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TMW Book Reviews

Review – If Tomorrow Could Sing

by

Rosemary Ryan Imregi

Rosemary Ryan Imregi’s novel “If Tomorrow Could Sing” transports readers to the heart of Savannah, Georgia, during the tumultuous days of the American Civil War. Through the eyes of Sally Preston, a young Southern woman, we experience the daily challenges and emotional upheaval brought on by the impending arrival of General Sherman’s army. The novel masterfully captures the blend of personal and historical struggles, painting a vivid picture of a community on the brink of change.

The story begins on a crisp December day in 1864, with Savannah caught in the throes of Christmas preparations amidst war. Sally Preston emerges as the protagonist—a beacon of strength and moral clarity. Her world is thrown into chaos when she learns of Sherman’s march toward Savannah, a revelation that sets her on a frantic journey to protect her loved ones. The narrative weaves Sally’s personal battles with broader historical events, offering a poignant look at the human side of war.

Imregi’s writing shines in her meticulous attention to historical detail and her ability to create deeply human and relatable characters. Sally’s internal conflicts and her relationships with her Aunt Gertrude and other townsfolk are crafted with a deftness that invites readers into the very soul of the era. The dialogue, infused with the dialect and mannerisms of the time, enhances the authenticity of the narrative, making the tension and drama more palpable.

The novel does not shy away from the darker aspects of the period, such as the harsh realities of slavery and war. Yet, it handles these themes with sensitivity, focusing on Sally’s personal growth and her moral reflections, which challenge the status quo of her society. This introspection is one of the book’s strongest points, offering a critique of the era’s societal norms while providing a narrative of hope and resilience.

Positive aspects of “If Tomorrow Could Sing” include its rich historical context, the development of strong, complex characters, and the seamless integration of personal and historical narratives. Imregi succeeds in creating a compelling story that not only educates but also entertains, holding the reader’s attention with well-paced drama and emotional depth.

Overall, “If Tomorrow Could Sing” is a memorable exploration of the Civil War’s impact on individual lives and community spirit. It is a testament to the endurance of hope and the strength of the human spirit in times of crisis. Readers with an interest in historical novels that focus on personal trials set against the backdrop of significant historical events will find Sally’s story both enlightening and inspiring.

– The Moving Words Review

Official Entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 3, 2025