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Product Description

2015 Christy Award winner!
ECPA 2015 Christian Book Award Finalist!
Near the end of the Civil War, inhumane conditions at Andersonville Prison caused the deaths of 13,000 Union soldiers in only one year. In this gripping and affecting novel, three young Confederates and an entire town come face-to-face with the prison’s atrocities and will learn the cost of compassion, when withheld and when given.

Sentry Dance Pickett has watched, helpless, for months as conditions in the camp worsen by the day. He knows any mercy will be seen as treason. Southern belle Violet Stiles cannot believe the good folk of Americus would knowingly condone such barbarism, despite the losses they’ve suffered. When her goodwill campaign stirs up accusations of Union sympathies and endangers her family, however, she realizes she must tread carefully. Confederate corporal Emery Jones didn’t expect to find camaraderie with the Union prisoner he escorted to Andersonville. But the soldier’s wit and integrity strike a chord in Emery. How could this man be an enemy? Emery vows that their unlikely friendship will survive the war—little knowing what that promise will cost him.

As these three young Rebels cross paths, Emery leads Dance and Violet to a daring act that could hang them for treason. Wrestling with God’s harsh truth, they must decide, once and for all, Who is my neighbor?

Product Details

Trim Size:
5.5 x 8.25 in.

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“Americus, Americus. Is it possible you are not aware of the appalling conditions of starvation and neglect of the human beings incarcerated in the Andersonville Prison? Is it possible a mere ten miles separates Heaven from Hell?” states the handbill in Tracy Groot’s novel, "The Sentinels of Andersonville." At three hundred and sixty-eight pages, this historical fiction targets those interested in the clash between the North and South during the American Civil War, from the standpoint of an actual prison based in Georgia. With gruesome details of malnourishment and suffering along with minor slang and intentional misspellings for dialect emphasis, it would be geared toward mature readers. Sadly, America’s history of hatred for one another is truthfully displayed in this intersecting story of three individuals during the late eighteen hundreds in the South. There is Rebel Emery Jones who has captured a Union Jack but conscientiously struggles as he enjoys his charge’s conversation and companionship while delivering him to the Andersonville Prison. There is young, patriotic Southern belle Violet Stiles, sheltered from the cruelties of war, yet adamantly determined to stoically help its cause. And there is Dance Pickett, a cynical university man stuck on prison patrol on top of the wall over-looking the vast sea of dirty, starved soldiers. All have a deep compassion for the condemned souls, even if they are their sworn enemies. As the nearby town of Americus closes its eyes to the atrocities at the twenty-six acre prison that contains up to forty-five thousand prisoners with almost a third dying, the three try with all their resolve to give aid and food to those in diseased, barbaric conditions, as they avoid accusations of being Union sympathizers and traitors. While Emery makes a pledge to his new-found friend and Violet witnesses a man’s life deduced to nothing, Dance must come to terms of what he truly believes. When the three realize how their homeland has forgotten and forsaken those so similar to themselves, they are committed to bringing the pathetic, inhuman realities of stockade life to the public. Written with both compassionate and witty dialogue, readers are pulled from the bloody battlefield to filthy, flowing prison rivers as friendships are formed, hearts are broken, and beliefs and values are determined. Groot’s page-turner brings to light how mankind can be either cruel and heartless or loving and redemptive, even during war. Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for furnishing this book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinions.

I enjoyed Sentinels of Andersonville, as I love historical fiction, and the author, Tracy Groot, did a wonderful job writing this book. The characters are very detailed, and the story is brought to life. You feel what it is like in Andersonville through the eyes of a guard, a young woman who wants to be kind, and a man who has made a friend with an enemy. You see how hard it was to be kind without being called a traitor, the risks people took, how to keep your friendship, and what it takes to keep your promise.