The Marriage Tree
by W. J. Eaton
URLink Print and Media

"She wondered if America would ever be the same."

Fate brings Evangeline and Liam together as kids but separates them once they are adults. It's by chance that they meet near the old tree by the creek. And although they become fast friends, their respective families' opposing views of slavery keep them apart. However, with the Civil War looming closer, the two childhood friends secretly marry under the same old tree, unaware of what fate has in store for them.

This historical novel, set both before and during the Civil War, chronicles a young woman's journey during a tumultuous period in America's history. Evangeline's path from single mother to Union spy gives her a strange and wonderful opportunity to navigate America's streets and social classes in a unique way, leading her to rub elbows with prominent, powerful people and be very well informed. The author does a great job of conveying historical accuracy in the story, from dates and events lining up to the general attitudes prevalent during 1860s America.

Eaton puts Evangeline in the center of the behind-the-scenes action, giving readers a better understanding and knowledge of the policies and thoughts behind one of the nation's most devastating wars. As a character, Evangeline is highly admirable. She is hardworking and determined, as well as steadfast in her faith and beliefs. Overall, she is a morally good character that one can't help but root for. Evangeline ends up leading a very full life, one that is vastly different from the one in the farmland where she grew up. It is a life that comes full circle as she finds happiness and stability.

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