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The Widow's War    by Mary Mackey order for
Widow's War
by Mary Mackey
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2009 (2009)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

Mary Mackey has written a sprightly tale that takes us from Brazil to Baltimore on into the pivotal state of Kansas, which is in the throes of deciding whether it will enter the Union as a free or slave state.

Carrie Vinton is the kind of woman we all would like to be, afraid of nothing and with enough spunk to get around most obstacles. Unfortunately, the plague comes between her and her great love William in Brazil, and when she hears he has died and knows that she is carrying his child, she allows herself to be married to his half-brother, who has come calling. An avowed abolitionist, Carrie is shocked to discover her husband has only married her for the money he can use to advance the cause of slavery. When she then hears that William is still alive and in Kansas, she sets out to find him, and along the way we learn about runaway slaves, the Underground Railroad and John Brown. It's a dangerous time, but Carrie never lets go of her love for William.

This is a great novel for anyone who enjoys reading about adventurous women. Author Mackey moves the story right along. She is great with dialog, but I do think the sensibilities are a bit modern for that time, and the ending ties up things just a little too smartly. However, these quibbles will not stop you from enjoying this well-researched tale.

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