Review: The Sentinels of Andersonville by Tracy Groot

February 1, 2014

Title: The Sentinels of Andersonville
Author: Tracy Groot
Publisher: Tyndale Fiction
Pages: 348
ISBN: 978-1-4143-5948-9
Publication Date: January 17th, 2014

Near the end of the Civil War, inhumane conditions at Andersonville Prison caused the deaths of 13,000 Union soldiers in only one year. In this gripping and affecting novel, three young Confederates and an entire town come face-to-face with the prison’s atrocities and will learn the cost of compassion, when withheld and when given.

Sentry Dance Pickett has watched, helpless, for months as conditions in the camp worsen by the day. He knows any mercy will be seen as treason. Southern belle Violet Stiles cannot believe the good folk of Americus would knowingly condone such barbarism, despite the losses they’ve suffered. When her goodwill campaign stirs up accusations of Union sympathies and endangers her family, however, she realizes she must tread carefully. Confederate corporal Emery Jones didn’t expect to find camaraderie with the Union prisoner he escorted to Andersonville. But the soldier’s wit and integrity strike a chord in Emery. How could this man be an enemy? Emery vows that their unlikely friendship will survive the war—little knowing what that promise will cost him.

As these three young Rebels cross paths, Emery leads Dance and Violet to a daring act that could hang them for treason. Wrestling with God’s harsh truth, they must decide, once and for all, Who is my neighbor?
I have heard some amazing things about Tracy Groot's books. After reading The Sentinels of Andersonville, I found out that everything I have heard is true!

Tracy Groot can capture your full attention with her story telling. Instead of describing what is happening, she is able to bring you into the scene with your senses. She is able to show you, let you smell, and taste what is going on with her words. The Sentinels of Andersonville was a part of history and Tracy brought this time back to life.

I love learning about all things from the Civil War. This was brutal time in our history and there is much to learn from it. There are still much I have yet to learn about. I had heard about Andersonville and the prison that was there, however, I never really looked into the history. This story shows how when you have one or two corrupt men in power, the devastation they can bring to the people they are in charge of and to the surrounding areas. When one or two people stand up against this brutality, it may not seem like a lot is happening, but hope starts and spreads to others who have the same desire to help, however, there will be people who turn a blind-eye because it is easier to stomach, or they have the idea that the brutality is deserved. It was a wonderful illustration of the Good Samaritan

This story is based on actual people and events. I will say that this story may not be for everyone, especially a young reader. There is the description of death and what happens to a body after a person has died, and treatment of the bodies in a prison camp. There is discussion of starvation and what it does to the body. There is also a couple of words (damn, arse, and hell) used in the story, not in a perverse way, but it it was there. It made what these people dealt with real. I had no problems with any of that in the story, however, I will mention that the topic discussed is one that I have studied, so the morbidness of it all doesn't affect me so much.

This was a very truthful story. It was a story that captured me into it. I will say, I had hoped for the ending to happen another way, but sadly real life doesn't happen the way it does in books, but the ending wrapped everything up well. It gave me a lot to think on and made me want to go find out more about the prison camps of the Civil War, not just in the south, but the north as well.

Too Read!
5 out of 5

About the Author:
Tracy Groot is the critically acclaimed and Christy Award–winning author of several novels. Her most recent books exemplify her unique style of storytelling—reimagining biblical stories within other historical contexts. Tracy's novels have received starred Booklist and Publishers Weekly reviews and have been called "beautifully written" and "page-turning" by Publishers Weekly and "gripping" with "exquisitely drawn" characters by Library Journal. Tracy and her husband have three boys and together run a coffee shop in Holland, Michigan. - See more at:

Thank you to Tyndale House, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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