Varina by Charles Frazier


By Charles Frazier

  • Release Date: 2018-04-03
  • Genre: Historical
Score: 4.5
From 16 Ratings
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Sooner or later, history asks, which side were you on?

In his powerful new novel, Charles Frazier returns to the time and place of Cold Mountain, vividly bringing to life the chaos and devastation of the Civil War

Her marriage prospects limited, teenage Varina Howell agrees to wed the much-older widower Jefferson Davis, with whom she expects the secure life of a Mississippi landowner. Davis instead pursues a career in politics and is eventually appointed president of the Confederacy, placing Varina at the white-hot center of one of the darkest moments in American history—culpable regardless of her intentions.

The Confederacy falling, her marriage in tatters, and the country divided, Varina and her children escape Richmond and travel south on their own, now fugitives with “bounties on their heads, an entire nation in pursuit.”

Intimate in its detailed observations of one woman’s tragic life and epic in its scope and power, Varina is a novel of an American war and its aftermath. Ultimately, the book is a portrait of a woman who comes to realize that complicity carries consequences.


  • History and a More

    By buffynavy
    The history in the book is excellent. The prose is sometimes forced but still masterful. What I like most is that this is told from the standpoint of Jimmy Limber. Those who have studied this strong woman must admire her fortitude. The fact is that the South lost and Varina Howell Davis was a casualty of war, and, in many respects, a prisoner of war until the day of her death.