Varina

Varina

Book - 2018
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"Her marriage prospects limited, teenage Varina Howell agrees to wed the much-older widower Jefferson Davis, with whom she expects the secure life of a Mississippi landowner. Davis instead pursues a career in politics and is eventually appointed president of the Confederacy, placing Varina at the white-hot center of one of the darkest moments in American history"
Publisher: New York : Ecco Press, 2018
ISBN: 9780062405982
0062405985
Branch Call Number: FIC Fraz
Characteristics: 356 pages ; 24 cm

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n
nancynice
Aug 06, 2018

This is a beautifully written novel! Metaphors make the environment come alive. The characterization makes the reader admire this woman placed in an unbearable situation. I loved her and grieved for her at the end.

c
CL1014
Jul 14, 2018

Author of Cold Mountain.

wendybird Jul 11, 2018

I am a big Charles Frazier fan -- I've read all his novels, and "Cold Mountain" will forever remain one of my very favorites.
With Varina, he returns to the American Civil War for plot, and to his incredible way with language. This time his main character (Varina, or - as she is referred to throughout, simply "V") is someone plucked from true history : the 2nd wife of the 1st President (and only) of the Confederate States, Varina Howell Davis.
V. married the successful lieutenant Jefferson Davis (whom she describes early in their courtship as a complex man - seeming neither young, nor old, and 'the kind who would rescue me from a mad dog at any risk). Indeed, Davis was older - 45 to her 18 at marriage. Educated, lovely, lively and well raised, Varina went on to enjoy her time in Washington before the horrors of succession, Sumter, and beyond.
My time with the book was worthwhile, and I enjoyed it. However, the tale is not for those who wish a novel to move faster than a paddleboat on the Mississippi, or who want specific, tightly hewn sentences. "Varina" is for those who wish to be caught up - and stay awhile - in the complex, messy, beautiful, haunting world of the American South during and after the Civil War.

b
brangwinn
Jun 12, 2018

I didn’t know much about the wife of the Confederate State President, Jefferson Davis, but now I do. I think she’s a person I’d like to know and I would love to have Oprah interview. Varina was an intelligent, strong willed woman who was comfortable in her skin. She didn’t rely on a man to shape her personality. I wonder if she’d have been the US Senator instead of her husband, if history would have been different.

t
TheresaAJ
Jun 11, 2018

This is a book you read for eloquent language and sentence structure. Frazier can share a lot of historical detail in just a sentence or two. One can only imagine the amount of research he did to let you know that a child's doll was used for smuggling morphine. Set during the last year of Varina Davis' life, Frazier uses the device of a grown-up child who visits an important figure of his past to delineate his own life pattern. In a series of Sunday visits, Varina relays her life experiences from childhood to the present for the reader. History, as told through Varina's eyes, becomes intimate, personal, and often cynical and cutting about the motives and actions of Civil War era politicians. Her views and opinions paint a very complex picture of a turbulent time in American history.

d
DaisyJay
May 01, 2018

Read 50 pages then reluctantly gave up. I couldn't get into it.

l
LyndaLovelyWright
Apr 17, 2018

Lost interest, just seemed to go on and on

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