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Reviewed by Brenda Casto for Readers' Favorite
Shenandoah: Daughter of the Stars by Nancy Johnson took me back to the days of the Civil War when fourteen-year-old Hannah Yeager, her thirteen-year-old brother Willy and their friend Charlie Richison find themselves growing up all too quickly because of the war raging around them. Hannah is content with life on the family farm, but Willy longs to be a part of the action and runs off to join a band of raiders, while Charlie finds himself in the midst of a struggle when the Virginia Military Institute is drawn into a skirmish in the Battle of New Market. When the fighting comes to the Yeager farm, Hannah's life will never be the same.
Nancy Johnson creates very believable characters with Shenandoah: Daughter of the Stars. Her writing easily evoked real emotion, allowing me to understand the urgency that Willy felt in wanting to join the fighting, but I could also understand his parents' perspective as well. Each character lends a unique voice to the story, providing different perspectives that really add dimension to the plot. I loved the strength of Hannah, and the character of Crazy was one that I could really believe might have lived during that time.
Ms. Johnson's writing paints a vivid portrait of the tumultuous times that went on during the war. That, along with the mention of many very real people, lent a sense of realism to the story, making me feel like I was getting a bit of a history lesson as the story unfolded. The great attention to detail, coupled with very realistic characters and more than a few surprising twists, made for a page turning read, one that left me wanting to know more about Hannah and Willy. This story will appeal to young and old alike, especially fans of Civil War fiction. While this book is the third in a series it can easily be read as a stand alone. I really had no idea that it was part of a series until I finished it. A great Civil War fiction tale that allows readers to step into the lives of three unique characters!