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February 03 , 2009

The Darkness of Day

A Novel


In 1863, when Dr. Grant McKenzie announces his enlistment as a doctor in the Union Army, his family life is turned upside down. His military career begins as a field surgeon at Gettysburg, eventually leading to his capture at Spotsylvania and imprisonment in Andersonville Prison, changing his life forever. While in prison, he becomes part of a new “family,” made up of James, a tough thirteen -year- old Irish drummer boy from the streets of New York, and Gerard, a French farmer from Vermont. When Grant saves the young daughter of a Confederate captain, he repays the doctor by giving him the chance to escape, along with young James. The trip home through the Appalachians is arduous. Along the way, Grant delivers a baby, fights renegades, and faces death at the hands of two old mountain women. Meanwhile, Mattie, Grant’s wife, and their five children face enormous challenges and responsibilities at home while awaiting his return. When Grant doesn’t return at the end of his one-year enlistment, the family’s finances dwindle, and the workload overwhelms them. In answer to their prayers for help, Adan Torson, a large Nigerian free black man, shows up one day and offers to help them. However, Adan arrives with a dangerous secret that may put all their lives at risk.
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