The bravest fighters are often not soldiers. Based on a true story of Civil War era passion and sacrifice, this novel follows the life of Sally Ann Marsh. Born to a poor, but close-knit family, Sally is married off in 1859, at the age of 15, to a wealthy man twice her age. She is distraught, but determined to make the best of her life. She falls in love with her husband and they create a blissful home together with their growing family. Their lives are upended when Sherman marches through Georgia. Sally is forced to evacuate and leads a small group of women, children and her elderly father-in-law to the Florida frontier. As their men are off fighting, the refugees rebuild their lives amidst the sweltering heat, mosquitoes and gnats, alligators and poisonous snakes. But it is the two-legged varmints who threaten the most harm. Sally manages to establish a community for her friends and family, while they wait for the men, some of whom might never return.
Sarah A. Younger is a native Floridian whose ancestors settled Florida in the post-Civil War period, with some branches on the family tree traced to the 1820's. The stories Sarah has passed on in the novel, "A Bend in the Straight and Narrow," were told to her by her grandmother, Granny O'Steen. Since the stories were a mere skeleton, she filled in the gaps with historical fiction. Not only did the inspiration come from family narratives, but after studying the picture of the real Sarah, the author thought that as a young girl, she could not have looked that stern. From that reflection flowed the story like water over a broken dam. Much of the research done for this project was accomplished by visiting graveyards in the Bradford and Alachua County areas. The search for Jacob Henry's and Sarah's graves is ongoing. Many of the markers revealed things not known previously in family history, such as an epidemic that killed three people in the family, including her grandfather's mother, one week after he was born. The last names in the book have been changed, but many of the given names remain the same. Sarah has a BA degree from Baylor University and an Education degree from the University of Southern Colorado. She has an avid interest in history and quilting. She lives in Merritt Island, FL with her husband.