The Last Silk Dress

Rinaldi, Ann

Published by Laurel Leaf, 1999
ISBN 10: 0440228611 / ISBN 13: 9780440228615
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Synopsis: High-spirited, beautiful Susan Chilmark, fourteen, vows to do something meaningful to support the Confederacy during the Civil War.  Despite the wishes of her mother, Susan and her best friend, Connie, collect silk dresses from all the ladies of Richmond to make a balloon that will be used to spy on the Yankees.

But the issues behind the war aren't as obvious as Susan thinks.  When she meets her dashing, scandalous older brother and discovers why he was banished from the family, Susan unlocks a Pandora's box of secrets that forces her to rethink and challenge the very system she was born into.  Does she have the courage to do what is right even though it may hurt the ones she loves?

From Publishers Weekly: The theme of loyaltyto friends, family, country and one's beliefsare an involving integral part of this Civil War story. Susan, 14, of Richmond, helps the Southern cause by sewing and nursing the wounded, missing her father and trying not to rile her "half-mad" mother, who beats her and calls her a Yankee brat. In one exquisite scene, a troop of soldiers bound for the front pass by Susan's house and salute her for making their flag. After collecting silk dresses from ladies and prostitutes alike to be patched together for a reconnaissance balloon, Susan's view of the war changes; through her charismatic brother Lucien, she begins to see how slavery (and adultery) has undermined and all but destroyed her family. The setting of Rinaldi's rich story has been carefully researched; the writing has an irresistible pull. Ages 12-up.
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Title: The Last Silk Dress
Publisher: Laurel Leaf
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Rinaldi, Ann
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Rinaldi, Ann
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