Hostile Union Army militia are on the rampage, burning the homes of Confederate sympathizers. Though justice of the peace Squire Colley has maintained his neutrality during the three years of war, he is beaten and arrested, his house burned and his daughters left homeless.
Eighteen-year-old Adair and her two younger sisters walk as far as they can to try to locate their father. Times are harsh and dangerous, and though innocent, Adair is accused of spying for the Rebels. Her interrogator, Union Major Neumann, is fascinated by her courage and the strength of her convictions. She's sent to a women's prison in St. Louis and he gets a transfer, but not before he promises to help Adair escape and vows to find her when the war is over. Armed with her courage and intelligence, Adair sets out once again to find her father.
With simple, eloquent prose, ENEMY WOMEN is beautiful in its simplicity, Like Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain, it gives us a picture of the war little seen in fiction, especially the horrific conditions in women's prisons. Adair is a heroine who embarks on an odyssey that brings discovery of painful truths, sweet love and a strange sense of peace in the middle of war. SWEET (Now available, 336 pp., $24.95)