Homeland by Barbara Hambly

I’ve just finished reading Homeland by Barbara Hambly. It was recommended by a recently retired Librarian who knows my reading style so well. The book is based on letters exchanged between two women during the American Civil War. Set in the time of North versus South their friendship manages to survive. Cora Poole is a Northerner living in on a small island off the coast of Maine. Her husband Emory is secretly fighting for the South. Her friend Susanna Ashford is a Southerner living on a plantation. Susanna is a budding artist who longs to go to art school in Philadelphia. Instead the war sees her helping to care for the wounded and hunting and sewing to support the family, while living with her sister who’s become dependent on her. Her art school dreams end when her sister Julia’s husband joins the army and Julia pleads “Don’t leave me”. Meanwhile in Maine, newlywed Cora finds herself in a family way. Her life consists of raising an infant and helping to care for her parents.  Through years of correspondence the two women share their deepest thoughts and the latest news. They discuss books (one bright spot during the war), art, love and loss. Set against the backdrop of the horrors of war, you’ll marvel at the resiliency of the human spirit. Enjoy.

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