Original sources can be interesting or tedious. This collection of Laura Towne's letters is made interesting by her skill as a writer and the freshness of her impressions of the world of Union soldiers, white northern missionaries and Low Country freed slaves during the Civil War and thereafter. A little background in the history of the area during that time is helpful to enjoying the book but not essential. This edition could have been improved by addition of some additional context. Nevertheless a effortless and enjoyable read.