This debut award-winning novel introduced me to a place I’d never visited before in life or in fiction. Beautifully written and well-researched, the story takes you to a southern plantation in South Carolina, where you witness a surprising turning point in the lives of 10,000 slaves. The author gives you a front row seat to the plight of the slaves as they fight extreme prejudice and abuse on their farms, in their schools, and on the battlefield.
As we follow the footsteps of a young boy growing up in slavery and who is eager to become a soldier, we learn just how difficult their position in society really was at that time in our history and how hard they fought for their freedom, literacy, love, and respect.
I’m one of those romantic-at-heart readers, (I can’t help it!) so I will admit that I missed that part in this novel. While there was a thread of romance tucked neatly within, I would not call it a love story. However, I believe that was the author’s intent. History is the theme of this story and it remains its focus throughout. Read Gideon’s Call for the interesting and informative historical perspective and you’ll be very happy.
In the story, when one of the characters sees the desolation of war for the first time, the author writes, “The lingering echo of a vast evil filled him and he tried to catch his breath.” I caught my breath as well.
There is an echo, alright. On every battlefield and in every well-crafted Civil War novel, an echo lingers. And from then on, you carry it with you. I know readers will certainly carry this story with them.
There is also a helpful index in the back of the book which explains the real life places and people from the story, which I appreciated. The author’s fictional characters blend very smoothly into the lives of real individuals from that era and I was sad when the story ended. I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye.
Be sure to stop back in on Tuesday as I sit down and have a chat with Peter Leavell, the award-winning author of Gideon’s Call. You won’t want to miss the GIVEAWAY he has planned! One lucky winner will receive a free copy of Gideon’s Call, the movie Glory in Blu-ray, and the soundtrack to Glory! See ya there!
Tell me, what do you enjoy most about reading historical fiction?
Do you have a favorite historical time period, place, or person?