I Shall be Near to You
By Erin Lindsay McCabe
Review by Angela DeMott
I Shall Be Near to You is one of the rare cases where the novel itself lives up to the author reviews and jacket cover blurbs. While primarily a love story (a moving and realistic one at that), I Shall Be Near to You surprised me with its terrifying and riveting portrayal of 19th century life during war. The two main characters (Rosetta and Jeremiah) were extremely well-drawn, and Rosetta’s narrative voice was every bit as unique, engaging, and believable as any in the literary canon. Throughout the novel, I kept thinking, “I really wish Rosetta could somehow share a meal and conversation with Ada Monroe.”
Rosetta’s thoughts on war, family, and a woman’s role in society, as well as McCabe’s harrowing description of the bloody Battle of Antietam transcended the page and will not be soon forgotten. I would recommend I Shall Be Near to You for fans of These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner, Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier, or Neverhome by Laird Hunt.
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About the reviewer: Angela’s addiction to reading must have started sometime around second grade when she finished her first chapter book, Bruce Coville’s The Ghost in the Big Brass Bed. She’s been reading classics, literary fiction, mysteries, children’s lit, narrative nonfiction, and much more ever since. She graduated from Southern Virginia University with a B.A. in English and has an M.A. in Publishing from Rosemont College; She’s currently a web writing manager at Hibu, a digital marketing company.