A Great Length of Time


Top of the Board at Powell’s Books

“2017 Ken Kesey Award

Oregon Book Awards, Oregon Literary Arts   


Sales were brisk after the announcement. Thank you Broadway Books!


Detritus from an amazing evening.

“Profoundly moving . . . . a remarkable book.” Molly Gloss, winner 2008 Oregon Book Awards.



“This riveting historical adventure could come from Dickens himself.”  Nancy Zafris, author of The Metal Shredders

“Resonates with truths we need to hear.” Roger Paget, Institutional Professor Emeritus, Lewis and Clark College

“An absorbing read.” Portland Oregonian

“Bravo! It brings deep thought, laughter, and tears.” Amazon review

“I devoured this book.” Amazon review

“Beautiful, horrifying, brilliant.” Goodreads review

Assigned as a nurse to a hospital ship during the Civil War, Dr. Rose Barnett hopes someone will apprentice her in the modern art of surgery. But she has more to learn than how to amputate the ruined limbs of Union soldiers. Confronted by her own preconceived notions of class, love, and race, she struggles to untangle life’s persistent contradictions. As a pacifist, her greatest challenge is coming to grips with the terrible ironies of war. As a woman, her challenge is to follow her heart. Based on the true story of a woman doctor in the American Civil War, A Great Length of Time is a woman’s view of the politics and gender roles of the day, offering a fresh look at the war and the women who nursed its soldiers.

Buy locally at Broadway Books, Another Read Through, and Powell’s Books in Portland
Ebooks & trade paper available at Amazon
For a signed copy, please contact the author directly at joyce.cresswell@gmail.com


Great Length of Time quote.blue.2.website image - Copy

The title “A Great Length of Time” comes from a 19th Century medical Textbook. Read the quote in the epigraph at the front of the book.


If your BOOK CLUB meets near Portland, Oregon, get in touch for a free author visit. These are very popular and FUN! Let’s get together!

elbows - CopyAbout the author: A Great Length of Time explores the difficult question, “Why is there war?” War and conflict have held deep fascination for Cherry Cresswell ever since she listened to her parents’ stories from WWII and later watched friends ship out to Vietnam, some of whom did not return. She has long been a Civil War buff and a fan of its rich literature. Her crooked path included working as a trial lawyer and non-profit executive director before retiring to write full time in 2010.

The author says: “A Great Length of Time is based loosely on the life of a woman I have come to call my great-grandmother. I never met her, but her impact on my family was immense. That’s my next book!”

Contact the author at joyce.cresswell@gmail.com

Check out this free Civil War lecture series by Prof. David W. Blight at Yale University, part of the “Open Yale” program: The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877 

This New Yorker article about Hilary Mantel (“Wolf Hall”) gives a great overview of what it is like to write historical fiction.

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