I Shall Be Near to You by Erin Lindsay McCabe
It's the story of a young woman, Rosetta, who, in an effort to be with her husband as he leaves their home to fight for the Union army, cuts her hair to the nape of her neck and enlists in the army herself as Ross Stone. Together, Ross and her husband try to learn how to be newlyweds, contend with the horrors and uncertainties of war, and keep their dream of owning a farm in the West alive.
The book was a quick read as author Erin Lindsay McCabe has an easy writing style that compliments her characters well. And although I found the story to be a bit too easy to predict, McCabe's characters are real and their emotions compelling.
More than anything, Rosetta's stubborn determination reminded me of many of the books that I read growing up. Books about strong, clever, and often mischievous women who rarely gave in to the challenges they faced.
It was a fascinating exercise, to remember all of the books I read and loved growing up. Each one that I added to the list inspired two more. I challenge you to make your own list and see what your literary past reveals about you!