
3. And One Rode West (1992)