Inman is a soldier fighting for the Confederates during the Civil War. He walks away from the fighting, and is trying to make his way home to his sweetheart Ada. Inman's journey takes him through the war ravaged countryside showing what the war has done to the people and the land. While Inman struggles to get home, Ada is trying to keep her farm alive all on her own. She receives help from a stranger named Ruby, and together they work to make their dreams become reality. Ada and Inman must confront the changes the war has brought to their lives.
For me, it required some patience to read this book. It is a very descriptive story. I could see some beauty in the details about the land and inner struggles of the characters, but for my tastes, it was a little too much. I thought the symbolism and foreshadowing created a great atmosphere or tension to the story, but sometimes it got lost in all the details.
I liked the parts with Ada and Ruby best. Their different personalities work well together. I liked seeing the gradual change in each of them as they learn from each other. Necessity brought them together, but it was a way of unifying two very different people. Relationships are a big part of this story, and the way they are written has a way of grabbing you.
I also liked the way this story shows on individuals and societies change during the Civil War. Particularly those that did not have a lot to gain from either side winning. It beautifully showed how neither side helped, but rather hurt those that were bystanders in the war.
If you like historical fiction, I recommend reading this book.