Book Review: Fire and Forgiveness

Fire and Forgiveness by Martha Dunsky
Fire and Forgiveness: A Nun’s Truce with General Sherman 
by Martha Dunsky

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


In the midst of the American Civil War, two schoolgirls at the Ursuline Convent School for Girls are at war. Jane and Clara play pranks on each other and call one another names. Mother Superior Baptista Lynch urges the girls to reconcile, reminding them that everyone has good in them, but the girls find it difficult to forgive each other.
General Sherman’s army is marching into Columbia, South Carolina, and Mother Baptista writes to him to beg for protection for her school and convent. The cannons are firing on the city, and the Confederate Army retreats, leaving the city defenseless.
In the middle of so much violence, how can Jane and Clara learn to make the peace, when the adults are constantly at war?
I enjoyed this historical account of two real people, Mother Baptista and General Sherman, and their interactions during the surrender of Columbia, SC. And I thought it was sweet to have a fictional story of two fighting schoolgirls intermixed with the real historical facts, giving the history a perspective that children could understand and relate to.

The story kept my interest, and I loved reading the historical factoids at the end along with old photographs from 1865 showing the devastation in Columbia and other historical landmarks.

I enjoyed that the two stories, the fictional and the true, have the same message of striving for peace in the middle of war, and finding respect for your adversary.

The illustrations are fairly good, but I felt like the colors were too bright. The proportions of the characters don’t always look quite correct. It’s not terrible art, but it could be better. It doesn’t look particularly professional.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

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