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Book Review - When the Splendor Falls

The summer before the Civil War begins is wonderful for Leigh and her family. Her sisters are married and engaged to several members of the Braedon family, and even though Leigh knows she must marry another man, she herself is in love with Neil Braedon, who spent most of his life with the Comanche Indians.

In 1864, with the war almost over, Leigh has lost many of her family members. She is now in charge of her sister's daughter, and her other sister is very sick. When Neil, the only Braedon fighting for the Union, is in the area with his wounded men, he turns to Leigh and her family for help. Adam Braedon, his cousin, is desperately trying to find a way to get his daughter and the rest of the family out of Virginia before the South loses. Although he is a Confederate, he wants to help Neil. He arranges a marriage between Neil and Leigh, who is basically in charge of the family. He will distract the Confederates looking for Neil.

Neil and Leigh finally get married, and they both love each other, although neither knows how the other feels. Leigh and the rest of the family move to Neil's home in New Mexico, and they don't see him for over a year. Leigh is worried that she will never see him, or that he will leave her for his old mistress. When he does come back, they realize they are truly in love and Leigh even saves his life. Her blind brother regains his sight, gets engaged, and decides to move back to Virginia. Her sister and her children also move back to Virginia when they discover Nathan, husband and father, was really not killed in the fighting.
Rachael High, Resident Scholar

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