Today We Go Home
Seattle, Washington. Larkin Bennett has always known her place, whether it’s surrounded by her loving family in the lush greenery of the Pacific Northwest, or riding on a dusty convoy in Afghanistan. But all that changed the day tragedy struck her unit and took away everything she held dear. Soon after, Larkin discovers an unexpected treasure: the diary of Emily Wilson, a young woman who disguised herself as a man to fight for the Union in the Civil War. As Larkin struggles to heal, she finds herself drawn deep into Emily’s life and the secrets she kept. Indiana, 1861. The only thing more dangerous to Emily Wilson than a rebel soldier is her own comrades in the Union. But in the minds of her fellow soldiers, if it dresses like a man, swears like a man, and shoots like a man, it must be a man. As the war marches on and takes its terrible toll, Emily begins to question everything she has been told about the freedom she is supposed to be fighting for.

Today We Go Home Details

TitleToday We Go Home
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 3rd, 2019
PublisherSourcebooks Landmark
ISBN-139781492664185
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Contemporary, Military History, Civil War

Today We Go Home Review

  • Kelli Estes
    January 1, 1970
    I wrote this book. 😊 I hope you like it!
  • Athena (OneReadingNurse)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you so much to Sourcebooks Landmark via NetGalley for the e-ARC of Today We Go Home in exchange for an honest review! All opinions are my own!*omitted description for NetGalley, see blog link for full review!*So everyone that knows me knows that I am a huge Civil War reader, and this book was an obvious choice for me. I have read a few nonfiction books about women in the war, but nothing from a fictional perspective.I honestly didn't care much for Larkin, although she made a lot of excelle Thank you so much to Sourcebooks Landmark via NetGalley for the e-ARC of Today We Go Home in exchange for an honest review! All opinions are my own!*omitted description for NetGalley, see blog link for full review!*So everyone that knows me knows that I am a huge Civil War reader, and this book was an obvious choice for me. I have read a few nonfiction books about women in the war, but nothing from a fictional perspective.I honestly didn't care much for Larkin, although she made a lot of excellent points about women in the military and society's perceptions of them. I also felt like there was a statement about mental healthcare for veterans in the book, somewhere, as it seemed like a suicidal veteran shouldn't have been discharged from treatment as early as she was, and/or the program she was in was lacking effectiveness. The themes of suicidal ideations, suicide in general, grief, loss, and coming to terms with traumas were handled fairly lightly as Larkin found an interest, purpose, and then connection to Emily Wilson - the Union army soldier. I thought Emily's traumas were handled even lighter, I would have loved to know (as did Larkin) how Emily coped.I loved Emily though, she was a spitfire. When she squared up and said she WAS a soldier, I just about put my phone down and clapped for her. I feel like the author got a lot of camp details right, but there wasn't a lot of historical information in the book itself. That said, there is a fantastic annex of resources in the book for additional reading that I highly recommend checking out.One thing that threw me off was how the historical time period was presented in the ARC: some times Larkin would be reading the diary, then sometimes the chapter would be written as if the Civil War period was present day. Otherwise I did find it to be a really quick and interesting readI rated it 3 stars because I really loved Emily's chapters, while feeling indifferent towards Larkin's. I would totally recommend for anyone interested in women in the military, historical feminism, historical fiction, and good fiction in general! Thank you again so much to the publisher, author, and NetGalley for the early read! The book released September 3rd so by all means check it out if it seems up your alley!
    more
  • Luce
    January 1, 1970
    4 STARS for this novel that centers on two women soldiers, one in present day and the other in the 1860s. It follows the paths of Larkin Bennett who is suffering from PTSD and severe survivor’s guilt after returning from Afghanistan and the other, Emily Wilson who in 1861, disguises herself as a man and joins the Union army to fight against the Confederates.Larkin was given a medical discharge and on her way home to her grandmother’s in Washington state, she stops at the storage unit of her best 4 STARS for this novel that centers on two women soldiers, one in present day and the other in the 1860s. It follows the paths of Larkin Bennett who is suffering from PTSD and severe survivor’s guilt after returning from Afghanistan and the other, Emily Wilson who in 1861, disguises herself as a man and joins the Union army to fight against the Confederates.Larkin was given a medical discharge and on her way home to her grandmother’s in Washington state, she stops at the storage unit of her best friend and fellow soldier, Sarah. Sarah who died in Afghanistan and had bequeathed all her belongings to Larkin. In among the boxes, Larkin finds the diary of one of Sarah’s ancestors, Emily Wilson that Sarah had told Larkin had inspired her to join the military.At first it was Larkin’s story of healing that interested me the most. I’ve been drawn to and have liked novels with main characters recovering from PTSD. But eventually it was Emily’s story that kept me reading about her life and hardships as a soldier while serving alongside her brother, Ben and their best friend, Willie.Bonus – At the end of the book, the author includes many resources for further reading on the real women mentioned in this story and other featured subjects (i.e. women in the military).ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • ♥ Sandi ❣
    January 1, 1970
    4 stars Thanks to BookBrowse and Sourcebooks Landmark for a chance to read this book. Published September 3, 2019I really enjoyed this book. I had not read Estes before, but I know she had a prior book, that I will now secure and read. In alternating chapters this book bounced back and forth between a current day, just discharged, female combat soldier having served in Afghanistan, and a young woman from the 1850's who disguised herself as a man to fight in the Civil War. The current veteran, La 4 stars Thanks to BookBrowse and Sourcebooks Landmark for a chance to read this book. Published September 3, 2019I really enjoyed this book. I had not read Estes before, but I know she had a prior book, that I will now secure and read. In alternating chapters this book bounced back and forth between a current day, just discharged, female combat soldier having served in Afghanistan, and a young woman from the 1850's who disguised herself as a man to fight in the Civil War. The current veteran, Larkin, found the diary of the Civil War veteran, Emily, and read of all the horrific events that Emily went through, while still trying to maintain her own life, riddled with PTSD. Both women suffered devastating losses but yet took different routes to tame the elusive monster in their head. Great story detailing the effects of war on a female soldier - past and present. How the female soldier is treated and her expected role, from both her surrounding military personnel and the general public's perception. Including what the female soldier expects from herself, while enlisted, in time of war and after discharge. Differences were acknowledged between the two women - 1850 to current day - however many similarities also remained.
    more
  • KC
    January 1, 1970
    Former military officer Larkin Bennett is back home in Washington, desperately trying to overcome the loss of her best friend Sarah. While struggling to recover from severe PTSD, she stumbles upon an old family diary of Sarah's dating back to the Civil War. What Larkin unearths within the pages is quite possibly what saves her life. Readers are presented with an in-depth look at the effects of war; from depression to survivors guilt, nightmares to addiction. Kelli Estes brilliantly honors, respe Former military officer Larkin Bennett is back home in Washington, desperately trying to overcome the loss of her best friend Sarah. While struggling to recover from severe PTSD, she stumbles upon an old family diary of Sarah's dating back to the Civil War. What Larkin unearths within the pages is quite possibly what saves her life. Readers are presented with an in-depth look at the effects of war; from depression to survivors guilt, nightmares to addiction. Kelli Estes brilliantly honors, respects and defends our female soldiers. This will make a wonderful book club selection.
    more
  • Emi Bevacqua
    January 1, 1970
    Intersecting stories about female war veterans: present-day Larkin Bennett copes with PTSD, grief and guilt over the death of her best friend Sarah, as well as her own dishonorable discharge in Afghanistan while reading the Civil War journal kept by an Emily Wilson who enlisted in Indiana's 9th Infantry by posing as a male Union soldier. I loved reading author Kelli Estes's true voice in her Afterward, with her passionate respect, honor and defense of all women who serve in the military. I learn Intersecting stories about female war veterans: present-day Larkin Bennett copes with PTSD, grief and guilt over the death of her best friend Sarah, as well as her own dishonorable discharge in Afghanistan while reading the Civil War journal kept by an Emily Wilson who enlisted in Indiana's 9th Infantry by posing as a male Union soldier. I loved reading author Kelli Estes's true voice in her Afterward, with her passionate respect, honor and defense of all women who serve in the military. I learned a lot in this book about soldier's heart, a condition which was also referred to as melancholia or even insanity back in the 1800's; and about what today is classified as Military Sexual Trauma. Larkin and Emily's dialog might not ring quite so true, but that didn't slow down the action-packed story arc; the diary worked perfectly as epistolary device along with the research Larkin did online on women serving in disguise in the Civil War.
    more
  • Carolyn McBride
    January 1, 1970
    I was instantly grabbed by the cover of this book. The premise had me curious...between the two, I just had to read it. I'm so glad that I was able to read an ARC of this book, so thanks go to NetGalley, the publisher and the author.The main plot of this story was pretty gripping in itself, I couldn't turn away from Larkin's struggle to heal. But then the secondary plot reeled me in too, and before I knew it, I'd read this in two sittings.Damn real life for interrupting my reading time!The chara I was instantly grabbed by the cover of this book. The premise had me curious...between the two, I just had to read it. I'm so glad that I was able to read an ARC of this book, so thanks go to NetGalley, the publisher and the author.The main plot of this story was pretty gripping in itself, I couldn't turn away from Larkin's struggle to heal. But then the secondary plot reeled me in too, and before I knew it, I'd read this in two sittings.Damn real life for interrupting my reading time!The characters are compelling, even the secondary ones. The places felt so real I could have spit sand and tasted the wine. I wanted to hold Larkin's hand and tell her that she would eventually heal.The secondary plot was real too, and very well-written. Made even more captivating by the fact that there were numerous women that did just what Em and Willie did. I really admired the way the secondary plot was so integral to the primary.The book is a masterpiece, and one I'm sure my partner is tired of hearing me gush about. But this book deserves every ounce of praise.It's just that good!
    more
  • Karen Kay
    January 1, 1970
    I received this from Netgalley.com for a review. Written in dual timelines, Larkin Bennett was wounded in Afghanistan and is now back home and recovering. At the start of the Civil War, Emily Wilson joins the fighting disguised as a man.We get a look at the effects of war from the different eras and the side effects are very similar; from depression to survivors guilt, nightmares to addiction. 3☆
    more
  • laurel [suspected bibliophile]
    January 1, 1970
    Okay, so her hair is completely out of regs...but I suppose I'll check this one out.
  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from Edelweiss. It alternates points of view between a current Afghanistan female war veteran and a woman disguised as a man who fought in the Civil War. It is a unique concept which I enjoyed. It highlights the bias that women veterans face even today when they serve their country.
    more
  • Theresa Smith
    January 1, 1970
    “I’ve read there were hundreds of women who fought in that war, most of them disguising themselves as men, although it is impossible to know exact numbers since those known were either women who were discovered or outed themselves in newspaper articles or memoirs written after the war. The rest kept their secret hidden or were killed in battle without being discovered. Some bodies have been exhumed and found to be women.”You know how every so often you can come across a book and it just ticks ev “I’ve read there were hundreds of women who fought in that war, most of them disguising themselves as men, although it is impossible to know exact numbers since those known were either women who were discovered or outed themselves in newspaper articles or memoirs written after the war. The rest kept their secret hidden or were killed in battle without being discovered. Some bodies have been exhumed and found to be women.”You know how every so often you can come across a book and it just ticks every one of those boxes for you? Today We Go Home is one of those books for me. A dual narrative set in both the present day and during the American Civil War, I found both eras and storylines equally as compelling and appreciated the way the author linked these two centuries apart women.“I wonder, when I die, will I see the face of the person who kills me and feel only pain and hatred toward him? Or will I see the face of God as his welcoming arms surround me and feel nothing but his love, as Aunt Harriet says happens in Heaven? Does God welcome those who have taken the lives of others? I took a man’s life today. Possibly more than one, but one I know for certain because we were face-to-face and if I hadn’t killed him first, I would not be here writing these words. He was young. He was a person with a family waiting at home. When I sleep, he is there. Taunting me, laughing at me, begging me to spare him. Blood, screams, terror, all the horrors of battle fill my dreams and make me wake often. I feel covered by that man’s blood. I love most things about being a soldier, but I despise the killing.”This novel pays homage to the military service of American women across the centuries. It’s a novel that doesn’t sugar coat the immense sacrifice of both women and men who have given parts of or their entire lives to the US military. It digs deep into PTSD and veteran suicide. I really appreciated the honesty of this novel as well as the realistic portrayal of what being a woman in the military is like. I particularly liked how the author shed some light on lesser known issues, such as the invisibility of women’s service.“Even now, over a hundred and fifty years later, female veterans faced many of the same challenges that Emily did: being seen as inferior because of her gender, not being able to find work after being discharged from the military, earning less than men, becoming homeless.”I am by no means in favour of war, but I certainly am pro respect the military and what they’re shouldering for the rest of us. Anti-war sentiment should never be extended to those who are laying their lives on the line. Their sacrifice goes beyond a tour of duty. This novel is an outstanding reflection of this and reiterates the need for understanding, compassion, and greater resources for assisting military personnel during and after service. Veterans in America have a suicide rate 50 percent higher than those who did not serve in the military; in raw terms, this equates to 22 veteran suicides per day. That is beyond shocking.“Soldiers got home and realized they’d changed, yet their loved ones expected them to be the same. As if facing mortality on a daily basis was normal. As if watching friends die was normal. As if dedicating your life to your country and that service changing who you are at your very core was normal.”The civil war history woven into this story made for compelling reading. Emily was a character I found much to admire about. Her courage and conviction, her yearning to be free – all entirely relatable. There are some really great themes explored throughout this novel. Today We Go Home is top shelf fiction that I don’t hesitate to recommend.Thanks is extended to Sourcebooks Landmark via NetGalley for providing me with a copy of Today We Go Home for review.
    more
  • Dawn Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    DNFStopped at 43% [Read the last 5 chapters as well]8.30.2019I need to start this review by saying that this is a perfectly okay read - if you don't read a lot of historical fiction or if you are a lighter book reader, this book [even with it's serious topics] will be perfect for you and you will more than likely love it. The two alternating main characters are likable and strong and you have to admire them both. Even the dual POV is easy to follow [unlike some books] and I cannot complain about DNFStopped at 43% [Read the last 5 chapters as well]8.30.2019I need to start this review by saying that this is a perfectly okay read - if you don't read a lot of historical fiction or if you are a lighter book reader, this book [even with it's serious topics] will be perfect for you and you will more than likely love it. The two alternating main characters are likable and strong and you have to admire them both. Even the dual POV is easy to follow [unlike some books] and I cannot complain about that. That said...This book was boring for me [the two star rating is for the characters and the CW part of the story]. Very, very, boring. The writing is so light. For the subject matter, I expected grittier writing and passages that would both wreck me and leave me with what I now term "mid-book hangover". None of that was happening. When I got to a particularly tough part of the story, I felt nothing [and was shocked to realize I was not even remotely emotionally upset]. That speaks volumes to me about how bland the writing is. I have read many books about both the Civil War and the War in Afghanistan [both NF and HF] and have bawled my way through many of them. I just finished an amazing book about refugees from Syria that wrecked me. Completely and utterly wrecked me. I SHOULD be feeling something here and I am not, and I can only attribute it to the writing. Because I do like the characters and the Civil War story is particularly good [and probably the strongest part of this book], but it is NOT enough to make me want to try and finish this. I am so very disappointed, because this has such great potential for me. I am sorry that it fell short. I know it didn't for many [and will continue to not fall short for many] and that was my struggle in deciding to finish it or not, but in the end, I wasn't engaged enough to keep going on. **A Note: Some of the best of the book comes at the end and with the author's note. I recommend looking up both the people she talks about and the books listed there - it is one of the many ways we can honor all the women that have served, both acknowledged and unacknowledged. Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Andria Potter
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 🌟 rounded up.Prepare for review and box of tissues. Further review: This tells the story of Emily turned Jesse Wilson, a young woman donning man’s clothing and joining her brother in the war to save her family after her Pa and oldest brother are killed by senech rebels. A girl disguising herself as a man is one of my favorites tropes in fiction, and so I jumped at the chance to read this book. It’s a wonderful story; it alternates between her story and another woman’s tale during the present 4.5 🌟 rounded up.Prepare for review and box of tissues. Further review: This tells the story of Emily turned Jesse Wilson, a young woman donning man’s clothing and joining her brother in the war to save her family after her Pa and oldest brother are killed by senech rebels. A girl disguising herself as a man is one of my favorites tropes in fiction, and so I jumped at the chance to read this book. It’s a wonderful story; it alternates between her story and another woman’s tale during the present day, a woman named Linda who lost her sister Sarah to a war as well. Linda finds the diary that inspired Sarah into becoming a soldier, and dives into Emily/Jesse’s tale, and soon is captivated over her story. She reads the story to get over the loss of her sister, she reads the story to see what happened with Emily, and she reads the story because she has rarely heard of a woman becoming a man to join a war back in the civil war era.This was a beautiful, yet long tale-it took me four days to read through, and admittedly I liked Emily/Jesse’s chapters better as they were far more interesting to me, but overall there were quite a few things I liked about both women characters. I should note warnings for PTSD, typhoid/detailed sick scenes in hospitals, civil war battle scenes, attempted suicide, and sexist assholes scattered throughout the story. There’s a mindfield of triggers scattered throughout for anyone whose ever been involved in war, or has a sibling/relative that was in the war, so take caution in reading this book, please.But it is an important book, as the story shows that women aren’t just willing to be shoved aside, and treated as simple creatures. They’re willing to stand up for what they believe in is right, and won’t take no for an answer. They can fight with guns, crawl through mud just as well as a man can, and I admire these women in this book, because they are badasses.My one complaint is the dual character pov, alternating between past and present. But the author handled that so well, that it’s a minor complaint, so. I’m giving this book a 4.5/5 stars, and rounding it up to a solid 5 because it’s well deserving of it. I plan on buying a copy to add a physical copy to my shelves here at home, it’s that lovely of a story. There are several sad scenes scattered throughout, so be prepared for a box of tissues when reading this book. Trust me, you’ll need them if your heart isn’t made of stone.(Review also posted on my blog.)
    more
  • Erin Duffey
    January 1, 1970
    Wow this book really surprised me. I'm not a fan military books but this one tackled so many amazing subjects. Read it.
  • Sharon
    January 1, 1970
    CW: PTSD, death in combat/war, suicide, Afghanistan war, Civil WarToday We Go Home is a dual time frame historical, that includes narrative about each main character with little actual storyline or plot overlap between the two. Larkin is the modern day MC, an army veteran who has been medically discharged with severe PTSD. She lost her best friend and comrade, Sarah, in an attack, and blames herself. Going through Sarah's things, Larkin discovers a Civil War era diary written by one of Sarah's a CW: PTSD, death in combat/war, suicide, Afghanistan war, Civil WarToday We Go Home is a dual time frame historical, that includes narrative about each main character with little actual storyline or plot overlap between the two. Larkin is the modern day MC, an army veteran who has been medically discharged with severe PTSD. She lost her best friend and comrade, Sarah, in an attack, and blames herself. Going through Sarah's things, Larkin discovers a Civil War era diary written by one of Sarah's ancestors, Emily. Emily is the second MC, with her story told both through the diary entries and normal third person narrative. Emily joins the Union Army disguised as a male, in order to stay with her brother, Ben.Throughout are themes related to the roles of women and the service of our veterans, especially our female veterans. The roles of women have always been defined by men, not by the women themselves. Through it all, women have continued to do more and different things than they've been given credit for. Emily is our Civil War era example, with several other secondary characters who were similar women making their own way in a man's world. I think Estes is successful with this theme for Emily's character, because Estes is able to show in real time how limiting it was during the 19th century to be a woman, especially a woman without a man. But people see what they expect to see and Emily is able to succeed with her disguise for a long time. This is Emily's whole storyline, her choosing her own path.. Larkin's story brings us back to veterans and is centered on PTSD. We do not do enough for our veterans and the struggles are real and devastating. We have to do better. Estes does a great job putting us into Larkin's emotions and mental state as she deals with flashbacks, OCD behaviors, nightmares, and efforts to just stop hurting so much. Larkin's whole story is about how she moves forward from the Army and into life. Researching the story of Emily is a huge part of Larkin's journey. It is an unflinching look at PTSD and life after the Army for Larkin.I thought both main characters were sympathetic and well detailed. This is not a book with a meet the characters, here's a conflict, this is how they get out of it - plot line, like in most genre fiction. But the narrative is nicely paced and I wanted to continue to read to see what would happen next. Will Emily be discovered? How will Larkin deal with PTSD, will she get help or continue to spiral? There isn't so much an ending all tied up with a bow, as a coming together of the two storylines in a way that made sense. The history is done well, as told through Emily's eyes. For me, an historical fiction that leads me to want to know more about the history, is a successful read, and that happens here. I definitely ended it wanting to read more about other women in the 19th century, ones like Emily who fought in the war and other women who defined their own roles. Note that Estes also marks the mixed reasons for enlisting and fighting, that occurred amongst Union Army members. Estes allows Emily to realistically learn and grow throughout her time in the Army. Historical fiction fans who enjoy dual time frames, should give this a try.I received an e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
    more
  • Kathy
    January 1, 1970
    I gained so much insight reading Today we go Home.The story of two women soldiers, Emily Wilson, who, during the Civil War, fought with the Union Army disguised as a man and Larkin Bennett, a US Army soldier who was deployed to Afghanistan twice. Emily, an excellent marksman, wanted to join the Union Army from the moment her father and eldest brother joined. Sadly, were both killed fighting for the Union cause. To try to make meaning of their deaths, Emily decided to impersonate a man and join t I gained so much insight reading Today we go Home.The story of two women soldiers, Emily Wilson, who, during the Civil War, fought with the Union Army disguised as a man and Larkin Bennett, a US Army soldier who was deployed to Afghanistan twice. Emily, an excellent marksman, wanted to join the Union Army from the moment her father and eldest brother joined. Sadly, were both killed fighting for the Union cause. To try to make meaning of their deaths, Emily decided to impersonate a man and join the army along with her younger brother, Ben. Larkin’s choice to join was due to the influence of her Grandfather, who fought in the Korean War and her interest grew when she'd learned that women were in the military after a Junior High trip to Washington DC.In the present-day, Larkin is trying to cope with PTSD, grief and guilt over the death of her best friend Sarah.We travel to the past as Larkin reads the Civil War journal kept by Emily chronicling her enlistment in Indiana's 9th Infantry as a male Union soldier.I loved the historical detail and accounting of how women had disguised themselves as men to enlist in the service during the civil war. I also felt the flow between the two women in dual time frames was very easy to follow. The stories helped me to understand the parallel struggles of female soldiers in the past and female soldiers from our own time in history. Also, it was important to be reminded of the fact that women who serve are also suffer from PTSD.I thought there were some inconsistencies in the language used during the Civil War period, and I wasn’t enthusiastic about the direction the Author was taking Larkin and Zach as the book ended.I received a copy of the book from Sourcebooks Landmark through Book Browse and I am thankful. I look forward to trying Kelli Estes’ other book, The Girl Who Wrote in Silk.
    more
  • Jodi
    January 1, 1970
    Today We Go Home is a sad, beautiful, and inspiring novel of two female soldiers' lives, lived and fought centuries apart. In the present day, Captain Larkin Bennett is a traumatized veteran of the war in Afghanistan who was discharged from the Army for mental health reasons. Even in the safety of her grandmother's house, she's haunted by flashbacks and nightmares and turns to alcohol to drown her memories. However, she has the diary of another soldier in her possession.During the Civil War, Emi Today We Go Home is a sad, beautiful, and inspiring novel of two female soldiers' lives, lived and fought centuries apart. In the present day, Captain Larkin Bennett is a traumatized veteran of the war in Afghanistan who was discharged from the Army for mental health reasons. Even in the safety of her grandmother's house, she's haunted by flashbacks and nightmares and turns to alcohol to drown her memories. However, she has the diary of another soldier in her possession.During the Civil War, Emily Wilson joined the Union Army alongside her brother. Unlike Larkin, she had to disguise herself as a man to do so. She maintained a diary of her experiences. Larkin reads it and decides that the stories of soldiers like Emily Wilson deserve to be told to a wider audience.The novel alternates between Larkin's and Emily's stories. Both women ended up traumatized and angry due to their service. The reader will root for them to find a happy ending. Trauma, sexism, adjustment, and addiction are addressed. Read this and thank a woman for her service.Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
    more
  • Terry
    January 1, 1970
    This is the tale of two women who fought in wars for the United States: Larkin served in Afghanistan and is working on coming to terms with the loss of her best friend and PTSD and Emily who pretends to be a man in order to fight for the Union during the Civil War. Larkin discovers Emily's diary when she's going through her friend's items after her death and begins reading it and progresses her way through it as she works at readjusting to civilian life. It's about two women who make up many of This is the tale of two women who fought in wars for the United States: Larkin served in Afghanistan and is working on coming to terms with the loss of her best friend and PTSD and Emily who pretends to be a man in order to fight for the Union during the Civil War. Larkin discovers Emily's diary when she's going through her friend's items after her death and begins reading it and progresses her way through it as she works at readjusting to civilian life. It's about two women who make up many of the rules for themselves, not allowing them to be completely defined by men. The story addresses PTSD, which Larkin struggles with throughout the novel.I was absolutely fascinated by Emily's story. I honestly did not know that real women did this, so I've researched a bit in my desire to learn more, and I must admit to being in awe of these women.I love intersecting-timeline tales, and this was a perfect example of that sort. Highly recommend.Thanks Netgalley for allowing me the Advance Reading Copy to review.
    more
  • Kat Ayres
    January 1, 1970
    I was SO thrilled when I got approved for this book, as I have also read Kelli Estes' first novel, The Girl Who Wrote in Silk. I didnt realize it was the same author until I read reviews after requesting (but before approval). As a military wife, I don't often read much military fiction. The experiences of Larkin and of Emily ring pretty true to the experiences of a lot of the enlisted women I know, and other veterans with post-war difficulties. Its clear that Kelli took great care in writing th I was SO thrilled when I got approved for this book, as I have also read Kelli Estes' first novel, The Girl Who Wrote in Silk. I didnt realize it was the same author until I read reviews after requesting (but before approval). As a military wife, I don't often read much military fiction. The experiences of Larkin and of Emily ring pretty true to the experiences of a lot of the enlisted women I know, and other veterans with post-war difficulties. Its clear that Kelli took great care in writing this novel and getting it RIGHT for Larkin's life story. No book is perfect, but this one is really good. If you like civil war history, and women's fiction in general, I think you'll like this. The transitions between Civil War Era and modern times are easy and natural, and the stories of Emily and Larkin are ones I was pleased to get involved in.
    more
  • Terri M.
    January 1, 1970
    Emotionally this book is surface level. I wasn't able to identify with any of the characters and it seems as though things were just happening to them. The connection between the past and present timeline was weak. I wish we could have gotten to know Emily through Sarah's eyes as she has more of connection with her than Larkin.I also don't think it dived far enough into the realities of someone suffering from PTSD (I live with someone who served in the first Gulf War and suffers from it). Fans o Emotionally this book is surface level. I wasn't able to identify with any of the characters and it seems as though things were just happening to them. The connection between the past and present timeline was weak. I wish we could have gotten to know Emily through Sarah's eyes as she has more of connection with her than Larkin.I also don't think it dived far enough into the realities of someone suffering from PTSD (I live with someone who served in the first Gulf War and suffers from it). Fans of this novel may want to check out I Shall Be Near to You.I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Roma
    January 1, 1970
    After a long time I read a book on the aftermath of Wars and I am not in the least bit disappointed. The books descriptions, the characterisations and the emotions simply touch your heart. You feel for both the protagonists and what they go through. The book initially starts on a slow pace but picked up later. Absolutely adorable read.
    more
  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book! I throughly enjoyed both timelines! I especially enjoyed the ptsd story line as a wife of a veteran with ptsd. This book was heartfelt and so deep. I’m glad this is a book I actually went out and bought!
  • Dana Wright
    January 1, 1970
    Today We Go Home by Kelli Estes. I really liked reading the diary 📔 of Emily Wilson. I never knew that women disguised themselves as men to fight in the Civil War so the story was interesting, spellbinding, and so sad all in the same breathe. I loved the way the author tied Larkin’s story in with Emily’s. Though I must admit I could not wait to get back to the diary of Emily Wilson. Some surprising things happen that you will just have to read the story to find out. If you like the Civil War tim Today We Go Home by Kelli Estes. I really liked reading the diary 📔 of Emily Wilson. I never knew that women disguised themselves as men to fight in the Civil War so the story was interesting, spellbinding, and so sad all in the same breathe. I loved the way the author tied Larkin’s story in with Emily’s. Though I must admit I could not wait to get back to the diary of Emily Wilson. Some surprising things happen that you will just have to read the story to find out. If you like the Civil War time period you will like this story. Is sad that women were and still to this day not really appreciated in War.
    more
  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    Although Emily disguised herself as a man and served in the Civil War and Larkin has recently been discharged after serving in Afghanistan, they have similar experiences. Both suffered from PTSD and both blame themselves for the death of their best friends during the wars in which they served. Emily (disguised as Jesse Wilson) felt responsible for the death of her bother Ben and her best friend Willie (also a women serving as a man). Larkin likewise felt responsible for the death of her best fri Although Emily disguised herself as a man and served in the Civil War and Larkin has recently been discharged after serving in Afghanistan, they have similar experiences. Both suffered from PTSD and both blame themselves for the death of their best friends during the wars in which they served. Emily (disguised as Jesse Wilson) felt responsible for the death of her bother Ben and her best friend Willie (also a women serving as a man). Larkin likewise felt responsible for the death of her best friend Sarah in Afghanistan. The diary written by Emily during her time as a Union soldier and following her discharge once her gender is discovered, is discovered by Larkin as she takes possession of Sarah's belongings. Larkin discovers Sarah as a descendant of Emily and begins to connect with the author of the diary and sets out to return the diary to the rightful descendants. She eventually seeks the help of Sarah's brother from whom Sarah was estranged during their childhood. Larkin expects to dislike Zach, but that changes as they work together to place the diary in the hands of Emily's descendants.
    more
  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    Having loved the debut novel The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes I have been eagerly anticipating getting hold of her new release Today We Go Home. Well I can emphatically say that it did not disappoint in any shape or form. I found it to be extremely compelling and binge reading worthy. Today We Go Home alternates between the lives of Emily Wilson who enlists as a Union soldier disguised as a man Jesse Wilson during the Civil War and Larkin Bennet an Afghanistan war veteran. Kelli Estis r Having loved the debut novel The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes I have been eagerly anticipating getting hold of her new release Today We Go Home. Well I can emphatically say that it did not disappoint in any shape or form. I found it to be extremely compelling and binge reading worthy. Today We Go Home alternates between the lives of Emily Wilson who enlists as a Union soldier disguised as a man Jesse Wilson during the Civil War and Larkin Bennet an Afghanistan war veteran. Kelli Estis really brought to the forefront the struggle and perseverance woman past and present have had to be treated as equal to men in order to serve their country. Both Emily and Larkin suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and have trouble acclimatizing to civilian lives once discharged from their duties.If you love a book with attention to historical detail that is both informative and fascinating then I highly recommend you add Today We go Home to your read list. You will be happy you did!I would like to thank Net Gallery, Sourcebooks Landmark and Kelli Estes for the ARC of Today We Go Home for my honest review.
    more
  • Jthbooks
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this Historical Fiction novel. I hadn't read historical fiction for a while and this book has reignited my love for it, and that's always a good thing.The story was fantastic. As you can tell from the synopsis, it's set in two different times. Both were absolutely compelling. Each story was so interesting, I loved reading both parts. I also loved that Larkin was discovering Emily's story as the same time as the reader, it just connects you to the story and the characters.What re I really enjoyed this Historical Fiction novel. I hadn't read historical fiction for a while and this book has reignited my love for it, and that's always a good thing.
The story was fantastic. As you can tell from the synopsis, it's set in two different times. Both were absolutely compelling. Each story was so interesting, I loved reading both parts. I also loved that Larkin was discovering Emily's story as the same time as the reader, it just connects you to the story and the characters.
What really shone throughout this novel were it's characters. I loved both Emily and Larkin. It's was so interesting to read Emily's journey. She had such spirit. I love that her circumstances didn't destroy her. Everything she went through was terrible, but it didn't break her. Larkin's journey was absolutely heartbreaking to read. I've read a lot of historical fiction over the years and PTSD isn't often dealt with, but in this book it's been done in a real, honest way. Her arc was fantastic and I was willing her to get better.
Now, my fellow book worms, you know I love a book that teaches us something and this one certainly did. I had no idea women pretended to be men so they could fight in the Civil War, and the wars after. It was fascinating yet infuriating to read the injustice they faced, just for wanting to defend their country the same as a man. You can tell a lot of research has gone into this novel.
The writing was fantastic. Both stories were dealt with in such a classy, emotive way. They also blended together seamlessly. Both characters were written with such emotion. I loved them. Also, I loved Ben and Willie. Their story was a real highlight.
I can't recommend this book enough! It was a great historical fiction novel! It's a time that's not written about often.
Thank you to Netgalley and Sourcebooks for a copy of this book, in return for an honest, unbiased review. It's out September 3rd.
    more
  • Wendy Golding
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed Kelli Estes' last book, 'The Girl Who Wrote in Silk' and was happy to read a galley of her new book that comes out this summer. This story explores the history of women who served our country during our civil war, in the 1860s. In order to do so, these women had to pretend to be men. Back to present day, we meet Larissa, who served in Afghanistan, and is back home with the diary of the woman who fought during the civil war. While their stories are unique, the running themes in t I really enjoyed Kelli Estes' last book, 'The Girl Who Wrote in Silk' and was happy to read a galley of her new book that comes out this summer. This story explores the history of women who served our country during our civil war, in the 1860s. In order to do so, these women had to pretend to be men. Back to present day, we meet Larissa, who served in Afghanistan, and is back home with the diary of the woman who fought during the civil war. While their stories are unique, the running themes in this one are similar, even today. There were female veterans of the Civil War, who suffered from PTSD, and suffered at the hands of their fellow male soldiers. This story is quite timely with the current 'ME TOO' movement. While the ending was a little far fetched for me, I did enjoy the history of this story and the historical elements.
    more
  • Maria
    January 1, 1970
    I was honoured to receive an ARC for this book from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Having had read Kelli Estes’ first novel, I was excited to read her second one, as I absolutely LOVED the first, and knew that I had to get my hands on the second! Upon first reading this book, I was entranced with the story right away, which featured a dual timeline, and a focus on two different women, each of them fighting a battle of their own. One view focuses on Emily Wilson, a woman who disguis I was honoured to receive an ARC for this book from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Having had read Kelli Estes’ first novel, I was excited to read her second one, as I absolutely LOVED the first, and knew that I had to get my hands on the second! Upon first reading this book, I was entranced with the story right away, which featured a dual timeline, and a focus on two different women, each of them fighting a battle of their own. One view focuses on Emily Wilson, a woman who disguises herself as a man in order to fight alongside her brother, Ben, in the American Civil War of 1861. The flip side features Larkin Bennett, a soldier who fought for the United States in Afghanistan. As the book begins, Larkin is experiencing symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), specifically in relation to the death of her friend, Sarah, and the other dramatic experiences associated with war. It was intriguing to note that women were allowed to disguise themselves as men, and become enlisted in the Civil War, it was something that I didn’t think existed! I loved reading about Emily’s bravery, especially when it came to the number of deaths she witnessed, and the assault she experienced as a woman, something that she came to hate once her time in the war had ended. I also loved how Emily finally found ‘her place’, and knew that once she was in the area she wanted to be in, she became a settled woman, focusing on how her experiences could benefit others.In terms of Larkin’s story, I truly felt for her, wanting to hug her tight, and tell her that everything was going to be okay in the end. I felt sorry for the symptoms that Larkin was experiencing, while trying her best to settle them without getting any of her family involved. Based on the terrors that she experienced on a daily basis, I couldn’t imagine living in that sort of way; she truly was a brave and honourable woman to have served her country in such a way. Kelli Estes did a fabulous job of describing the difficulties that both Emily and Larkin experienced when fighting, both in the war, and on a personal level. Emily was forced to hide her PTSD, as it was uncommon for it to be well-documented during her time-period. However, Larkin was given the support needed, first by her family, then by her community as a whole, whom included her therapist, someone that she relied on heavily in the end. I was surprised to read about how women fighting in the Civil War was a common occurrence, paving the way for women to become soldiers on a regular basis in the present time-period. Overall, a well-researched and heartbreaking story of how war can take away the most vital parts of one’s human soul, while also giving them the courage to become stronger then they thought they could be. Kelli Estes really knows how to write, and I enjoyed how well-scripted and beautifully-written this book was; in my mind, another grand hit!
    more
  • Les Romantiques
    January 1, 1970
    Posted on Les Romantiques - Le forum du siteReviewed by JazzmenReview Copy from the PublisherI voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.We follow two stories in parallel: Larkin’s, nowadays, retired military woman (so to speak) because of a tragedy which took place on her last mission. And Emily’s, whose story starts in 1861 (during the Civil War), a young woman who, as a result of a combination of circumstances, disguised herself as a man Posted on Les Romantiques - Le forum du siteReviewed by JazzmenReview Copy from the PublisherI voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.We follow two stories in parallel: Larkin’s, nowadays, retired military woman (so to speak) because of a tragedy which took place on her last mission. And Emily’s, whose story starts in 1861 (during the Civil War), a young woman who, as a result of a combination of circumstances, disguised herself as a man to join the army.I didn’t know this author, I wanted to read this book because the Civil War is my favorite historical period (I was brought up with Gone with the wind by Margaret Mitchell, Ashes in the wind by Kathleen Woodiwiss and the saga “Louisiana” by Maurice Denuzière) and also because I was intrigued by the description of the book. I had no idea that women may have disguised themselves as men to become soldiers – even if I was not surprised by that fact. Especially since it really was the case, the writer gives us explanations (mostly at the end of the book but also during the story) about women who really existed and who served as men (and not only during the Civil War).We are on a theme rather dramatic throughout the book: we follow the psychological reconstruction of Larkin who suffers from PTSD and who succeeds in overcoming (or rather controlling) her demons thanks to the reading of Emily’s diary who lived herself that kind of traumatism in a time when we didn’t know it existed.I really enjoyed my reading: it was very enlightening, historically speaking and also about the situation of women in the military today, all sprinkled with a touch of welcome feminism.The book is well written and the story is very addictive. We really want to know what happened to Emily and if Larkin will get through. There are a few very emotional moments, the author is very talented.About the characters, I preferred Emily’s story whom I found a lot more endearing than Larkin. Larkin’s reactions are undoubtfully due to her state of mind and I couldn’t really blame her for them but she annoyed me anyway two or three times.To conclude, I really liked this book and I highly recommend it. It reads well, it is captivating and it has an important message.
    more
  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. Two women, living centuries apart, fighting for our country’s freedom…and their own.Seattle, WashingtonLarkin Bennett has always known her place, whether it’s surrounded by her loving family in the lush greenery of the Pacific Northwest, or riding on a dusty co I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. Two women, living centuries apart, fighting for our country’s freedom…and their own.Seattle, WashingtonLarkin Bennett has always known her place, whether it’s surrounded by her loving family in the lush greenery of the Pacific Northwest, or riding on a dusty convoy in Afghanistan. But all that changed the day tragedy struck her unit and took away everything she held dear. Soon after, Larkin discovers an unexpected treasure: the diary of Emily Wilson, a young woman who disguised herself as a man to fight for the Union in the Civil War. As Larkin struggles to heal, she finds herself drawn deep into Emily’s life and the secrets she kept.Indiana, 1861The only thing more dangerous to Emily Wilson than a rebel soldier is her own comrades in the Union. But in the minds of her fellow soldiers, if it dresses like a man, swears like a man, and shoots like a man, it must be a man. As the war marches on and takes its terrible toll, Emily begins to question everything she has been told about the freedom she is supposed to be fighting for.This book was fascinating as each story could have stood on its own, in its own book, but melding them together was genius. Each woman (girl? lady?) was a badass on their own right and their stories, although quite disparate, melded effortlessly into one solid, amazing story. I have never read anything by Kellie Estes before (she is a first-time author as I looked into it and found out), but this certainly makes me want to: she needs to write a second book!! This is a definite book club pick: I run and belong to eight different clubs so these ladies and gentlemen will be enjoying it as well once it comes out as I get t pick the books!As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by Millenials on Instagram and Twitter) so let's give it some good Seattle Coffee: ☕☕☕☕☕
    more
Write a review