I read this as a follow-up to Only Call Us Faithful, which was a novel based on the life of Elizabeth Van Lew, spy for the Union army. Since this book is her occasional journal and therefore her actual writing, I expected to like it even better than the novel. The trouble with reading someone elses journal, though, especially an occasional journal, is that it makes for choppy reading. Its made worse in this case because as a spy, it was too dangerous for Miss Van Lew to record all the details, and much of what she did record was destroyed, which is evidenced by big time gaps in the journal. So if youre interested in learning about Elizabeth Van Lew, and shes worth learning about, dont start with this book. Its a good follow-up, but only after youve gotten some familiarity with the events of her life from some clearer narrative.