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The Sentinels of Andersonville by [Groot, Tracy]
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The Sentinels of Andersonville Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 369 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"It's Andersonville. Men die for no meaning." Such is the overwhelming impression felt while reading Tracy Groot's "The Sentinels of Andersonville" (Tyndale House, $24.99, 368 pages, ISBN 9781414359489), which focuses on the evils both within and without the infamous Civil War prison. Yankee soldiers died by the thousands in squalid conditions that Groot describes with a deft accuracy, interspersed with historical accounts and journal entries from men who died and men who lived.A privileged but well-meaning Southern belle named Violet Stiles discovers the shocking abuses at Andersonville. Aided by a possible suitor named Dance Pickett and a Rebel soldier named Emery Jones, who had to deliver his newfound Yankee friend to the prison, they form a society to bring the horrors to light. Their hometown of Americus, Georgia, is not far from Andersonville, but its residents wish to remain removed from the goings-on there, even when confronted with the sad reality. Groot ably captures the despair of prisoners and soldiers alike, as well as the divided emotions of the Southern townsfolk, who have lost sons to the cause and hate the Yankees but want to be "good Christians." When told of the appalling cesspool that is Andersonville, many won't believe, others believe but won't act, and still more focus only on the technicalities and red tape involved. Groot truthfully renders the struggle between patriotism and Christ's call to help the suffering regardless of their affiliation.--Book Page

Product Description

Near the end of the Civil War, inhumane conditions at Andersonville Prison caused the deaths of 13,000 Union soldiers in only one year. In this gripping and affecting novel, three young Confederates and an entire town come face-to-face with the prison’s atrocities and will learn the cost of compassion, when withheld and when given.

Sentry Dance Pickett has watched, helpless, for months as conditions in the camp worsen by the day. He knows any mercy will be seen as treason. Southern belle Violet Stiles cannot believe the good folk of Americus would knowingly condone such barbarism, despite the losses they’ve suffered. When her goodwill campaign stirs up accusations of Union sympathies and endangers her family, however, she realizes she must tread carefully. Confederate corporal Emery Jones didn’t expect to find camaraderie with the Union prisoner he escorted to Andersonville. But the soldier’s wit and integrity strike a chord in Emery. How could this man be an enemy? Emery vows that their unlikely friendship will survive the war—little knowing what that promise will cost him.

As these three young Rebels cross paths, Emery leads Dance and Violet to a daring act that could hang them for treason. Wrestling with God’s harsh truth, they must decide, once and for all, Who is my neighbor?

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5684 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (Jan. 17 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E1O7FJK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #452,692 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition
Wow! This book is such a powerful read.

When I picked up this book, I had never heard of Andersonville before. When I started reading and realized all the atrocities the prisoners of Andersonville endured, I was stunned.

Of course, this book is a work of fiction, but it is centered around real events. I could feel how the characters felt and really hurt for all the prisoners that actually died there. I can't imagine how the actual sentinels of Andersonville and residents of Americus felt when they wanted to help. It was a very bad situation as they could do little and feared the consequences of their actions.

The book is beautifully written. Throughout the whole novel, it is clear that the author research the topic thoroughly. She really made a point of being as accurate as possible. She retold the horrible events that took place at that time in history in a way that is really heart-wrenching, but also eye opening.

I recommend this book to anyone that wants to know more about the Civil War and Andersonville. But be aware that it is not an easy read, as you have to keep in mind that it was based on historical facts.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xb1c17708) out of 5 stars 304 reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa55b8390) out of 5 stars Sentinels of Andersonvile Feb. 15 2014
By mamaof4 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"The Sentinels of Andersonville" by Tracy Groot, Book Review
Every country has parts of its history that it would like to erase, and the American Civil War should fall into that category. Brother against brother, families and farms ruined by the war and fighting of men. And the fall out of the war was the prisoners. This is the center of this novel, the Andersonville Prison, near the end of the war. The conditions were so bad that the stench could be smelled from a distance away. The South lacked the resources to care for these northern prisoners and so did little.

The novel is extremely detailed, and seems to move very slowly. I was a bit surprised by the Note to the Reader at the very beginning of the book describing that many of the details of the book include unimaginable sufferings, and not sure I even wanted to read any farther. But I did. And it was true. The details were, well, terrible, but showed what really happened.

I had a very difficult time getting into the book, figuring out the characters, following the plots, making since of the story. The details of the conditions were not so terrible that I could not read it, but I think slowed the progress of the story. Overall, this was not a favorite book, and I would only recommend it for those who really enjoy the details of the Civil War.

Disclaimer: I received this from Tyndale Publishers. All opinions expressed are my own.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa55b83e4) out of 5 stars Very Detailed and Cumbersome Oct. 30 2014
By Shane Lems - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I was looking forward to sitting down last night and getting a good start on this book, "The Sentinels of Andersonville." However, I was pretty disappointed after about 20 minutes.

Why? Not because of the subject matter; Groot does her best to tell it like it was. Instead, I was disappointed because it is a difficult and cumbersome read. There are so many names, nicknames, places, and people that it was hard for me to keep track of who was who, what was what, and where was where. Basically, it was an overload of information for me, and it was written in a rather scattered way; there are too many things going on at once. (For the record, my wife wanted to read it too, but didn't get far into it for the same reasons.)

Some readers who already know a lot about Andersonville might like this novel; others who like a mass of details will also like it. However, if you're looking for a clear and straightforward read, you may want to pass on this. Don't forget to use the "Look Inside" feature to see the writing style for yourself.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa55b8dc8) out of 5 stars Well-researched with powerful messages July 12 2014
By J4Life5 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Prior to reading this book, I was familiar with Andersonville only as being the name of a Confederate prison during the Civil War. One of my favorite things about reading historical fiction is that I learn a bit about history that I didn't know before. On rare occasions, a book is so well-researched and presents historical information in such an intriguing way that I feel compelled to read more books on the subject. That is what happened while reading The Sentinels of Andersonville.

I already knew I enjoyed Groot's writing style because I really enjoyed her book Flames of Resistance, but I do think this one is even better. Everything about this book was spot on - the description, the plot, and the characters. If I had anything negative to say, it would be that there were so many characters that sometimes I had to think for a couple of moments to remember the specifics of some of the minor characters, such as the townspeople.

This book is not only good from a historical perspective, but also because the message is so relevant. Sacrifice, loving your enemies, standing up for what is right, even if you are standing alone, mercy, and keeping your word despite the cost are just some of the ideas Groot explores through her characters. I especially like her comments in the afterword about asking ourselves not, "What would Jesus do?" but asking, "What can I do right now?". It really challenges readers to make a difference day by day in our communities and the people we come in contact with.

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a great historical fiction read.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa55b8bdc) out of 5 stars Tough/Promising Subject Bogged Down in Detail and Lack of Focus Dec 18 2014
By Kyle Slayzar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Andersonville is a tough subject in historical discourse as the former CSA concentration camp of captured Union soldiers is riddled with harrowing stories of pain, misery, neglect, and death. To many in the South, Andersonville is still a taboo subject as, many would argue, reconciliation between northern and southern states has yet to be achieved. Upon reading the description of The Sentinels of Andersonville I expected to hear mostly of the Andersonville Raiders and the subsequent Regulators that stopped them or, perhaps, a Gone With the Wind Meets Auschwitz. What I got was none of the above although author Tracy Groot (seriously resisting Guardians of the Galaxy reference) does attempt to complete the latter. Instead, Groot takes the reader on a somewhat haphazard journey that ends up confusing the reader more as the story meanders between seemingly non-connected stories that almost require the reader to go back and study what happened before moving on.

In short there just doesn't seem to be any focus, no real overarching story to tie everything together other than Andersonville itself. The stories almost seem like vignettes but one can tell that the author intended them to connect. On top of that, several seemingly interesting subjects (more interesting than the current story in many cases) get referenced casually and then dismissed leaving the reader with a sense of, "I wanted to know more about that," only to have the author go, "Nope! Moving on with MY story!"

I tried very hard to stay focused on the book but, if the author cannot make the same commitment, neither can I. The book's language may be authentic as are the themes of Andersonville but, with a lack of focus, one cannot simply get involved. Sentinels of Andersonville is a case study of good subjects that are less than adequately written.

I'd still recommend reading it if you can but be ready to run the gauntlet.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa599d180) out of 5 stars The Sentinels of Andersonville by Tracy Groot Sept. 13 2014
By Tina Rice - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
The Sentinels of Andersonville*** by Tracy Groot

This is a fictional story about the Andersonville prison in Georgia where Union soldiers were kept during the Civil War, with history woven through the story. It goes in depth showing the horrendous, inhuman conditions these men faced everyday (you can read the book for more).
Violet Stiles is a southern belle living in the town close to the prison. Her father is a doctor that treats the sick at the prison once a week. Dance Pickett is a prison sentry and Confederate Corporal Emery Jones are the main characters of the story. Violet, Dance and Emery play a major part in the story and their struggles as they try to help those within the prison walls.

Those in the town nearest the prison harbor hatred for the those in the prison as do the prisoners toward the towns people. The story shows how some of the Southern population near the prison come to realize that the prisoners are human and should be treated as such. As some in the town near the prison begin to realize how these prisoners were being treated, they begin to show compassion and mercy by doing the right thing even if some others still harbored hatred. Families and friends of this town find themselves on different sides as to what the right thing to do is.

It was good to see hints of Christian principles of loving everyone—including your enemy—included in the story and how we should live out those principles. However, not only did I find it hard to figure out the plot of the story and the characters involved, I also found the book hard to read as much of the story is within the prison walls. Even so, the author's research on this difficult time in our history can be noted in the story.

~~I received a copy of this book from the Book Club Network for my review~~