The Girl in the Butternut Dress
Based on real historical events, "The Girl in the Butternut Dress" is a searing saga set near the fault line of the Civil War in Southern Illinois. Though it is Union country, the rolling grassy hills are alive with so-called Copperheads, or Southern sympathizers who give aid and comfort to Union deserters. Against this backdrop of national turmoil where neighbors become enemies comes a deeply, and unlikely love story. In their small, war-stricken town, a man and a woman experience a romance both sweet and troubled. Gabrielle, a young woman, helps feed runaway slaves secreted in a safe house on the Underground Railroad. While working to help slaves escape to freedom, she falls in love with a southern-sympathizing gentleman who is the epitome of everything she opposes. Cayne is a lawyer who is not only sympathic to the fledging Confederate nation, he also gives aid a bounty hunter tracking runaway slave. Can their love bridge what divides a nation? To truly come to terms with her love for Cayne, Gabrielle will need quell a deep hunger to know her own origins--to find her own identity. She was raised as an illegitimate child by her grandparents, often enduring her grandmother's verbal and phyicial abuse. Her mother died young, refusing to name the man who fathered her child. Gabrielle's rough-and-tumble upbringing runs counterweight to Cayne's, the son of Southern gentry. Their differening social standing only inflames Gabrielle's passion, and she devotes herself to making herself acceptable to him, even as she is repulsed and puzzled by his allegiances. The sieges and battles of the Civil War grow ever more violent, and sometimes are brought in the streets of the town and the dark road of the countryside especially when a camp of Union deserters hide in the wood, plundering smokehouses and barns for survival. Gabrielle cannot stop loving this man she does not agree with or understand, even when he is sent to the State Legisture in Illinois representing the Copperhead ticket. This gripping romance set during the Civil War will tug readers' heart strings making them question what they would do when faced with a choice between moral wrongdoing or love and listening to their heart.