As a historical romance set in Williamsburg and Richmond Virginia during the Civil War, this book offers a glimpse into the lives of a family torn apart yet loving each other in the midst of tragedy. Beyond that, it is an exciting romance novel, as Southern belle Eden Day falls deeply, helplessly in love with a handsome Yankee journalist! One should certainly read the first of the series, Dawn's Early Light, before reading Yankee Stranger, in order to understand the plot and relationships within families. This is a series worth reading!
Well, not quite, perhaps. A couple of generations get skipped (as do several wars) between the first and second books in this series, but "Yankee Stranger" is well worth the wait. The presence of Tibby Day, now approaching 100, gives the meandering trail between books one and two a context and much-needed continuity -- and the overlap of the generations which this scenario demonstrates has always fascinated me in my own life. As in book one, Thane's characters grip you firmly and draw you unresisting into the tangle of their lives, battered by war and division, anchored by family affection and made luminous by love and passion: Eden, the Titian beauty pulled in different directions by love and loyalty; Cabot, product of an embittered father who learns to love and trust despite the cataclysm of war; Susannah and Sedgwick, the star-crossed lovers who must face the future without each other; and most joyously, Tibby Day, a matriarch in wisdom, a "character" in the idiomatic sense, and the glue that binds the family and the book together.