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Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite
In Everything We Lose, two young boys are telling us the story of the Civil War. One boy, Adam, is white and living on a small farm with his mom and sister without his dad, who had gone off to fight for the freedom of the slaves and was killed. Tip is a young black slave owned by the Billings family and forced to work on their plantation while his mama cooks and prepares all of the meals and runs the kitchen. Adam and Tip form a very special and unusual friendship that will last a lifetime. When Adam gets in trouble for the killing of the young Billings son for his unfair treatment of Tip, he feels he must leave his farm to protect his mother and sister. He joins the Union army to fight against slavery. Adam becomes close friends with Wes and the two try to protect each other throughout the fighting. Tip, not understanding how he can be owned by another human being, sets out to escape, ends up at another plantation, and must once again run away and try to make it up north where he would be free.
Everything We Lose: A Civil War Novel of Hope, Courage and Redemption pulled me into the pages and I felt the sorrow, the joy and the pain of both Adam and Tip. The war and the heartache of being a slave place both boys in life threatening situations and force them to face punishment, hate, bondage and so much more before the war is finally over and they can try to find their way back home to Tennessee. This is a story that made the Civil War jump out of the history books and become very real. I had a hard time putting it down and found myself reading well into the night. Author Annette Oppenlander did her research well, blending real battles into the story which made Adam and Tip feel real. I highly recommend this historical book for all Civil War fans but also for those who just enjoy a good human story that will make you smile and cry.