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A tumultuous historical novel that takes place from 1838 to 1871 in south Louisiana, with Civil War interruptions that include First Manassas, Shiloh and The Battle of Yellow Bayou. Maps drawn by the author take you into the battles themselves. Photos of battlefields are also included.

Two generations of Irish and Creole families’ lives are told in the setting of a sugar cane plantation with the beautiful, but mysterious Louisiana landscape as a backdrop. A story of a sumptuous lifestyle bought with slave labor, the effects of a devastating war, and the first tentative steps toward recovery are recounted in all their savagery and hope for tomorrow. How a once rich people and land return from “…a howling wilderness” at the end of the war, to recover their spirits and souls is told through the eyes of these two families.

The exotic lushness of this most different of states is brought to vibrant life and includes the colorful Cajuns and their mysterious ways, the woods-dwelling Red Bones, the aristocratic Creoles and the Gypsies that inhabit a peripheral world of their own. The title comes from a quote by Sir Earnest Shackleton describing the survival of the human spirit.

The novel is extensively researched. Louisiana plantation women’s diaries and slave verbal histories are utilized to give an accurate description of day-to-day life.