Historical romance. A Mississippi plantation. A southern belle. A Union officer. The turmoil of the Civil War rips a country asunder as lives are transformed.
Alice Caldwell is young and in love in the midst of the raging war that disrupts her world. She hopes to soon announce her engagement when the Civil War destroys her plans, and her beau leaves to fight.
Bert Russell, a Union officer, invades her life when his wounded men are moved to Whitworth College in Brookhaven, Mississippi, and he turns it into a hospital for his soldiers. When there is not enough room for his men and the Confederate soldiers, he confiscates Cotton Grove Plantation, Alice’s home, as a hospital for his remaining men and encamps on her front lawn.
Working in the hospital with wounded and dying men changes Alice’s once-sheltered life. She’s no simpering southern belle batting lashes behind a sandalwood fan, but becomes a woman who finds the courage to go on.
Through it all, the magnolia trees continue to bloom, majestic live oaks curtained with Spanish moss wave their limbs, the great Mississippi River continues to flow as the North and South battle for its control, and somehow, people go on with their lives.