Paulette Jiles is an American Novelist, poet, and memoirist. She belongs to Salem, Missouri. The author graduated with a major in romance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1968. Enemy Women is her famous book.
In 1969, she went to Toronto, Canada, where she worked in Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She helped set up the native language and worked for Fm radio stations with indigenous peoples from northern Ontario and Quebec for over ten years. As living in Ontario, she learned the language Ojibwe spoken by the Anishinaabe peoples.
The story is about the Missouri woman who lost her house and family in front of her eyes as war collateral. Every chapter of this book includes historical data; letters of soldiers are written to their families and documents collected from the civil war days. The author has not disclosed the dialogues of enemy women in quotation marks; hence choose a different approach in writing the content.
In 1991 when she married Jim Johnson, they both moved to San Antonio. The couple traveled for many years and eventually settled in San Antonio in 1995 as a permanent residence. In 2003 they were separated, and Jiles started living on a 36-acre ranch near Utopia, Texas, located about 80 miles west of San Antonio.
She wrote many books, but her bestseller novel is News of the World, published in 2016. This novel was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction. In her book Enemy women released in 2002, Paulette exposed the side effects of civil war on civil society that many of us did not know yet.
Colley’s family lived in a southeastern Missouri clapboard home. Eighteen-year-old Adair, the eldest one among four other siblings, watched the troops find each other on hills moving upwards and downwards in the valleys.
Sometimes they fail to find each other but are often successful in engaging each other. As long as she watches them, she becomes tense. That’s why her siblings and parents tried to prevent him from that situation.
Although Adair’s family remained neutral in the civil war, it got personal when the Union Militia arrested her father and almost burned their house to ashes for no reason. All their treasure and possession was stolen.
In this critical situation, John Lee succeeded in escaping to the hills while Adair and her sister gathered the things that the soldiers had left untouched somehow and set off in search of their father.
Adair planned that she and her sisters move towards Iron Mountain 120 miles away. On their way to their destination, they met with a stream of refugees as white trash. Moreover, here Adair’s condemnation seems damn true.
Things were going well, but suddenly she was accused of being a spy for the Confederacy by the family with whom she was traveling. They named her an Enemy woman. As a result, Adair was sent to the women’s prison in St. Louis.
This is just a brief overview of the book. If you want to read the entire story, you can download it from the link given below. However, you can continue reading here online.