Turn Homeward, Hannalee

by Patricia Beatty
193 pages, Historical Fiction
Reviewed by niennasiblings

Good historical read but some slightly violent content.


Hannalee is torn away from her family by Yankee soldiers during the American Civil War. As she leaves, she promises to her mother that she will return. As she faces servitude, battles, and adventures, will she succeed in coming home?


Hannahlee uses deception in order to escape. She learns to appreciate her previous life for what it was, and learns contentment even in what her life becomes, though she does what she can to make it better. She is respectful to her mistress, even though she knows her mistress is unjust. She is loyal to her family and State above almost everything else, but learns to love and care for even the soldiers of the very army that ruined her life and tore her family apart.

Spiritual Content

Characters thank God for things, ask for His help and blessing at times, pray for each other, ask God for wisdom, and pray before bed.


Hannalee witnesses battles, wounds, and deaths, but all of these are fairly vaguely described, though they are sad.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Soldiers drink, but the reader doesn't know much, if anything, more than that fact.

Sexual Content

Some drunk soldiers grab girls and try to kiss them. The girls then rub dirt in their faces and hair to try to distract attention from themselves. A young woman is said to be flirting with a young man.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

A boy dresses as a girl and a girl pretends to be a boy, both times for good reason.


This is an interesting book full of adventure and learning. It is historically accurate, as far as I could tell, and gives insight into the civilians' side of the war. Hannalee has great relationships with her family and others, and those relationships grow through trials. It is worth reading, though I would be cautious about giving it to children.

Fun Score: 4.5
Values Score: 4
Written for Age: 11-12

Review Rating:

Average rating: 4 stars
Did we miss something? Let us know!

niennasiblings This review is brought to you by niennasiblings.
Read more reviews by niennasiblings