Publishers don’t send a ton of books for review here, but when they do they seem to do it in bunches. Over the past few weeks I’ve received three, and since I’m not sure exactly when I’ll get to them I think it’s fair to give you a little information on them in the meantime. I’ll discuss them here in order of receipt.
A Separate Country is by Robert Hicks, author of the bestseller The Widow of the South. The novel centers around the life of John Bell Hood in post-war New Orleans. But skimming through the book I get the idea that this is something other than a simple imagination of Hood’s life, as it seems to be told from several perspectives and is maybe something of a mystery. Forty reviewers on Amazon average to a little over three out of five stars.
The Mule Shoe has the potential to be really interesting in a good way, or really interesting in a train-wreck way. It’s a novel by Perry Trouche, a Charleston, SC shrink. It appears to be an examination of a fictional rebel soldier as he descends into, well, I want to say psychosis but will probably wind up being lashed for my imprecision. The bulk of the book is set against the fighting at Spotsylvania, where the voices in the protagonist Conner’s head and his visions force a resolution.
Last is Undaunted Heart, by Suzy Barile, an English and journalism instructor in North Carolina and the great-great-granddaughter of Ella Swain Atkins and General Smith Dykins Atkins, the subjects of her non-fiction study. Atkins was in command of a brigade of William Sherman’s cavalry that occupied Chapel Hill, NC after the surrender of Joseph Johnston’s army at Bennett Place; Ella was the daughter of the president of the University of North Carolina. They did some courtin’ & sparkin’ and were married, much to the chagrin of many. I have heard some of the basics of their courtship and marriage before, but Undaunted Heart promises to tell the rest of the story.