Also by this author: All Through the Night
Published by Tyndale on January 5, 2021
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Historical
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With her stammering tongue and quiet ways, Cadence Piper has always struggled to be accepted. After the death of her mother, Cadence sets her heart on becoming a nurse, both to erase the stain her brother has left on the family's honor and to find long-sought approval in the eyes of her father. When Dorothea Dix turns her away due to her young age and pretty face, Cadence finds another way to serve . . . singing to the soldiers in Judiciary Square Hospital. Only one stubborn doctor stands in her way.
Joshua Ivy is an intense man with a compassionate heart for the hurting and downtrodden. The one thing he can't have is an idealistic woman destroying the plans he's so carefully laid. When the chaos of war thrusts Cadence into the middle of his clandestine activities, he must decide if the lives at stake, and his own heart, are worth the risk of letting Cadence inside.
Everything changes when Joshua and Cadence unearth the workings of a secret society so vile, the course of their lives, and the war, could be altered forever. If they fight an enemy they cannot see, will the One who sees all show them the way in the darkest night?
All Through the Night by Tara Johnson is a beautiful story about nursing during the Civil War. It was my first Tara Johnson novel, but it definitely won’t be my last! Bringing to life the realities and tragedy of the Civil War, All Through the Night pictures the era’s humanity and beauty amid tragic awfulness.
I loved the characters, Cadence especially. She was such a lovely heroine, but one of her biggest flaws was that she always believed herself to be less than. She tried so hard to gain her father’s approval, to make up for the loss of her mother. Her brother was also a huge disappointment to their family, and she so desperately wanted to make up for what that did to her father. But in spite of all her efforts, it was never enough.
When she heard of the opportunity to be a nurse, she wanted that so desperately. But then, when she asked Dorothea Dix, the head nurse, if she could be a volunteer, she was rejected there, too. But finally, when the need at the hospital is so desperate, and they are unable to get the volunteers they need, they are willing to accept her, even if she is “too young and too pretty” (which was the reason she was given initially for not being accepted as a nurse).
As she put her heart into learning nursing, Cadence discovered nursing was something she COULD do really well, even if she did have a rocky start (my heart went out to her when she had to stand in on that first dreadful surgery, the one that caused her to faint…).
And then there’s Joshua Ivy. He was not a character I cared much for at the beginning. So gruff, so uncaring. There was so much tension between these two characters. But as the story progressed, and Cadence and Joshua got to know each other, well I did change my mind about him. And I loved seeing their relationship grow and change.
I also enjoyed seeing real characters from history in this book – Dorothea Dix, Fanny Crosby, to name just a few.
Tara Johnson just did a really good job at bringing that day and age to life on these pages. The characters felt real. The setting was beautifully depicted. Nursing in those days definitely had a romance all its own. But it was not a thing of beauty. It was terrible. And tragic.
For lovers of historical fiction, I definitely recommend you read this book!