From the Ashes of Ruin
AbeBooks Seller Since January 11, 2000Quantity Available: 1
AbeBooks Seller Since January 11, 2000Quantity Available: 1
About this Item
Title: From the Ashes of Ruin
Publisher: Summerhouse Pr, Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.A.
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Hard Cover
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Inscribed By Author
Edition: First Edition
About this title
From the Ashes of Ruin is the dramatic unfolding of the events leading to the night of February 17,1865 in Columbia, SC, and to the life-altering trauma that followed. The two main characters are mature, responsible individuals, each one committed to their own goals and ideals. Ellen and John are southerners caught in a tumultuous period of history not of their own making, and they both are trying very hard to survive and maintain their integrity. Quite unexpectedly they happen to fall in love. Ellen Heyward finds Union Army Major John Arledge arrogant and frightening. Sent by General Sherman to investigate war crimes, his hostile blue eyes hint of unknown dangers. She is desperately aware that she must protect her younger sister and herself, not only from scandal and degradation, buy also from the possible legal consequences of what has recently happened at Oak Lane, their family home. Arledge, a brilliant, seasoned legal officer, is tracing reports of "rebellious civilian atrocities." Evidence leads him to the Heyward plantation, where ashes of the recently burned stables convince him he is on the right trail. There he is confronted by thin, pale, no-longer-young Ellen Heyward who undoubtedly knows more than she will reveal. A crisis has been precipitated by the heated exchange of letters between Sherman, the fierce red-haired Yankee commander and courtly, hard-pressed Wade Hampton of the Confederate Army. Are lawless citizens murdering advancing soldiers as they carry out their duties? Or, are marauding "bummers" preying on helpless women and children? Both generals have taken an aggressive stand and both of them are threatening severe retribution. Duty-bound to prosecute war criminals, Arledge's pursuit is ruthless. He is intrigued by Ellen's skilled evasion and her determination to show no fear. He is inexplicably attracted to this defiant woman who is clearly not interested in him, certainly lying and possibly guilty of murder. In an effort to escape from him the sisters flee to a relative's home in Columbia. Set against a backdrop of impending disaster, Ellen and the major become increasingly drawn to each other. The tumultuous five days of Sherman's occupation of South Carolina's capital unleash and uncontrolled clash of hatreds. Then, leaving behind a devastated city, the Union army moves out toward Virginia and the final days of conflict. Arledge, too, must go with the departing troops. He vows to return. Lee is soon forced to surrender, and people in the south must then struggle to cope with drastically changed circumstances. Ellen and her sister return to Oak Lane to resume their life. They again encounter Jim Milton, a young Confederate soldier who had come to their aid earlier. He and Pamela, the sister, are attracted to each other. Several strong secondary characters enhance the story line, including a young Pennsylvania woman sent south to work with the Freedmen's Bureau. The Quaker teacher and Ellen meet and form an uneasy friendship. Major Arledge returns to South Carolina with the first of the Federal Occupation Forces. He immediately seeks out Ellen as he had promised, only to stumble upon wedding preparations which her mistakenly assumes to be hers. The situation is ultimately resolved.From the Author:
I have always been a voracious reader. I require little sleep and have broad interests. I especially like all things historical, religious, mystical and/or puzzling. World War II began while I was a freshman in college. I rushed a head and graduated in less than three years because I was offered an exciting Top Secret government job as a cryptographic analyst. I worked 18 months in Washington and the war ended. My husband, then an infantry captain and a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, returned from Europe several months later. We came to South Carolina to live. Incidentally we were married in 1944, he went overseas three days later and was gone almost two years. I soon found myself to be a recent bride living out in the country with a husband who decided to enter politics. He served in the House several years, during which time we occasionally "double-dated" with Strom Thurman and Jean Crouch. They were courting and I was one of the few house wives in those days about Jean's age! I did not like the political wife thing, so decided to teach and to go back to graduate school. I taught in the Columbia Public Schools five years, earned a MA and then had the first of our three children. I stayed at home for the next ten years - hating being isolated out in the boondocks - and when the youngest child started to kindergarten in Columbia, I spent the morning in town taking graduate courses. There were very few women in the Ph.D. programs in the 60s. After graduation I was employed by Columbia College for the next 24 years as professor, then Head of the Education Department and, during the last ten years, Academic Dean and Vice-President of the College. I always traveled during mid-year and summer breaks, but I took up serious travel for two or three years after retirement. I have been everywhere I ever wanted to go - several times! -except for Peru. I plan to go there next. One of my favorite countries is Turkey -been there five times. Egypt was marvelous, buy India was the greatest culture shock. I had always planned to "someday write." Two or so years ago I decided I had better get at it before it was too late. Through the years I was a accustomed to writing as an academic, but I did not plan to do anything ever again to improve the mind! I went to several writing conferences and workshops and settled down to seriously try to do novels. I entered a manuscript in the Lowcountry Romance Writers Jasmine Contest and placed first in the historical category. I feel that I have lived six or seven lives! During all the recent hoopla about John Glenn going into space at 70+, I empathized with him. Here I am launching into novel writing- and, unlike Glenn, I have not been there before! I have, in the past three years, written several free lance articles about history and my travels which have been published. I really consider them my first real writing, since I was paid for them. Academics are not paid - they just hope and pray someone will publish their work. I also write with my sister and we have a contemporary novel presently being considered by Pocket books, My husband and I have three children, all of whom live nearby. The middle child, son Frank, has three kids, so I have teen-age grandchildren. I want them to love history the way I do. I hope readers will enjoy From the Ashes of Ruin.
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