This week's One to Watch comes a bit later than usual, but is no less highly recommended. The book we want to bring to your attention this week is Gone for a Soldier by Kathleen KellyGarlock. I’m a sucker for historical fiction, particularly when there's a strong female protagonist as they can offer a new perspective which may previously have been overlooked in fiction. This has a bold premise, and while I think the story needs some fleshing out, I found myself hooked.
Gone for a Soldier tells the story of Lucy Tessier, a young woman who disguises herself as a man and enlists in the Union army. As you can imagine, you do have to suspend your disbelief a bit (I found myself getting slightly frustrated by the ease with which she disguises herself and there are a few plot holes) but after a few chapters you’ll be swept up by the story, as I was. I couldn't help but think of the film Some Like it Hot, when reading the pitch, and there is a danger that this complicated love triangle storyline could stray into farcical, slapstick territory, but what I have read so far suggests the author will handle this very well.
I’d like to see a bit more of the time in training, and see how the friendships between the men in the company develop, as I’m sure these relationships will be at the core of the story as it progresses. The reader roots for Lucy more and more as we learn more about her past and what she puts herself through to escape it.
If you haven’t already, why not give it a read? If you have, what were your thoughts?
Here’s the pitch:
Life can change with the blink of an eye. Or the thrust of a knife. On the run from the law, Lucy Tessier disguises herself as a boy and joins the Union army.