2016 BRONZE MEDAL WINNER with 5-Star Review in the Readers’ Favorite Choice Awards!
Reluctant to shed her riding trousers and fully submerse herself in her role as a growing woman, Jana Brady joins the Union army in the fight for her country. Hoping for Sweet Glory, she cuts her hair and disguises herself as a young cavalryman, eager to fight the Rebels, aided by Leanne Perham, another girl from town who has donned the Union blues. Disguised as Johnnie and Leander, Jana and Leanne form a close connection with other misfits in their unit, twelve-year-old Charlie, who’s hidden his age to provide for his ma, and Irishman Keeley, who inspires men to abandon their inner conflicts and band together. Jana comes to greatly admire Keeley, who frequently needles Johnnie about the occasional appearance of feminine attributes.
While Jana enjoys the camaraderie within her unit, soldiering and nursing severely test her notions of glory in war. And the possibility of dying as a man hits home when she witnesses a man and his disguised bride die hand in hand on the battlefield. Jana determines to find a way home, with the blossoming incentive of renewing a relationship with Keeley once she is again living as a woman. But this possibility seems even more unlikely when Keeley is captured and Jana is hit by a bullet. Will she be able to rescue him from the Confederates’ clutches? And will Keeley love her for her true self? Lisa Potocar masterfully interweaves a moving love story with a sweeping portrayal of the heartache of the Civil War and the courage of key figures in history.
Acclaim for Sweet Glory:
- First-Place Winner in the Young Adult Category for the 2009 Novel Contests of the Maryland Writers’ Association and SouthWest Writers.
- Semi-Finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough YA Novel Award (2010)
- First-Place Winner of the Sarasota County Film & Entertainment Office TV ME! Contest (2013)
- Bronze Medal Award Winner in the Readers’ Favorite Choice Awards (2016)
Full Editorial Reviews of Sweet Glory
Readers get a healthy dose of history, adventure, love and nail biting suspense in the story of 17-year-old Jana Brady, who, unhappy with the constraints of being a woman in the 1860s, sets to do something about it. Jana has always been able to be the son her father never had, learning how to shoot, ride horses, and help guide the runaway slaves who show up at the Brady homestead, a stop on the Underground Railroad. She doesn’t want to do the girly things her sisters do; she enjoys living her life freely, and in order to live the life she wants, she tricks her parents into thinking she’s run off to become a nurse for the Union. Instead, she cuts off her hair and enlists in the military as a boy to fight for her country. Nevertheless, she never expected it to be so difficult to kill another person, and she never thought she’d find love. Jana is a very likeable character, and the historical facts are, for the most part, nicely woven into the narrative fabric, though the chance encounters with Clara Barton and Walt Whitman are contrived. Overall, this book combines historical accuracy with romance and a suspenseful narrative that will keep readers hooked.
~Historical Novel Society
This award-winning young adult novel, set during the American Civil War, tells of Jana Brady, a tomboy whose parents decide the time has come for her to set aside her masculine pursuits and behave like the 16-year-old young woman that she is. Unwilling to submit to dull quilting bees and tea parties, Jana dresses as a man, changes her name, and enlists in the Union Army. As though hiding her physical attributes from an army full of men isn’t complication enough, Jana (a.k.a. Johnnie) falls in love with fellow soldier Keeley Cassidy but can’t risk sharing her secret with him.
As a woman, the description on the back cover caught my attention immediately. Imagining the situations Jana would face in the midst of hundreds of men piqued my curiosity. The book’s front cover added to my interest, being one of most professional I’ve seen to date. Lisa Potocar delivers an exceptional novel. Her colorful descriptions and lifelike characters bring the civil war to life, putting me in the middle of the smells, emotions, and scenes of battle. Delightful twists in the plot kept me reading well into the night. It was a joy to learn about a promising young girl who met her challenges head-on and matured into a strong, self-assured woman. Sweet Glory would be a wonderful supplement to a school Civil War history lesson as well as an entertaining read any time for all ages.
~Ginger Simpson of HistoricalNovelReview.blogspot.com & Author of Historical Fiction
I just finished turning the last page of Sweet Glory, and I’m sad that the story ended, but elated to have had the opportunity to read such a strong, masterful accounting of female bravery during the Civil War. The amount of research time the author spent before embarking on writing is amply displayed, both in the accuracy of her facts and the acknowledgments she shares. This book placed first in the ‘Young Adult’ category of the 2009 Maryland Writers’ and SouthWest Writers’ contests, and although I’m far from that targeted age group, I can’t imagine being more engaged in an historical novel. Ms. Potocar has created a fabulous way to teach our youngsters about an important period of history while making them feel as though they’ve experienced the journey personally.
The descriptions in this book are amazingly real and emotional. I love a novel that puts me in the characters shoes, or in this case, boots, and lets me see the story through the roleplayer’s eyes. Sweet Glory certainly did that for me. I cried at the misery, pain and suffering and laughed with joy of discovery, love, and hope. The breeze caressed my cheeks, the honeysuckle pleased my senses and dimmed the stench of blood and rotting limbs in the crowded hospital tents right before the hangman’s noose chafed my throat. You must experience this story for yourself and present it to a young adult so they can see for themselves the difference between telling and showing a story. Kudos Lisa Potocar, you’ve written something wonderful.
~Romuald Dzemo for Readers’ Favorite Choice Awards
Sweet Glory by Lisa Y. Potocar combines elements of adventure, history, and coming of age to offer both young and adult readers great entertainment. Disguised as a man, Jana Brady joins the Union Army to defend her country. With a new identity, she meets a woman like her and other young men. But what awaits them might not be the sweet glory she’s dreamed about. She gets to experience the evils and misery of war at very close quarters and begins to question why she even decided to join the army. Things take a turn for the worse when Jana gets hit by a bullet and when the very man she’s hoped to develop a romance with is captured. Can she make it out of the mess, and can her fate and that of Keeley the Irishman be linked in any way?
Lisa Y. Potocar has a great gift for character and plot. As a debut novel, Sweet Glory is a huge success. The prose is beautiful, peppered with powerful descriptions that allow the reader to have a complete picture of the setting and the characters. I enjoyed the way the author integrated historical elements of the Civil War into this tale. There are many surprising plot points that enhance the already overwhelming sense of suspense, making readers worried about the fate of the protagonist and wondering about the outcome of the story. Jana Brady is a well-crafted character and readers will enjoy her in her friendships with others, but most of all, they will love to watch her face her illusions. The romance that develops within the story adds spice to the intense action. This book is a rewarding read.
~Press Release (Abbreviated) by Jeanne Corcoran, Director of Sarasota County Film & Entertainment Office (SCFEO)
A fictionalized but fact-based movie-of-the-week drama treatment claimed the grand prize in the nationwide 2013 Sarasota County Film & Entertainment Office (SCFEO) “TV ME!” pitch contest this week. . .Lisa Potocar’s debut novel, Sweet Glory, was the foundation behind her pitch of the same title to the “TV ME!” contest. The made-for-movie television concept is seen as having strong appeal to several networks.
Readers’ Reviews of Sweet Glory
~Ronald G. Matteson, Author of “Civil War Campaigns of the 10th New York Cavalry”
This book fits right in with others that include the subjects: the Underground Railroad, quilting, young women, the Civil War, etc. The pages are well-written and have an element of suspense in spots, making the reading not only interesting, but exciting. The story reveals some of the life and anxieties of the period, including the feelings surrounding the conflicting philosophies separating the North and South. All in all, a very well-written and interesting book.
~David Felton, President & CEO of Community Memorial Hospital, Hamilton, NY
Once I started reading “Sweet Glory” I had a hard time putting it down. I found the book to be fast-moving, very stimulating, fascinating from a historical point of view and overall one of the best historical novels I have ever read. Your story, which is equally attractive to both the adolescent and adult population, also features something of great interest: women involved in combat and taking an active role in military operations in the civil war. I think most of us thought the role women played in the civil war was more of a nursing/medical supportive role. The National Women’s Hall of Fame and the National Organization for Women should be made aware of your great book. “Sweet Glory” is also a great plot for a movie.
~Pre-Teens, Leah & Ava Blatz, Floral Park, NY (Their letter to a kin)
Ava and I just wanted to thank you for the books. Please tell your friend it was one of the best books I have ever read and I finished it in one night. Thank you!
~See More Reviews on Amazon!