Sentinels of Andersonville
Author: Tracy Groot
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Tyndale (2014)
Hardcover edition: 368 pages
Source: Personal copy

How are some of the ordinary citizens of Americus, Georgia affected by their proximity to Andersonville Prison late in the Civil War? And what of the soldiers assigned to duty there? Some of these characters refuse to walk on by and are drawn into a fight against the inhumane conditions there.

In recent posts on this blog, we’ve talked about the personal and the passionate when it comes to reading choices. For me, this book is the most enjoyable read so far in 2014. Yes, I like historical fiction and especially the Civil War era. And, I’m a pushover for characters trying to do the right thing. The unforgettable heroine Violet Stiles is not a sentimental Southern girl, but one who is fierce and feisty.

This book is much more than just a read I enjoyed. It is more than a personal choice of material, no matter the passion.

Christy Award-winning author Tracy Groot asks some important questions with her engrossing story and memorable characters. How do we show mercy? Who is your neighbor? What happens when one finds that a situation is not as it seemed? When faced with a seemingly unsolvable dilemma: what are you not doing that you wish you would? What will a person dare in the name of what one believes?

She provides some answers with a heart-warming, engrossing story. It reminds readers the importance of kindness and compassion. We see something of how ordinary citizens are affected by Andersonville Prison, allowed to become a killing ground, located only ten miles from their homes. And we meet soldiers that serve there and watch the horror?

The clarity of her believable plot holds suspense at every turn of the page. The characters are finely drawn. Violet and her family face accusations of treason as they try to bring to light the awful conditions at the prison. Every character is distinct and believable. The dialogue is some of the best I’ve ever read. It carries the story and takes the reader inside the characters, male and female, old and young.

I highly recommend this extraordinary story and what it says about history and human nature. But lessons and philosophy aside, the book is relaxing and fun. Yes, there is romance, too. It is a most enjoyable read.

More about Tracy Groot at her website

I didn’t get a chance to meet this author at the Festival of Faith and Writing last month, but I did pick up her book. She lives in Michigan, and I hope another opportunity to meet her comes along. This is the first I’ve read her work, and I can’t wait to read another of her books. As always, please share your comments.


  1. Post author

    It’s a dandy read, but I need to push historical fiction preference aside to consider that. Also need to check availability around the country for the Summerhouse Group.


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