Christian Chapters – Review and Giveaway: A Thousand Shall Fall by Andrea Boeshaar

A Compelling, Civil War Era Historical Christian Romance

A Thousand Shall Fall
by Andrea Boeshaar


Series: Shenandoah Valley Saga  (Book 1)
Publication Date: November 27, 2015
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Length: 287pp
ISBN-13: 978-0825443817

Related Links:
Andrea Boeshaar’s Website
Publisher’s Website
Blog Tour Landing Page (Visit for other reviews!)

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About the Author

Andrea Boeshaar is the cofounder of American Christian Fiction Writers and runs “The Writer’s ER,” a coaching service for writers. She is the author of thirty published works, including Threads of Faith, a finalist in the Inspirational Readers Choice Awards. Andrea is also the author of a popular devotional and regularly blogs on a number of sites.

Andrea Boeshaar


Publisher Synopsis

A story of love, hope, and healing set in the midst of the Civil War

Nineteen-year-old Carrie Ann Bell is independent and spirited. The only thing she really fears are the Union soldiers fighting against her Confederate friends. When her youngest sister runs away from home, brave Carrie Ann is determined to find her and bring her back. Disguised as a soldier, she sets off–only to find she’s fallen into the hands of the enemy.

Her childhood friend Confederate Major Joshua Blevins has warned her against these Yankees: they’re all devils, ready to inflict evil on unsuspecting young women. When Colonel Peyton Collier arrests her for her impersonation of an officer, it seems to confirm all her fears.

Soon, though, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, gallant colonel. He rescued her, protected her, and has been every inch the gentleman. Carrie Ann discovers that her foe has become her ally–and more than that, someone she could love. But the arrival of Joshua in the Union camp as a spy will test her loyalties. Will she protect someone who has been like family or be loyal to this stranger to whom she wants to offer her heart? When her world is being torn apart around her, whom should she trust?

Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, A Thousand Shall Fall is framed around compelling characters and a very romantic setting in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Andrea Boeshaar’s extensive research guarantees historical accuracy and romance genre enthusiasts and Civil War buffs alike will enjoy the Christian perspectives on actual historical events.


My Review

 A Thousand Shall Fall is the first in a new series by Andrea Boeshaar – The Shenandoah Valley Saga. This Civil War era tale, which begins in August, 1864, is also my first experience reading Boeshaar’s work. The novel’s title is inspired by Psalm 91:7:

“A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.” Psalm 91:7, KJV

Contextually, this biblical quote is part of a prayer recited by one of the characters, Aunt Ruth, as several females (with differing loyalties) take shelter in a Winchester, Virginia home while a battle rages outside. While Aunt Ruth is a loyalist and abolitionist living with a freed woman as her housekeeper and friend, the neighbors and longtime friends (or “frenemies,” perhaps?) support the Confederate cause. As it happens, both Aunt Ruth and Carrie Ann, our protagonist, an aspiring journalist who prides herself on her independent stance at the novel’s outset, turn out to be the most objective people concerning the war. So Aunt Ruth petitions God on behalf of the men on both sides when she offers up her prayer.

As a quick aside, I found it interesting that Psalm 91 plays a significant role in this book, as I have personally turned to that Psalm for comfort recently, just days before I began reading the novel.

It’s clear that Boeshaar did extensive research on the Civil War. And though I feel she tried to give a fair and balanced account, I have to admit that I’m a bit disappointed that, for the most part, the Union soldiers and loyalist civilians are portrayed in a positive light, while the opposite can be said about the Confederates and their sympathizers. Still, there are mentions of misdeeds and atrocities being committed on both sides, so I’ll give the author a pass.

Admittedly, being Louisiana born and a resident of Virginia for the past 20 years, I have my own biases. But I fear that too often history is viewed through today’s cultural eyes. It’s altogether too common to make value judgments on people from times gone by based on today’s standards and norms. In that light, I think it can oversimplify things to present the Union cause as both the abolitionist cause and the Christian cause. Certainly there were devout Christians on both sides, and certainly not all Union loyalists were abolitionists. I did, however, like that even loyalists in the novel referred to General Lee as a gentleman.

Though the premise requires some suspension of disbelief, Ms. Boeshaar presents a thoroughly engaging, well-plotted book. Carrie Ann and Aunt Ruth are both delightfully headstrong and feisty women, whom I always delight in meeting in historical fiction — especially if they appear a touch anachronistic. Additionally, Colonel Peyton Collier is a worthy romantic love interest. So much that this Southern girl may have swooned for the valiant “Yankee”.

I particularly enjoyed the novel’s familiar (local, for me) setting as well as the many humorous and lighthearted moments which offset the weight of the serious subject matter. The Christian elements never feel obtrusive or unnatural; similarly, the romantic thread is carefully woven (there is no instant, sudden love) and main characters are treated in sufficient depth.

I was able to sympathize with and care for Carrie Ann and her counterparts. There were even instances that really pulled at my heartstrings. Ultimately, Carrie Ann’s story is one of hope amid heartache, faith amid struggle, and love amid enmity.

At the novel’s conclusion, the war is not yet over. Though we know the outcome of the war, I’d enjoy reading more to find out how Carrie Ann’s story turns out.

— Dawn Teresa

Verdict

4 of 5 Hearts. A Compelling, Civil War Era Historical Christian Romance Starring a Headstrong Southern Woman with Independent Leanings.

Since it’s nearly impossible to write an unbiased account of any historical event, despite my quibble concerning Union bias, A Thousand Shall Fall served as an enjoyable foray into the Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War. It’s evident that Andrea Boeshaar did much research in order to carefully craft a historical tale of faith, hope, and love that also communicates the heartaches and hard realities of war.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I would like to thank LitFuse Publicity Group and Kregel Publications for providing me a free copy of this title. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 


 

** Andrea Boeshaar’s Kindle Fire Giveaway **

Andrea is celebrating the release of A Thousand Shall Fall with a Kindle Fire giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of A Thousand Shall Fall
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6

Enter today by clicking the image below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 10th. The winner will be announced December 11th on Andrea’s blog.

400 - a thousand shall fall
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