Today's Grateful List/31 December 2015

  • Going to get answers no matter what

Monday, October 04, 2010

Rinaldi Back In Form

Fourteen year old Tacy Stryker is frustrated; the youngest and only girl of the family, she's left in the care of her mother and older brother David as she watches her other two older brothers and her father go off to fight for the Union. It's not that Tacy is a bad person, but she chafes under the close scrutiny of David, who is himself frustrated because an old injury keeps him from joining the Union Army. So when the battle of Gettysburg begins, Tacy's already frayed nerves take an even larger beating as David cracks down on her sassiness as the bullets fly by their home. Mix in keeping an African American friend and her mother safe, a fight with an old friend, and losing her beloved horse, and you have a young woman with very identifiable problems in a horrendous historical setting.

Rinaldi's been hit or miss with me for a few years now, but The Last Full Measure is a return to form for the author. Relatively short (just over 200 pages), the book focuses less on the actual fighting than it does on the relationships and feelings of the Stryker family. Expecting Rinaldi to gloss over events, I was pleasantly surprised at how well she described what was going on while still keeping the focus on rebellious Tacy. There is a shocker toward the end that had me glued to the pages until I could see how Tacy was going to survive; there are lots of emotions involved in these short pages. My only argument would be that I would have liked to have seen the book be a little longer, but that's a minor issue. I can now say I have lived through Gettysburg through the eyes of a young woman experiencing devastating loss and courage. Recommended.


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