At first, Jeff Shaara’s unique writing style was a little bit confusing to me, but as the chapters passed I quickly grew to appreciate and respect his way with words. This book gives a great inside look to the Civil War generals we know by name, but not necessarily by heart. The author brings the reader into the personal lives of men like General Lee and Stonewall Jackson, the politics that swarmed around them, and the details of battles that lead to the infamous field at Gettysburg.
This book is not exactly a light read for the faint of heart. The historical amount of detail and the way the different generals and others involved take turns leading the story can get overwhelming at times. It took me awhile to read through it in order to soak in all the information and follow each point of the story.
With that being said, Gods and Generals overflows with a well-crafted combination of history and fiction that brought me to tears more than once. I imagine most the readers who will pick up this book already have an appreciation and interest in history and I’m confident they will not be disappointed.
I also appreciated the author’s efforts in presenting an honest perspective, where he introduces us to the strengths and weaknesses of both sides and makes us glad we “met” such men as Union General Chamberlain and Confederate General Longstreet within the pages. So many other books of its kind usually contain too strong of a bias for me to ever really enjoy it.
I’m not one to recommend starting in the middle of any series, but in this case I happened to read Gods and Generals first – which is the prequel to his father’s book, Killer Angels. Why? Well, Jeff Shaara was in town at a Literary Festival and I picked up a copy of his book there. While both books are connected, they can certainly stand alone. And as I discovered, if you do ever end up starting in the middle of the series, a good book will prove itself by leaving you eager to read the rest of the story. And that’s exactly what happened here. Now I’m off to find a copy of Killer Angels.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to my hubby, Andrew, for getting me my own copy to read and pass along. 😉
**NOTE** I know this is not a new release, but from time to time I enjoy sharing my thoughts on a select few classics in case one – or many – of you may have missed reading this. Even books in our “TO BE READ” pile can get buried and lost at times. Hopefully, if this story is a late discovery for you, like it was for me, you’ll find it a valuable one. There’s nothing wrong with being a little behind-the-times as long as the book makes it worth your journey, right?
For more info on Gods & Generals, Author Jeff Shaara, and his upcoming books and schedule, visit http://jeffshaara.com/.
Have a great weekend, everybody!