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Enemy Women: A Novel (P.S.) Paperback – Import, 10 April 2007
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“I loved…it provides the greatest suspense a story can offer: will someone we’ve come to love persevere and prosper?” -- Anna Quindlen
“…remarkable happens...it becomes inspired… Adair becomes a storyteller in order to survive. And so - triumphantly - does Paulette Jiles.” -- New York Times Book Review (cover)
“This is a book with backbone, written with tough, haunting eloquence.” -- New York Times
“Jiles paints the struggles of the era with the same intensity as Charles Frazier’s 1997 bestseller Cold Mountain …” -- People
“Sure to be touted as a new COLD MOUNTAIN...stark, unsentimental, yet touching novel will not suffer in comparison.” -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A remarkable debut… Splendid.” -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“…beautifully written passages…a real page-turner.” -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“...[G]ifted Missouri historian...acutely portrays Missouri’s logistic misfortune as a hotbed of both Union and Confederate violence.” -- Booklist
“Enemy Women is all strength and poetry, as are history’s grandest ordinary women and extraordinary writing.” -- Kaye Gibbons
“You know what it means when there is Paulette Jiles inside? Be smart. Open the book.” -- Gordon Lish
“ENEMY WOMEN...has a Homeresque feel to it. Like something written by an old soul.” -- Carolyn Chute
“Jiles has created an unsentimental yet tender world of destruction, despair, and hope that’s a joy to inhabit.” -- Entertainment Weekly
“Comparing Enemy Women to Cold Mountain doesn’t quite do Jiles’s novel justice.” -- Washington Post
From the Back Cover
For the Colleys of southeastern Missouri, the War between the States is a plague that threatens devastation, despite the family’s avowed neutrality. For eighteen-year-old Adair Colley, it is a nightmare that tears apart her family and forces her and her sisters to flee. The treachery of a fellow traveler, however, brings about her arrest, and she is caged with the criminal and deranged in a filthy women’s prison.
But young Adair finds that love can live even in a place of horror and despair. Her interrogator, a Union major, falls in love with her and vows to return for her when the fighting is over. Before he leaves for battle, he bestows upon her a precious gift: freedom.
Now an escaped "enemy woman," Adair must make her harrowing way south buoyed by a promise . . . seeking a home and a family that may be nothing more than a memory.
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- Publisher : William Morrow Paperbacks; Reissue edition (10 April 2007)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0061337633
- ISBN-13 : 978-0061337635
- Item Weight : 268 g
- Dimensions : 2.01 x 13.49 x 20.32 cm
- Country of Origin : USA
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from other countries
The prose is magnificent: muscular, vivid, poetic, very American. Idiosyncratically, there are no quotation marks around dialogue, which is irritating at first; but one soon gets used to it.
Union troops - both regular army and a lawless and brutal militia - are more or less in control of Missouri, though resisted by Confederate guerillas. The central figure of the book is Adair Colley, aged eighteen when the militia took away her father, a local judge, as a suspect, stole their horses and plundered and wrecked her house. Adair and her two younger sisters set out on a 120 mile walk to the local Union headquarters to find out where their father had been taken. When they got there, Adair was arrested, accused of giving information to Confederates, and sent to a grim women's prison in St. Louis. Major William Neumann, who interrogates her, says she can be free if she writes an account naming the people to whom she is said to have given information. Instead she writes a poetic account of her life, and then a further account of a Confederate plot which is quite obviously a spoof. The major is charmed by these; he has already been impressed by this feisty and fearless young woman.
He falls in love with her and she with him. Having found the task of interrogating women distasteful, he asked to be transferred to fighting units (and there will be grisly accounts of what he experiences at the front); and before he goes, he helps Adair to escape from the prison.
Wracked with consumption, she makes her way back towards her home. In one place (the coincidence is hard to believe) she is reunited with her favourite horse, and, even harder to believe, even finds a horse that had belonged to her sister. Afoot or on horseback, it is a long and circuitous route, as she has to avoid roads where she might meet soldiers of either side; and there are many pages of descriptions of the wild terrain through which she travels - many days without seeing a soul, punctuated at times by friendly or by dangerous encounters. One marvels at Adair's courage and endurance, even if I found the account of this odyssey a little too long. Her journey ends (but does not end) and the Civil War has just ended also. Tough-minded Paulette Jiles does not give us, after such traumas, even a relatively happy ending.