On the morning of July 21, 1861, several hundred civilians set out to Centreville, picnics packed, to watch the battle of Bull Run. Year of Disunion is a vel that explores who these people were and what their experience might have been. The story opens in Vermont as two very different sisters, Lettie and Roxana, reunite after years apart while Roxana is enduring a near-fatal childbirth. Changes caused by the war take them to Washington and an invitation to watch the battle, along with their five young children. Things do t go well for the spectators. Visions of champagne toasts to celebrate a glorious, easy Yankee victory are shattered as dishorable retreat drives the civilians from the field along with the soldiers. After the battle, Lettie is pursued by her abusive, wealthy husband, and Roxana travels south to find her husband, chaplain to the 2nd Vermont, who has been captured and made a prisoner of war. Events lead characters into wartime Washington, DC; Raleigh, NC; Cairo, IL; and the North Carolina Outer Banks, as they respond to the disunion the war brings to their lives throughout the remainder of 1861.
Blythe Forcey Toussaint comes from a line of writers - including grandmother, Anya Seton, a well-known historical novelist, and great-grandfather, Ernest Thompson Seton, a renowned naturalist and nature writer. She has a PhD in 19th-Century American Literature. Her career has been in both academe and industry, and she is published in several academic and corporate periodicals. She lives in Colorado where she spends as much time as possible hiking the mountains with her husband and their three large dogs. She plans this novel to be the first of a 4 volume series with one for each year of the Civil War released as the sesquicentennial of each year arrives: Year of Disunion (1861), Year of Atonement (1862), Year of Redemption (1863), and Year of Reunion (1864).