Charles Frazier’s “Varina” is an example of historical fiction at its very finest.

“Varina” is a personal narrative of the Civil War as told by Varina Davis, wife of Jefferson Davis, zealot and president of the Confederacy. Although fiction, this book relates such an in-depth, personal account of the immediate and long-term effects of our war between the states that the reader experiences accuracy of place and time.

We suspect that maybe early in the war, Jefferson Davis and others knew they were betting everything on a losing idea, backed by the rationale that slavery was justified by profit and even the Bible. Of course the outcome of this theory was massive human suffering, particularly for those with bounties on their heads for supporting the South.

Even civil war buffs will learn new background in the struggles portrayed in “Varina,” especially how a savvy, independent woman survived tragedy and somewhat enjoyed her older years.

Readers will find themselves rationing the pages to enjoy this book longer. Penelope Johnson, Hopkins

 

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