Beyond All Price
Author: Carolyn Poling Schriber
Publisher: Katzenhaus Books (2010)
Binding: Paperback, 356 pages
Beyond All Price is a historical novel, based on the life story of Nellie M. Chase, a Union nurse during America's Civil War. She was strong enough to escape from an abusive relationship and resourceful enough to find a job as wardrobe mistress for a theater. The actress with whom she shared a room in a squalid tenement took an overdose of opium in an effort to escape a life of prostitution. Nellie joined the Union Army, because life in the midst of a war seemed safer than the one she had been living. She found a home with the 100th Pennsylvania Regiment, known as "The Roundheads" because of their religious beliefs. Her skill and compassion led one of her patients to write, "Even here, amid the roar and carnage, was found a woman with the soul to dare danger; the heart to sympathize with the battle-stricken; sense, skill, and experience to make her a treasure beyond all price." * She was equally at home managing a southern plantation full of abandoned slaves, a battlefield operating station, or a 600-bed military hospital. After the war, her deep-seated need to dedicate her life to a worthy cause continued to drive her efforts until she faced an enemy more lethal than war.
MWSA 2011 Bronze Medal for Non-Fiction, Biography
Beyond All Price is a five-by-eight inch paperback book. The cover has a pleasant design portraying a gun battery at Fort Donelson, Tennessee. As Civil War fiction, this book presents a well-researched chronicle of Nellie Chase’s career as matron and nurse to the 100th Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
Nellie Chase existed. The 100th Pennsylvania Regiment existed. This fictional account of Nellie’s efforts gives the reader an insight to the early years of the Civil War; as the 100th Pennsylvania goes through training and campaigns in coastal Carolina.
Following her career with the 100th Pennsylvania, Nellie becomes the organizational force that develops the model veterans hospital in Nashville as the Civil War comes to a close.
Beyond All Price is a recommended read for Civil War followers. It is an interesting story that provides insight into Nellie Chase’s life during and after the Civil War.
Reviewed by: John R. R. Faulkner (2011)