The Occupation of Eliza Goode: A Civil War Novel

Shelley Mickle, Author
Shelley Fraser Mickle. Koehler (www.koehlerbooks.com), $17.95 trade paper (314p) ISBN 978-1-938467-69-1
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Release date: 11/01/2013
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-940192-15-4
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-306-85077-3
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In Mickle's (The Assigned Visit) extraordinary new novel, a cache of letters from the Civil War era is discovered in a relative's attic, bringing the powerfully narrative, ancestral voice of Eliza Goode to life in her own words, and through the character of Susan Masters, a novelist living in modern day. Raised in Madame Francine's high-end New Orleans parlor house, where her mother was a prostitute, beautiful Eliza was promised as a courtesan to an older, wealthy client on her 17th birthday. Days before the deal is sealed, and after the client forced himself on her, Eliza runs away; she survives by her wits and unparalleled beauty, becoming a Confederate camp follower and caregiver to ungrateful, judgmental Rissa McFerrin. The letters are discovered in 2004 by Hadley, who begs her cousin Susan to write Eliza's story; Hadley sees parallels between Eliza's shame and her own, and hopes to use her ancestor's life as a "blueprint." In the tradition of exquisite Southern storytelling, Mickle graciously blends the richness of history, believable characters and a gifted imagination for an exceptional story. (Nov.)
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