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The Spy Lover by Kiana Davenport

The Spy Lover

by Kiana Davenport

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The Civil War is one of my favorite times to read about in history, and I thought I would fall in love with this book. Looks like we will just be friends.

We get to see the Civil War through two Chinese-American's eyes: Johnny and his daughter Era. Both are caught in the middle of the war between the North and South, and both are struggling to survive a fight that isn't necessarily theirs. Their perspectives are very different and the war shapes them in very different ways. There are no real winners in a war, and everyone has a less than happy ending. Just like real life.

I have to confess the author almost lost me during a scene full of pit vipers. I. Hate. Snakes. I was listening to the audio and nearly wrecked my car. It was truly awful. No thank you. More terrifying than any horror novel, hands down.

Decent historical fiction, and interesting characters. I loved Johnny Tom. 3 stars. ( )
  GovMarley | Aug 6, 2017 |
Our backdrop is the Civil War,with intricate depiction.
You'll work through the entwined lives of "a nurse who’s spying for the Union behind enemy lines, a Chinese immigrant who escapes his conscription into the Confederacy to fight for the Union instead, and a wounded Confederate cavalryman.

Era is a nurse who serves on the Confederate side of the battle, exchanging information about the army in hopes of getting word about her father
(Johnny Tom, the Chinese immigrant).
Era nurses to health,Warren Petticomb, (a Confederate cavalryman who lost an arm at Shiloh); and, so their relationship begins.

Hopefully, my hints at the complex layers of this story will compel you to read the novel.
Audio was a good choice and I enjoyed the individuality it assigned to each characters. ( )
  pennsylady | Feb 11, 2016 |
This novel definitely brings the ghastly experience of the Civil War to life, as well as several intensely interesting characters. ( )
  Connie-D | Jan 17, 2016 |
Living in the deep South, usually, when I think “Civil War” I picture white men in either blue or grey uniforms, Abraham Lincoln and Emancipation Proclamation, or the antebellum homes in my area that are still standing. However, Kiana Davenport’s novel “The Spy Lover” has added a whole new dimension to the Civil War for me. Her story follows the journey of Johnny Tom, a Chinese man who is kidnapped into the Confederate army and later defects to the Union side, his daughter, Era, a spy for the Union, and her lover, Warren, a Confederate soldier handicapped by the war. “The Spy Lover” truly offers an untold and unique perspective on the Civil War. Thanks to Davenport I have a new understanding and respect for the minorities that served on both sides.

I recommend this book to everyone interested in Civil War history. However, I must say this novel is not for the faint of heart. Davenport doesn’t sugarcoat the Civil War like “Gone With The Wind” does. This novel realistically depicts death and injury on the battlefield and in the makeshift hospitals, as well as violence against women and minorities. Having finished the novel, I feel like I just got out of the war myself! The story is the right mix of action and drama. The characters came off the page for me, and I was moved by each of their longings for peace and something to live for in and after wartime.

I look forward to Davenport’s future novels!
( )
  vonze | Feb 6, 2014 |
This story showed a different side of the Civil War. The characters are believable and interesting. I had no idea that some Chinese participated in the war. It is interesting to read how the spy, a woman, is able to pass on her information without getting caught. Since it is based on the author's family history, I feel it should be considered a historical novel. Those who enjoy historical novels will enjoy this novel as well. ( )
  LiteraryLinda | Jan 21, 2013 |
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Thrust into the savagery of the U.S. Civil War, a Chinese immigrant fighting for the Union Army, a nurse turned spy, and a one-armed Confederate cavalryman find their lives inextricably entwined. Johnny Tom, a Chinese immigrant, is promised American citizenship if he serves with the Union Army. But first he must survive the carnage of battles and rampant racism among the ranks. Desperate to find him, his daughter, Era, becomes a Union spy while nursing soldiers in Confederate camps. She falls in love with Warren, a one-armed cavalryman, and her loyalties become divided between her beloved father in the North and the man who sustains her in the South.… (more)

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