After years of living a carefree and rich life with her well-to-do parents, Julia Hoffman has forced herself to reflect upon her very existence. When she discovers that she is disagreeable to the handsome yet fierce Reverend Nathaniel Greene, Julia begins to devote her life to service as a nurse on the front lines of the Civil War. Her path soon crosses with Phoebe Bigelow, a woman impersonating a male soldier in order to make a new life for herself. However, Julia also draws the unwanted attention of a seemingly heartless surgeon who orders Julia to leave the front lines and return to her pampered life. However, Julia refuses, stubbornly deciding to prove her worth to the world. However, it seems as though the war is bigger than them all, and none of the wrongs will ever be righted...
While some authors are inconsistent in their writing styles, Lynn Austin is the picture of consistency. She is a master at writing historical fiction and developing complete characters, but a master of endings she is not.
Julia Hoffman is one of the more interesting leads Lynn has ever developed. Her purpose in the plot is unique and makes the book interesting. While Phoebe's situation is not entirely original, her subplot is interesting enough. Nathaniel Greene is an ambiguous character with a different end. There is no real villain, save for the Confederates. All in all, Lynn Austin knows how to develop characters and she did not stop using this talent in Fire By Night.
As usual with Lynn Austin books, the beginning and the middle are more tasteful than the end. Though there are interesting elements in the end, the unoriginal elements overshadow them. However, though there are romantic subplots, they are not structured typically or straightforwardly. However, in the end, Lynn Austin did not depart from her typical fiction model and wrote another typical end.
However, Fire By Night is not a book to complain about since Lynn Austin is very consistent in using her abilities to craft intriguing historical plots and develop good characters.
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