In the Shadow of My Heart

Charlie and Katie are the Romeo and Juliet of Tennessee's Great Smokey Mountains. Although their families are bitter enemies, the two teenagers love each other desperately. Katie's rough and rugged father won't even let Charlie step on his land, forcing Katie and Charlie to meet in secret.

Katie knows no man will ever be good enough for her father. Charlie, trying to prove himself to the gruff man, signs up for the militia right before the battle at Shiloh. He goes off to war, asking Katie to wait for him.

She does, even when her father turns his back on her, forcing her to leave home. She waits, her hope dimming year after year. Charlie could have died in battle or forgotten her, yet Katie waits, loving him still.

In the Shadow of My Heart is a haunting gem of a short story. Told in first person from Katie's point of view, the reader immediately feels the anguish of the young woman, parted not only from her lover but from all the family she has ever known. The passages are so poignant and beautifully written, they flow like poetry. In the Shadow of My Heart is a lunch read not soon forgotten.

Reviewed by: Kimber