Holby captures the Civil War, through one family's experiences, in a way that makes every aspect of the war come to life.

After a horrific battle, Jake awakens in a hospital to see a lovely "angel" caring for him. He has no memory of what happened, and even the letter in his Confederate uniform pocket tells him nothing about who he is or where he's from.

As Shannon Mahoney tends to the wounded soldier, she realizes she can't do anything about Jake's lost memories. But she can give him new ones and take a chance by escaping her abusive father and building a life with Jake.

Meanwhile, Jake's sister Jenny is fighting a battle to save the family ranch from a ruthless land baron, and Jenny's friend Grace, who has lost so much in the war, discovers that she is pregnant.

If you're fascinated with the Civil War, Holby gives you everything you want and more in a tale that sweeps across most of the nation. The broad scope of the novel is both its strongest point and its weakest link. Even though characters' stories are woven together, there is a great deal to take in, from battles to ruthless land barons, amnesia to guilt, new loves to old ones, all of which can be difficult to follow. SENSUAL (Dec., 368 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin