TBR reviewer: Cathy
husband. When Josiah Hamilton finds his way to her doorstep, nearly frozen to
death one stormy winter night, she nurses him back to life.
They form a fast friendship, which soon becomes more. When Josiah professes his love for her, she refutes him. But when tragedy strikes, it’s Josiah who comes to her
rescue. Now, Adelaide is forced to confront her love for him which she has both
denied and hidden.
A proposal is made. Will she accept him? If she does, what does that mean for her
Set in the late 1800s, Adelaide's War is a simple story about a widow, Adelaide, whose husband died in the North and South war. The circumstances of his death and his allegiance are brought into question after his demise. To avoid the unpleasant lash back from townsfolk, Adelaide retreats into isolation, living alone and frugally. Her solitude is broken one harsh, snow-stormy night, when she finds a man, Josiah, frozen and half-conscious at her front door. She nurses him to good health. He too has lost loved ones, it transpires; they both feel, by this common link, that there is a bond between them, but she is resistant to anything resembling an advance by Josiah. A subsequent near-death experience for Adelaide ultimately helps her decide what course her life should take.
And back to my comment on novellas; in this particular instance, whilst Adelaide is an admirable, independent character (I did quite like her) and Josiah an honorable man, the story was lackluster and the speed with which events unfold stretched my credibility too far –especially when no more than a kiss passes between the couple.
The plot outline is reasonable enough, and if the book had been longer, both the plot and the characters (who were worth getting to know more) could have been developed more fully. I felt the book lacked substance, although I did warm to Ms. Kees easy-going style. I was disappointed to find some errors in the book, too many for a short story. In one instance, Adelaide's former husband’s name was used instead of Josiah's and others that should have been avoided. The book is short. Multiple rereads to eliminate these and other typos should not have been a problem.
It only took me a short car journey to read this book, but I felt quite flat at the
end of this novella.
the distance. Her heart leapt and that feeling startled her. He was nothing more
than a stranger, and no more than a friend at most. Yet, she was overjoyed at
his impending presence.
How silly, she thought. I’m a grown woman, not some girl set about waiting
for a beau to court her. That part of her life had long since passed and was
buried and gone along with James. Or was it?
“What brings you out this way?” she asked, upon his approach, doing her best
to maintain calm and collected. Just the slightest hint of coyness tinged her
“I was passing through, and I thought I’d stop in,” he said, with an added
“How’s the farm?”
“It’s been good. This spring, planting will take a lot of work and of course
the fall harvest. This isn’t our busiest time of year. And yourself?”
“I’m pretty good,” she replied. “Trapper Marg was around to trade some
rabbits for my jam. She’s around quite often when making her runs. Other than
that, it’s quiet as expected. Just the way I like it.”
Adelaide motioned to the cabin. “There’s coffee and fresh buns, if you’re
interested. It beats standing out here in the cold.”
“Sound good,” he replied. “Lead on.”
She poured coffee and set a plate of buns on the table before taking her seat
across from Josiah.
“I couldn’t help but notice the rifle next to the door. Are you nervous being
here alone? Is that why you keep it close?”
“Josiah,” she started. “I don’t kid myself about the realities of this world.
And yes, I am a woman alone. This may not be the best place for me, but it’s
home. Where else would I go? Town isn’t an option. I can hardly bear going there
for supplies when I have to.”
“I know about James,” he said. “And the talk. Don’t let them get to you. A
house in town might be better for you.” He reached across the table and grabbed
her hand. “I’m concerned.”
“You’re bold. What they say about James isn’t true. I know it and I shouldn’t
have to defend him to anyone.”
“You don’t have to. Not to me, Adelaide.”
She resisted the urge to pull away from him, to ask him to leave. He forced
her into a most uncomfortable situation, and she wasn’t quite sure how to
“I’m fine here. This cabin suits me fine. I’ve done so now for almost two
years with no troubles. Besides, I wouldn’t fit in with…them. No, this is my
home. This is where I’m meant to be.”
“In time, they would accept you.”
“They wouldn’t. They talk, they gossip and they say things…terrible things. I
don’t want any part of that, ever.” She snatched her hand from his, her eyes
falling to her cup.
She didn’t dare look at him. Tears clouded her vision. How dare he bring this
emotion out in her?
“You know about James.”
“Yes,” he said, with a nod.
“If it had been true, surely I wouldn’t have received the letter I did after
his death from the army.”
“Would you allow me to see this letter?”