A Thousand Shall Fall


Title:  A Thousand Shall Fall (Shenandoah Valley Saga #1)

Author:  Andrea Boeshaar

Pages:  278

Year:  2015

Publisher:  Kregel Publications

This love story takes place toward the end of the Civil War in the year 1864 in the state of Virginia.  The two main characters are Carrie Ann Bell and Peyton Collier.  Peyton is an officer in the Union Army.  Carrie Ann is a journalist and server at the local town inn.  After her journalist father left to document the Civil War as a reporter, the family farm burned.  Carrie Ann as the oldest daughter is left to find lodging and food for her mentally disturbed mother, who has alienated most of the town, and her two younger sisters.  One morning Carrie Ann finds a note from her 15-year-old sister, Sarah Jane.  She has run away with a peddler who had been passing through.  Carrie Ann sets out to bring her wayward sister home, but finds herself caught in the middle of a fight between Confederate and Union forces.

She is captured by the Union Army, arrested and set to work in the field hospital, aiding wounded soldiers.  When captured, Carrie sees a familiar face.  Peyton Collier had been wounded about a year ago and Carrie Ann had stitched up his wound.  Now as they meet again, sparks fly.  However, Carrie has a secret she is keeping.  Peyton has turned his life around spiritually since the two last met.  Carrie has always counted God as her best friend.  As Peyton has Carrie placed under his protection, he also helps her search for her missing sister.  As the battle for the Shenandoah Valley heats up, Peyton sends Carrie to his aunt’s home for her safety, to continue her search for her sister and also to work as a journalist.

I liked the detailed setting and battle scenes as it made the story more realistic.  I also liked seeing the interactions between the loyalist, Aunt Ruth and her secessionist neighbors.  I appreciate the research the author did to make the story more authentic.  However, the beginning half of the book was too slow for my tastes and I had a hard time pressing forward.  I did stick it out and the last half of the book was much more interesting.  The character of Peyton held my interest more so than Carrie.  His openness about his past and his spiritual enlightenment gave him a deeper appreciation for life in the midst of war.  There is a sequel planned for release in November 2016 titled, Too Deep for Words, featuring Carrie Ann’s sister Margaret.

My rating is 4 stars.

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