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Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite
“It is well that war is so terrible, else we should grow too fond of it.” – General Robert E. Lee CSA. Movin’ On is a historical fiction by Peter D. Fleming. Lieutenant Robert Simms, separated from his Missouri Confederate troop while fighting, finds refuge at Sandra Bray’s homestead. However, a group of misfit Union soldiers led by Captain Beaver appears and Simms is taken prisoner. Beaver accuses Sandra of treason for harbouring Simms, but offers her an ultimatum she dislikes. First Lieutenant Harris probes Beaver’s reluctance to return to Cape Girardeau. A few of the soldiers find Sandra and her slave Amy desirable, but the women avoid their flirtations. This only infuriates the lustful men who are determined to have their way. The women gather all the weapons they can find while requesting Simms’ help. They would rather kill to preserve their lives and are willing to give a demonstration to prove it.
War creates other conflicts in which civilians sometimes find themselves becoming unwilling participants in order to survive. Peter D. Fleming writes a compelling book that gives great examples of these types of struggles. It is a contemplative story that’s moderately paced with good twists and action befitting the 1860s era. Some characters were interesting because their temperaments and backgrounds highlighted levels of intelligence, compassion, ignorance, and survival skills, combined with humorous southern dialogue. The women were strong and relied on sharp wits to make the ruinous war work to their personal advantage. I enjoyed Movin’ On.