Book Nostalgia: Dear America’s “A Light in the Storm”
By Guest Blogger on August 9th, 2012
Today, Emily Burns is here with a new #booknostalgia post on a book that’s not-so-nostalgic after all (we relaunched the series recently!): Dear America!
As I shamelessly revealed in Lia’s “Geekret” post a few weeks ago, I am utterly obsessed with Abraham Lincoln. So, deciding which book to read for this post was a synch! I chose to reread one of my old favorites – A Light in the Storm: A Civil War Diary of Amelia Martin by Karen Hesse.
Just to recap – A Light in the Storm is a part of the Dear America series. It is a fabulous fictional account of the beginning of the Civil War as seen through the eyes of a young girl named Amelia (aka Wickie). And, of course, it occasionally involves Lincoln and the trials of his early presidency.
What I Remember
Before picking up this novel for a second time, it was easy for me to recall a few things (other than Honest Abe’s political presence throughout the book). First, it was hard to forget Wickie’s awesomely unique job as a light-keeper in her father’s lighthouse! Second, I remembered the issue of slavery vs. abolition, which is heavily present throughout the book. And finally, I vaguely recalled Wickie’s beloved cat and friend, Napoleon.
After Revisiting “A Light in the Storm”
After rereading this novel, I was reminded of the intense feeling of division within the story. Not only did Amelia feel the tension of a divided Union and Confederate country, she felt the same tension in her home state of Delaware and in her own family. Even Wickie’s mother and father began arguing due to their differing opinions on the topic of slavery.
I was also reminded of Wickie’s romantic relationship with Daniel Worthington, who was the older brother of her departed friend William. Though the novel can be sad and tense at times, I was warmed by the sweet love story in which Daniel goes off to fight for the Union in the Civil War and asks that Wickie wait for him. She is proud of her beloved soldier, but hopes for his return every day.
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