Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My Life Untold by S.S. Gee Buro

My Life Untold
By:  S.S. Gee Buro
Genre:  Historical Fiction
ISBN:  1493734628
Pages:  286

My Life Untold, by S.S. Gee Buro, is a historical novel set during the Civil War. The lead character, Magda Kline, is the daughter of German immigrants who settle on a farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in the 1860s. Magda’s parents love her, giving her a wonderful, carefree childhood. Magda finds love when her father, Jonas, hires a farm hand—Lars Sulter. Lars is a strong, quiet type who falls for Magda and eventually asks for her hand in marriage.

About this time, war comes to the United States—what will become the Civil War. Yankees believe the war will end after a few weeks or months, with young men volunteering to serve their country. Lars volunteers, much to Magda’s dismay. They promise to marry once he returns from the war. Little did they know the tragedies they would go through in the ensuing weeks and months ahead.

Madga, the main character, is well written and believable. You can feel the joy in her carefree upbringing and the love she has for her parents, and their tender love for her. From the beginning of the story, Madga come to life and you feel as if you’re witnessing her life and feelings. All of Buro’s characters are realistic—you care for each one of them.

Buro did a lot of research for this book, which is apparent if you are a Civil War history buff. She captures the fear of people living near and on the battlefields, the aftermath of war and the horrible way war makes some people behave. Her scenes of Andersonville are horrifyingly realistic. Be warned—some of the scenes in the story are quite graphic (not with sex)—there are graphic after-battle scenes and descriptions of wounds, etc.

I enjoyed reading this book—it actually felt like I was reading Magda’s diary. The book grabs you from the beginning, making it hard to put down until you’ve finished the story. Buro paints realistic scenery—you feel like you’re right there in the 1860s—the coldness of river water will leave you shivering. The entire story was great, up until the end.  The ending felt too contrived and abrupt. It left me hanging, rather than feeling as if the story was complete.

My LifeUntold is a great story you’ll not soon forget. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction that contains romance and tragedy. You won’t regret reading My Life Untold!

Disclosure:  I purchased this book with my own funds and have not been in any way compensated for this review.