The Times of London // Review

"I couldn’t help but think as I read this novel by Charles Frazier, of Cold Mountain fame, that Scarlett O’Hara would be turning in her grave. Vain and spoilt, the star of Gone With the Wind has long occupied our minds as the archetypal Southern belle. I, for one, am glad to have her usurped by a real-life woman, one Varina Howell Davis."

"It is what happens after that disastrous bloody war that enthrals the most. Varina and children, plus ragtag entourage, plunge into a tumultuous escape south to Florida. As they make their way, fugitives, fearful of capture, Frazier writes: 'In a collapse of such magnitude — a provisional country scoured to bare nubs — rules of behaviour wash away.'"

"Towards the end Varina is asked if history would someday forgive her. 'No,' she says. For she knew, unlike a certain Scarlett, that if you are on the wrong side of history the fact that tomorrow is another day doesn’t change anything at all."