Fiction - Historical - Event/Era

The Witness Tree

Category:Fiction - Historical - Event/Era

Author:Jena M. Steinmetz

  • Publisher: Palmetto Publishing
  • Publication Date: August 11, 2021
  • Number of Pages: 508
  • ISBN-10: 1638372748
  • ISBN-13: 978-1638372745

The Witness Tree by Jena M. Steinmetz is a spellbinding romp of historical fiction steeped in mystery. Breanne Walker is a Pennsylvania archival preservationist working for Gettysburg National Military Park’s museum. Breanne is called to investigate a mystery about the Witness tree, the same that stood on the battleground of the Civil War and that is now toppled. In the roots of the toppled tree is the remains of a Confederate soldier and a tattered diary. Breanne's boss, Greg Ransome, entrusts her with the secret project. Breanne works feverishly on the DNA of the soldier while deciphering the contents of the diary, uncovering the tragic tale of Abigail Pritchard. She must find answers quickly before the paparazzi start making noise. But she has one big problem: lead archivist Peggy Cupple. If Peggy discovers the project, Breanne loses her job.

This is a well-researched and stunningly executed story that offers multiple plot points. On the surface, readers follow a skilled and highly determined archivist as she digs into the history, unraveling a hidden mystery surrounding one of the fiercest battles of the Civil War. But unwittingly, she finds herself entangled in dirty politics. Jena M. Steinmetz has written a story that is as twisty as it is suspenseful, a gorgeous offering for fans of historical fiction. The Witness Tree captures the readers from the get-go — and it never relents. The historical setting is vividly drawn and the world-building is wonderfully executed. This book is a whopping good page-turner that melds the activity of an archivist with the intelligent investigation to take readers on a delightful ride. The sense of urgency moves the heroine in her quest to unravel the mystery. I couldn't put it down. Breanne Walker is a character that readers will remember long after they have turned the last page of this exciting book. 

Reviewed By: Cristina Prescott

Reviewed Date: January 31, 2023

Category: Fiction - Historical - Event/Era