Shades of Gray by Jessica James
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First let us clarify; this review is NOT about 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James, an erotic novel that has apparently swept the nation off its feet for reasons unbeknownst to me.
Shades of Gray, by Jessica James is a beautifully intriguing novel about the Civil War in Virginia. Andrea is an intelligent, powerful, determined and passionate woman whose patriotism fills her soul at the risk of her physical welfare. Disguised as a man, Andrea (along with her horse Justus) works as a Union messenger and spy. Her devotion to the American flag is truly inspiring (especially at times such as now when patriotism seems to be lying on its death bed).
The strength of Andrea as the heroine is equally matched by the powerful characters of J.J., Colonel Dalaney, and of course Captain Alex Hunter. I live in awe at the conviction that ran through the veins of the men who gave their lives for their beliefs. Now days we are willing to change our opinions as soon as we are faced with the possibility that our ideas are contrary to the general populace. Andrea knew that Hunter was fighting for the wrong side but she loved him for his will, his fortitude, and the love he felt for the land that was his.
Jessica James does a fantastic job of identifying the views of both the North and the South, yet she boldly reiterates the words of Abraham Lincoln, “In great contests, each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time.”
Now and then we come across a story that speaks to every aspect of our beings. Jessica James caused me to reflect on my romantic emotions, my patriotism, my courage, my physical strength, and my most severe convictions. Starting each chapter with a quote shed unpredicted light on the contents of the story soon to follow.
My one criticism of the story was the life Andrea led after the war was over. I find it contrary to her spirit to sit back quietly and observe as the country rebuilds. Not even the loss of love would cause the strength and determination she possessed to dissipate into the soil of the enemy.
(After further research it appears Jessica James realized her error in ending Shades of Gray. Nobel Cause by Jessica James is the same book with a happy ending. I have not read Noble Cause but I am curious to know what changes were made…. Even without personal experience I would recommend reading Nobel Cause. Happy is better.)
My notes, highlights and book marks from Shades of Gray, by Jessica James will be reviewed often!
Here are some of my favorites!
“Life is sufficiently short without shaking the sand that measures it.”
“To get out of a difficulty one must go through it.”
“Flatterers look like friends, as wolves like dogs.”
“it is my belief that a half truth is a whole lie.”
“Even God cannot change the past.” – Aristotle
“I would never pick a battle of wits with an unarmed person.”
“Time sets all things right. Error lives but a day. Truth is eternal.” – Lt. General James Longstreet
“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. Love leaves a memory no one can steal.”