“A Rebellious Woman” by Claire J. Griffin

A Rebellious Woman

Claire J. Griffin
Brandylane Publishers, Inc. (2021)
ISBN: 9781951565473
Reviewed by Jen Oliver-Rigsby for Reader Views (09/2021)

“A Rebellious Woman” is a fictional look at the real Belle Boyd, who grew up when the Civil War broke out. Belle was a young teenager living in Virginia, right before part of it turned into West Virginia. It was also a time where young women were expected to be a lady and not get involved in wars and other manly things. Belle proved that she was a truly independent woman and was determined to help out the Confederates by spying on the Union soldiers that took over her town and sneak away to provide the information to the Confederates. After several attempts, she was eventually caught and imprisoned for her crimes of treason. The rest of “A Rebellious Woman” looks at Belle’s life after being released from prison-her marriages, her children, her relationship with her family, including her slave maid, Eliza.

“A Rebellious Woman” is a fun read. It has a lot of energy and readers can get easily caught up in Belle’s escapades and waiting with anticipation to see what she does next. Will she get caught this time? What will she do now that she has been kicked out of the States? How does she survive “normal” life? All of these questions and more are answered. It seems that Belle Boyd led a very interesting life where she was determined to be her own person despite the times.

“A Rebellious Woman” is well written but the later part of Belle’s life seemed rushed or condensed given the amount of time that was given to her history with the Civil War.  Each chapter is labeled with the city that Belle is residing in and the year which helps keep track of her movements over her life. During the Civil War years, it also stated who controlled the area that Belle was residing in at the time.

Overall, I found Belle Boyd’s fictional life interesting enough to look more into the real life of Belle Boyd and see how it compares. Was she truly as nomadic as this book makes her to be? Were the spying escapades close to what is fictionalized here? A fan of the Civil War or any strong woman character would enjoy “A Rebellious Woman.”

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