Sunday, November 02, 2008

Two Brothers - One North, One South by David H. Jones

Two Brothers - One North, One South by David H. Jones is a piece of historical fiction about the American Civil War. The narrative follows to plot lines. The first of these takes place in a Union Hospital in Washington, DC. The poet Walt Whitman comforts William a Confederate soldier who dies from his wounds. Clifford a brother who fought for the Union side was also in the hospital. Whitman tells him the story of William's experiences. A third brother a Union physician also provides material to the discussion. The two living brothers want to know what William had been doing during the conflict. Whitman tells them his story.

Jones evidently knows his historical material. The book is highly accurate where events are concerned. The problem in the book is how those events are brought out to the reader. Characters don't really speak in dialogue rather they give stump speeches or encyclopedia articles of information. Much of the material would be obvious to participants of the times. It's a very forced way to inform the reader. The book concludes with an appendix that contains excerpts from newspaper accounts and other primary sources.

The second half of the book flows better. There are less speeches and more actions but I found the book hard to get into. If someone is a Civil War fanatic you may like this but if you're looking for historical fiction you will probably want to look somewhere else.

Not recommended.

Note: the book was provided by TLC Book Tours feel free to follow the tour in the upcoming days through the link.

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