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5+ stars for That Dickinson Girl: A Novel of the Civil War by @womenwewrite #womensfiction #histfic

Title: That Dickinson Girl: A Novel of the Civil War (Forgotten Women Book 1)

Author: Joan Koster

Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Women’s Fiction

Book Blurb:

“Believable and bittersweet. It captures the era without a single false note.” The Literary Redhead Eighteen-year-old Anna Dickinson is nothing like the women around her, and she knows it. Gifted with a powerful voice, a razor-sharp wit, and unbounded energy, the diminutive curly head sets out to surpass the men of her day as she rails against slavery and pushes for women’s rights. Only two things can bring her downfall—the entangling love she has for her devoted companion, Julia, and an assassin’s bullet. Forced to accompany the fiery young orator on her speaking tour of New England, Julia Pennington fights her growing attraction to the ever more impertinent woman. When a traitor sets out to assassinate Anna, will Julia risk her life to save her? Loosely based on the life of forgotten orator, feminist, and lesbian, Anna Dickinson, That Dickinson Girl is the story of one woman’s rise to fame and fortune at the expense of love during the political and social turmoil of the American Civil War.

My Review:

Have you heard of Anna Dickenson? Like many women in history, she’s not taught in schools, but should be. Thanks to this author, I learned so much about Anna and how much of an impact she made during the American Civil War.

The narration of this book was historically accurate and very descriptive. It read like a movie or mini-series. I only had to read the first chapter before I was hooked.

The characters were so realistic and engaging, I couldn’t help but care for them. Each character had their own backstory, personality, and voice. I connected with each character but in different ways.

The plot moved nice and easy, like most historical fiction, and it captivated my imagination. What impressed me most was how historically accurate it was.

What makes this a must-read book is this is a fictionalized account of a real woman who sparked change in the mid to late 19th century. Anna lived an exceptional life, and this book needs to be read by all.

My Rating: 5+ stars

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Author Biography:

Joan Bouza Koster is an award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction works in the fields of ethnography, education, anti-racism, and the arts. She holds a doctorate from Binghamton University and has published two textbooks on teaching the arts to young children: Growing Artists and Bringing Art into the Elementary Classroom. Her dissertation on Addressing Racism through Children’s Literature was named the most distinguished dissertation in 2005. Her short stories have appeared in several anthologies, and have received awards from Women on Writing, Stone Thread Publishing, Tryst Literary Magazine, and Winning Writers. Her first historical fiction novel longlisted for the Mslexia Award. Under the penname, Zara West, she has published the award-winning romantic thriller series The Skin Quartet. She is currently in the process of writing a historical fiction series about nineteenth-century women who never should have been forgotten. Joan Bouza Koster blogs at, Women Words and Wisdom, American Civil War Voices, and Zara West’s Journal.

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Reviewed by: Sam

1 Comment

Barbara Bettis
Nov 15, 2022

Excellent review. I'm kind of a stickler for historical fact, so I especially like that fact. Best of luck with your book, Joan.

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