Monday, March 26, 2018

Review of Everything We Lose by Annette Oppenlander

Welcome to the review tour for Everything We Lose by Annette Oppenlander. It's about two teenaged friends from opposite backgrounds who get separated by tragic circumstances and lead parallel lives during the Civil War. Check out an excerpt from the book as well as my review. Grab your own copy for 99 cents for a limited time. You can also leave a comment for the author as you move along the book tour to enter the giveaway for a $15 gift card.

Please note that affiliate links are present within this post. Should you choose to make a purchase through one, I may earn a small commission to help support my websites. Also note that I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Everything We Lose

Two friends--one black, one white.
Torn apart by an attack gone wrong.
One escapes into war, the other is sold into slavery.

Told from alternating viewpoints, one black and one white, Surviving the Fatherland author Annette Oppenlander delivers another stunning historical tale set against the epic backdrop of the American Civil War--a breathtaking examination of the power of hope and friendship, and the endurance of the human spirit to find a way home.
On sale for 99 cents during the tour!

Read an excerpt:
Adam rushed to the opening that was closest to the stables and peeked out. Nathan’s mother, wearing a gown of crisp cotton with a soft pattern of cornflowers, its blue reminding Adam of his own mother’s eyes, stood waiting outside. She held a dainty umbrella of cream-white lace to shade out the sun and a pair of riding gloves. “If you don’t come soon, I must go back inside,” she said, her voice almost too quiet to hear. “It is dreadfully hot today.” 
“You think she look in here?” Tip whispered.  
Adam shook his head and kept watching the yard. His mind screamed leave. Yet he stood with indecision. He couldn’t go outside while Janet Billings was near. Thoughts of what he’d done roiled inside his head, panic drying his mouth.  
To his relief, Janet Billings slowly wandered back toward the main house when Wilkes crossed her path. She was too far for Adam to hear, but Wilkes’s voice boomed easily across the lawn. “Sure, M’am, I’ll be happy to search for him. Give me a few minutes…I’ll be right back.” 
To Adam’s horror, Wilkes headed straight toward the stables and then made a sudden turn toward the grain shack. Obviously it was well known that Nathan Billings liked to torture Tip.  
Adam leaped from the window, grabbed Nathan’s feet and pulled him toward a stack of burlap sacks. He had mere seconds to hide them both. From the corner of his eye he saw Tip turn on his side, pretending to be asleep. Desperately yanking at the sacks to make space, he pushed Nathan, who felt soft as a bag of flour, and himself into the opening and cowered low. 
The door flew open. “Mr. Billings, are you in here?” Wilkes rushed to Tip’s cot. “You awake, Boy?” 
Tip grumbled and rubbed his eyes. “Something wrong?” 
“Have you seen Master Nathan?” 
Tip shook his head, his brown eyes wide. “No, Sir.”  
“I wonder why the shack was unlocked,” Wilkes mumbled as he turned and walked back out.  
“They pick up wheat for the kitchen earlier,” Tip offered, but the overseer was already gone, the chain rattling on the outside.  
Adam slowly rose as Tip sat up on his cot. Their eyes met.  
They’d both be hanged come morning.

 **My thoughts**

Civil War stories have intrigued me since I was a kid. I will never be able to understand how one human could think he owned another human as property. I have never understood the hatred between people based on their skin color. And I can't imagine what it would be like to be on a battlefield like that, especially when you may be fighting against your best friends or brothers. And then the horrors of the injuries and amputations.

Oppenlander's characters look like they should be on opposite sides, but instead they are best friends. This happened between slaves and sympathizers, but could be dangerous, especially when living in a state that is so split in loyalties. Tip and Adam have long been friends. The two of them end up in a situation that spells disaster for both of them and they start to go down different paths. Following Adam's story gives you some insight into what it was like being in the army. Following Tip's story gives you some insight into what it was like being a slave. Both of their stories are rooted in fact and based on real battles that took place.

I enjoyed those aspects of the book, but felt that some of the dramatic twists and turns were a bit more modern than historical. That's not to say that those things didn't happen then. I guess I'm just not used to reading them in an historical novel. That being said, those dramatic twists did make me think of some of those grand tales like North and South and Gone with the Wind, with a slight update in a couple of topics. For some readers, this will be perfect. Worth a read as now I am craving more Civil War stories. And I am curious about some of her other stories.

About Annette Oppenlander

Annette Oppenlander is an award-winning writer, literary coach and educator. As a bestselling historical novelist, Oppenlander is known for her authentic characters and stories based on true events, coming alive in well-researched settings. Having lived in Germany the first half of her life and the second half in various parts in the U.S., Oppenlander inspires readers by illuminating story questions as relevant today as they were in the past.

Oppenlander’s bestselling true WWII story, Surviving the Fatherland, was elected to IWIC’s Hall of Fame, won the 2017 National Indie Excellence Award and is a finalist in the 2017 Kindle Book Awards. Her historical time-travel trilogy, Escape from the Past, takes readers to the German Middle Ages and the Wild West. Uniquely, Oppenlander weaves actual historical figures and events into her plots, giving readers a flavor of true history while enjoying a good story. Oppenlander shares her knowledge through writing workshops at colleges, libraries and schools. She also offers vivid presentations and author visits. The mother of fraternal twins and a son, she recently returned to her home, Solingen, Germany where she lives with her husband and old mutt, Mocha.

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Annette Oppenlander will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I enjoyed getting to know your book; congrats on the tour, I hope it is a fun one for you, and thanks for the chance to win :)

  2. Congratulations on the book tour. Thanks for hosting. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

  3. I liked the excerpt, thank you.