1st World Library


Large Cover
A Light in the Window
A Civil War Story of the 101st New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment and their loved ones as Jamie comes home from the war.

Jean Marie McLain

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A Light in the Window is a sequel to Jean Marie McLain’s first novel, As Best We Could which was series of letters between a Union Soldier, James McNeil and a girl back home, Mary Edwards. Her first novel received high reviews from her readers.

After four long years of war and suffering, peace has finally come to the United States in 1865. Lieutenant James Bethune McNeil is coming home to West Meredith in Delaware County, New York. Throughout the war he served his country and his state as a volunteer in a New York infantry regiment. He saw some of the worst fighting of the war; The Seven Days and Malvern Hill, Second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, The Wilderness, and Petersburg. He is haunted by the sights, sounds and memories he witnessed in the war.

Like most of the soldiers who are returning that spring, he must find a new life now. He had gone to war because his home life had become impossible to endure. Is it possible to take up where he left off? Can he make it better? Should he move on, go out west for a new start? Or is everything different here?

For Jamie, it is a new start. A new life. A new chance at the happiness that has always been out of reach. But he carries those burdens of war with him wherever he goes and they have the power to destroy him. Can his friends help him to see the future? Is the steadfast love of his sweetheart, Mary Edwards, enough to see him through? What is it like to return from war, broken and scarred, and be forced to take up civilian life again? He had once called himself "a bit of wreckage." Can he be saved?

Book Signing - Photo of the launch of As Best We Could book signing.

Read! - What readers are saying about As Best We Could.

Listen! - Listen to an interview of Jean Marie McLain on KUT radio (Austin, TX). The interview was played on the air, Monday, February 17th.


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