I remember when I first read Annie, Between the States. I hated history vehemently then, especially American history. In first through fifth grade, all we read is American history. And then, in eighth grade, we read more. So when I read this, in eighth grade, I had learned American history five times, but no teacher had yet enlightened me to its joys (This is not to say that they were bad teachers; I just never had the spark for history then.) I read Annie, Between the States thinking that I knew far too much about the Civil War and that slavery had caused it.

I loved the book and thought that it showed an entirely new perspective on the Civil War. I had never thought about the Southern states, as we learn it from a very Northern, abolitionist view. Annie and Miriam showed me that the Southerners were protecting their way of life, and that many saw slaves as family.

Annie’s thoughts and lifestyle are very unchanged from day to day until a Unionist named Thomas Walker is injured on the battlefield. The federalist surgeon leaves him as dead, and Miriam, Annie’s mother, tends to his wounds, saving his life. A book of Keats’ poetry saved his life, and Thomas shares a few verses with Annie. Soon, though, he questions one of the basic parts of Annie’s life- slavery,

Annie has always accepted slavery, never wondering if it was right or wrong. Her family taught their slaves to read, and Thomas’s query is unbelievable. Annie herself is a suffragette, but Thomas wonders how she can believe she is born with rights while she suppresses others’ rights.

Soon though, Thomas is back in Massachusetts and Annie is fighting the war on her doorstep. She deals with diptheria, gun wounds, and family ties. Just as the war is seemingly over, Annie begins to fall in love (I won’t say who, though, because it’s a surprise)

I absolutely adored this book. It reminded me of a quote by Abigail Adams-

“I have sometimes been ready to think that the passion for Liberty cannot be Eaquelly Strong in the Breasts of those who have been accustomed to deprive their fellow Creatures of theirs.

One thing that really bothered me is the cover. I really like it, but Annie has red hair, not brown. It seems odd that they would mix up such an obvious fact, but maybe they did it on purpose. I wouldn’t know why, though.

I’m very excited to read other books by L. M. Elliott- she’s written many other historical fiction novels such as Under a War-Torn Sky.

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