Julie Matsen shared another stellar review for our Goodreads page in December.
The American Civil War is a favorite subject among historical fiction enthusiasts in the United States. The heartrending notion of brothers and countrymen pitted against each other lends itself to family drama, while the fight between states’ rights and human rights has been fodder for political commentary since the late nineteenth century. In her debut novel, Maria Hummel transcends the textbook accounts of the war, wrapping readers in both the viscera of the front lines and the heartbreak of the home front. Teenage cousins Laurence and Isabel “Bel” Lindsey are thrust into the war of ideals when they try to help a runaway slave escape to Canada. Laurence later enlists in the Union army, leaving his Vermont home for gray Potomac winters and deafening battlefields. Bel, who has been left behind, must unravel an uncomfortable family secret while keeping a few of her own under wraps. Maria Hummel is a gifted nonfiction writer, and her prose shines in “Wilderness Run.” Even the characters who have a purposeful vapidity were fleshed out beautifully, and the dynamic central cast of characters was even more so. The text has a way of sucking in readers; I wish had the joy of reading it all in one sitting, and reading it in a day sufficed.
You can read Hummel’s Waves in s[r] Issue 3.