A Civil War by Corinda Marsh
When two women jointly inherit a house, they begin a journey to discover how they are related. They are of different races and didn’t know each other prior to inheriting the house. They find a journal telling the story of Lily Ann Davis, a white woman born into privilege early in the nineteenth century, and Evangeline Washington, a slave assigned to care for her. The heirs research the history of a turbulent century and an even more turbulent heritage to piece together a family tree and a shared tragedy.
The women learn that Lily rejects her first love to chase her mother’s dreams of education then marries an older man who appears to be the epitome of Southern gentility. This man, however, has a dark side few can see and the relationship spirals into abuse and pernicious control as Evangeline watches helplessly. Evangeline and another slave, Earl, try to protect Lily and her children, and their lives intertwine in an ever-tightening circle until Lily’s father is shot by an angry mob while protecting Earl. Finally two children of love bring the family full circle, but none of them are ever free from their shackles. They conclude that women are never free and a twentieth century event reminds them that men were not made free by the signing of a document at Appomattox in 1865.