Civil War Book Review: Grant Me Timely Grace

It is late June, 1863 and the Army of Northern Virginia is north of the Potomac River with elements well into Pennsylvania.  Jeb Stuart’s Confederate cavalry is close to the Western approached of Washington, D.C. but what is their intent?  An attack on the city?  Needless to say, The Union leadership and their advisers are shaken and desperately searching for ways to counter the threat, or are they?

The soon to be released novel, Grant Me Timely Grace, by Tim Woods, weaves an intricate story of deep cover spies, disgraced military men, diplomatic intrigue and lovely Southern belles into a riveting fictional account of Washington before the Battle of Gettysburg.  The novel revolves around Gerard Chantier, an immensely wealthy expatriate widowed Louisianan who has become the confident of the high Union leadership, his beautiful and brilliant daughter Therese, and Gerard’s longtime friend and assistant, James Bayeaux, who he had freed from being a family slave upon inheriting his wealth.   Add in a disgraced Union officer searching for redemption, a lethal female Southern sympathizer and a suave British intelligence operative  and you have quite a story.

Author Woods has a good command of the Civil War era and moves deftly between actual and fictional events.  He speaks of the intricate defense system of Washington, which also had its flaws which play a role in his narrative.  The byzantine politics of both the Northern and Southern governments are also well related.  A refreshing addition to Civil War fiction is the plotline involving diplomacy and intrigue with the British Empire, a most fascinating what-if.

Grant Me Timely Grace will be appearing soon in e-book format.  It is highly recommended for those who enjoy historical fiction, especially fiction related to the Gettysburg Campaign.


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