Title: From the Heart
Author: Jessica James
Release: January 2011
Genre: Historical Romance
With the boom of artillery all around him, George Pickett writes to his wife-to-be, “Now I go but remember always that I love you with all my heart and soul, with every fiber of my being, that now and forever I am yours – your, my beloved”. He then leaves to lead the most famous charge of the Civil War, Pickett’s Charge. It is the letter of a warrior to his beloved.
This is the kind of letters you will read in Jessica James latest book, From the Heart: Love Stories and Letters from the Civil War. The award-winning author came upon the letters when she was doing research for her Civil War novel “Shades of Gray” a wide ranging portrayal of love, tradition, betrayal and loyalty at the time of the Civil War. She was so moved by the letters that she decided that they needed to be in their own book.
She says that she was motivated to document these letters of romantic love and devotion because the art of the written letter seems to be fading away, to be replaced by the less permanent texting and email. “I picked the letters in the book because they were written by some of the greatest warriors this country has known.” Indeed, when reading through them, I am amazed that men known so well for being men of war could so clearly write of love. Perhaps this is something we could all learn a lesson from; that even men who go into battle on a daily basis must at some time reconnect with the heart.
Not a romance in the traditional sense, I still feel that From the Heart is a collection of love stories and lettersthat are a very apt romantic story of how timeless these emotions are. Let us hope that the coming age of quick text messages and cards from Hallmark instead of true letters will not mean the loss of romance in our lives. Now that would be a true tragic change.