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Susan Tuttle

His World No More

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$13.00
Regular price
$26.00
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$13.00

Fort Sumter was bombarded, the Yankees left Charleston, and 12-year-old Will McShane and his new family are heading home to a small farm outside the city to start life together. Until now, Will’s life was comfortable and predictable. He and Pa worked the farm and made frequent trips to Charleston to visit Aunt Fran and Little Sarah. Ma died when Sarah was born three years earlier, and Aunt Fran was able to take care of the baby while working as a housekeeper for a wealthy merchant. Now everything would be different. Pa married again and his new wife, Miss Mary, has three sons of her own. With all of them and Sarah, Will has no idea what to expect, other than he knows it is going to be a huge adjustment. As Will focuses on becoming a member of a large family, he also sees changes in Charleston brought about by preparations for armed conflict with Union forces. The consequences of these preparations cause many hardships for the civilian population, but none as devastating as Dirk, Will’s stepbrother, and Pa going off to fight. Will feels a responsibility to feed and protect three younger siblings and Miss Mary, who is pregnant. Emotionally torn between being a boy and a man, Will knows that he has no choice about what he must do, but often feels that he can’t cope. He gets caught up in many situations that test his resolve. The devastating fire in 1861, the birth of a baby, constant shortages of necessities, and the need to give emotional support to those around him all take their toll. And when months pass with no word from Pa, Will must face his most dreaded fear, that Pa is dead. Will’s dilemma is confounded by the social and racial structure of Charleston’s society. He understands slavery, although he doesn’t agree with it. He does not, however, understand the treatment of black people. Because Tom and Moses, freedmen who rent some of Pa’s land, Will comes into close contact with the former slaves, and a cooperative relationship develops that helps sustain the McShane family through the war. He is conflicted when people he loves feel a sense of superiority over the black population. At times, he feels resentment and questions the status quo. He is left to create his own answers. By the time Union forces return to the area and put Fort Sumter and Charleston under siege, President Lincoln has issued the Emancipation Proclamation. This creates more civil unrest and racial tension that causes stress on the city and on Will, personally. He knows that no matter how the war ends, nothing will ever be as it had been. By February 1865, the war is over for Charleston, but the struggle is not over for Will.

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