Everything We Lose: A Civil War Novel of Hope, Courage and Redemption

Book Cover


19th Century

Annette Oppenlander

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Two friends, one black, one white, torn apart by an attack gone wrong, one escapes into war, the other is sold into slavery - a breathtaking examination of the power of hope and friendship, and the endurance of the human spirit to find a way home.


Historical Fiction,Young Adult,War,Drama,Adventure,Action,Family

Short Summary

After learning of his father's death and to protect his only friend, Tip, a slave at the neighboring plantation, farm boy Adam gets into a fight with the plantation's arrogant son. Convinced he killed the man, Adam runs off to join the Union Army. Unbeknownst to him, Tip is sold to a cruel farmer.

On a morning ride to his ruined farm, Adam recognizes Tip, his old friend. Together they return to Adam's place where Tip's mother lives after a stroke. A reunion happens. Adam goes off to meet the girl, he fell in love with during the war, and begins his dream, studying veterinary medicine.


1861 Tennessee

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Voyage and Return,Overcoming Monster/Villain,Internal Journey/Rebirth

Plot - Other Elements

Coming of Age,Happy Ending,Meaningful Message

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: Adam Brown (changes his name to Adam Blythe in the Army)

Age: 15 - 19 (1861-1865)

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Desperate,Empathetic,Engaging,Heroic,Honorable,Insecure,Naive,Underdog,Modest,Flexible,Complex

Additional Character Details

Name: Slave Tipper (no last name)

Age: 15 - 19 (1861-1865)

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Aspiring,Complex,Desperate,Empathetic,Engaging,Naive,Skillful,Selfless,Uneducated,Obedient,Underdog,Modest

Additional Character Details

Name: Nathan Billings

Age: Early twenties

Gender: Male

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Villainous,Narcisstic,Patriotic,Power Hungry,Educated,Insecure,Unapologetic

Additional Character Details

Name: Wes - Samuel Westfield

Age: 16 - 20

Gender: Male

Role: sidekick

Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Charming,Crazy,Desperate,Empathetic,Engaging,Honorable,Uneducated,Selfless,Outspoken,Funny

Development Pitch

A feature film: The American Civil War shown from the perspectives of two youths - thrown into the turmoil by bad luck and circumstance. 1. Convinced he can't ever go home because he killed someone, Adam struggles to survive the war as a common Union soldier, his new friend, Wes, who also harbors a nasty secret, by his side. 2. Tip's fight to survive the cruelty of slavery, his attempted and then final escape with the help of the Underground Railroad, forever banned from the south and his beloved mother, or so it seems. A historical action/adventure, a fresh approach that shows how regular people experienced the war, became heroes in the process, an emotional journey amidst the social and economical struggles of everyday life, made much worse by the ongoing turmoil of war, including historical battles, i.e. the first battle in KY - a unique time piece of a fascinating era in U.S. history.

About The Author

Annette Oppenlander is an award-winning writer, literary coach and educator. As a bestselling historical novelist, Oppenlander is known for her authentic characters and stories based on true events, coming alive in well-researched settings. Having lived in Germany the first half of her life and the second half in various parts in the U.S., Oppenlander inspires readers by illuminating story questions as relevant today as they were in the past.

Target Audiences

Age: 13-17,18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Self-published

Year Published: 2018

Hard Copy Available