Seeing the Elephant, Saint Maggie Series Book 4 (Janet R. Stafford, author)
During the battle of Gettysburg, Maggie Blaine Smith saw the elephant.* Now she and her unconventional family from the old boarding house have finally returned to the safety of Blaineton, New Jersey.
Husband Eli has been hired as the new Editor-in-Chief of The Register, the town’s new newspaper, published by the indomitable Tryphena Moore, and this promises to be a financial and social step up. But they quickly discover that Blaineton is not the same. An insane asylum has opened on a hill north of town. A woolen mill and army uniform factory are doing big business to Blaineton’s south. And a wealthy industrialist by the name of Josiah Norton seeks to change the face and tenor of the once sleepy little burg.
In addition, Maggie worries about Eli, who suffers increasingly from nightmares of the war. As she cares for their new baby and edits articles for the Register, she and her dear friend Emily also struggle to keep up an enormous house. Then daughter Frankie gets a job offer at the Western New Jersey Hospital for the Insane. Life will not be as peaceful as Maggie had hoped.
*In the nineteenth-century, “seeing the elephant” or “I’ve seen the elephant” meant “Now, I’ve seen everything” or “Now, I’ve seen it all.” Civil War soldiers, though, used the term to mean “I’ve been in the war.”