St. Martin's Mar 2003, 24.95, 320 pp.
In 1837 at a West Point ball, Cadet William Sherman sees the sister of a peer on the dance floor with one of the recent graduates. He intercedes over the anger of her partner to claim the remainder of the dance with Cecilia Stovall, a beautiful southern belle. The two hit it off, but William is not good enough as far as the aristocratic Stovall brood is concerned. Her parents whisk her off to Europe though she continues her correspondence with dear William. However, ultimately they force her to marry a wealthy planter and he eventually takes a wife.
During the Civil War, they meet and realize the passion and love still remains strong between them. However, will his love for her prove stronger than his military march to cut the south in half by avoiding her home and her city? Or will he butcher one more place when he brings the horrors of war to the populace?
MY DEAREST CECILIA is an engagingly deep romantic historical fiction novel based on the true star crossed love between General Sherman and Southern belle Cecilia Stovall. The story line provides insight into Sherman turning him into a full person and not just a war hero or “Butcher” depending on your perspective. Diane Haeger uses real persona and events to anchor her fictionalized account of the two-wannabe lovers. Fans receive a strong tale that will send much of the audience seeking THE SECRET LIFE OF KING GEORGE IV; another romantic historical novel that along with this book shows Ms. Haeger has carved out a unique niche for herself.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner