North & South
Book I
Summary by Carla

      "North and South" is the story of two families living before, during, and after the Civil War. The friendship between them is born in 1842 when Orry Main, a Southern boy, went to West Point. Before his trip, he met Madeleine Fabrey, a beautiful woman whose father wanted her to be married to Orry´s neighbor, a bad guy called Justin La Motte. They promised to write each other. Orry met George Hazard, a Northern guy, during a fight. They started a friendship that would last throughout the series.
      In West Point, Orry and George met their main enemy, Elkanah Bent, a superior officer. He will be one of the craziest villains in the story.
      During a short holiday, Orry came back to his home and he found out that Madeleine was going to get married Justin La Motte. He came back just in time to see the wedding. He never knew why she didn´t answer his letters. Later, when the couple had a time alone, she discovered that her father kept the letters, pushing her to marry Justin.
      Justin, of course, is another villain who rapes and treats his wife and Black people badly.
      The Mexican-American war started and Orry and George went to fight. There, they had the bad luck to find Bent. He sent them on a suicide run and Orry is terribly wounded, so terribly that the doctor wanted to cut his leg. Fortunately, George is near to stop the surgery. Another doctor helped him. During a ball, George met the doctor´s daughter, Constance, a beautiful Irish girl. He fell in love at first sight. Her father helped George, and the two of them met, fell in love and got married.
      The war ended and both families started to have more contact. Problems arose.
      Constance is a Catholic, and that simple fact is enough for some members of George`s family to hate her. There was his older brother Stanley, who was a coward dominated by his wife, Isabel. The two of them envied George and Constance and they tried to make their lives difficult. The fact that George´s mother gave George, as wedding gift, more power to run the family`s business didn’t help. On the other side, George`s sister Virgilia, was a rebel woman who hated Southerners because they had slaves. She was a courageous woman who gave lectures against slavery but her passionate temper will drive her to madness. Constance tried to keep the family together, helping Virgilia every moment she needed, but Virgilia always abused her trust. George`s younger brother, Billy, admired George and wanted to follow his steps, going in the future at West Point.
      Orry, on the other side, came back home. He was sad because he had to see the love of his life marry other man, his leg will never be the same, and he started to drink. George tried to help him by inviting him to his wedding. During this short visit to the plantation, both friends argued because of slavery, but they managed to solve the problems. When Orry met Virgilia, she was excited because she finally met a Southerner and had the opportunity to express her feelings. She invited him to her lecture. First, he went interested, but when she talked, he felt insulted.
      Madeleine was beaten by her husband who accused her of being a bad wife because she didn´t bear any child.
      Orry had two sisters, one very beautiful but evil, Ashton, and the other very sweet and tender, Brett. His cousin Charles came to live with them. The relationship between Charles and the Main family is tense because Charles complained about not being well treated. He had a very good relationship with a slave, Semiramis, who is in love with him.
      Charles got into trouble with another guy, who wanted a duel because he discovered that Charles was seeing his bride. Orry helped Charles, teaching him how to use a pistol. Charles won the duel and he started to think of going to West Point.
      At that point, the families started to visit each other. Love bloomed between Brett and Billy, and the friendship between both families had problems because of the differences in the way of living between the North and South increased, causing the desire of separation in the Southerners.
      In the meantime, Justin gave a drug to Madeleine and locked her in a room.
      The election of Abraham Lincoln caused more confrontation. Fort Sumter is attacked. Orry Main reunited with Madeline and went to the North to return money to his friend George Hazard. Virgilia planned a trap to kill Orry, but George managed to save his friend´s life. They said goodbye. One went to fight for the North and the other for the South. Brett and Billy are seperated as Billy went off to fight for the North with his brother George.