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Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite
Beyond Ourselves by Patricia J. Romero is a fictional story about the lives and loves of people in the South during the Civil War era. Beyond Ourselves tells the story of what the lives of everyday people were like during one of the most turbulent periods of American history. Julia Claiborne is one such person whose family has owned the plantation of Beulah Land in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia for generations. As the war approaches and escalates, Julia finds herself desperately hoping for the safety of her family and the preservation of her ancestral land that is such an important part of her. The book goes on to describe in vivid detail her daily struggles, hopes, loves, and dreams. Not only that, but during the course of the book, we also get a close up look at several others who are also trying to survive each day, either in their homes or on the war front. Beyond Ourselves shows us that we are all human beings struggling with similar hopes and dreams, whether they be Yankees or Confederates, and truly brings to life the stark reality of war.
Beyond Ourselves by Patricia J. Romero is a well-written novel set against the backdrop of the Civil War. All of the characters are vividly sketched and I could easily picture the scenes in my mind’s eye. The reality of war and the destruction it wreaks on everyone is also realistically portrayed. This is a fascinating historical read, and one that I would recommend to anyone interested in that era or in historical fiction in general.