"You must have a place to which you can go in your heart, your mind, or your house, almost everyday, where you do not owe anyone and where no one owes you--a place that simply allows for the blossoming of something new and promising."
- Joseph Campbell
Monday, October 19, 2009
A SEPARATE COUNTRY / REVIEW
Author: Robert Hicks
Hardcover: 432 pages Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (September 23, 2009) ISBN-10: 044658164X
Set in New Orleans in the years after the Civil War, A Separate Country is based on the incredible life of John Bell Hood, arguably one of the most controversial generals of the Confederate Army--and one of its most tragic figures. Robert E. Lee promoted him to major general after the Battle of Antietam. But the Civil War would mark him forever. At Gettysburg, he lost the use of his left arm. At the Battle of Chickamauga, his right leg was amputated. Starting fresh after the war, he married Anna Marie Hennen and fathered 11 children with her, including three sets of twins. But fate had other plans. Crippled by his war wounds and defeat, ravaged by financial misfortune, Hood had one last foe to battle: Yellow Fever.
A Separate Country is the heartrending story of a decent and good man who struggled with his inability to admit his failures-and the story of those who taught him to love, and to be loved, and transformed him.
Well, I must begin by saying this is one of the most beautifully written stories I have ever read.
A Separate Country is based on the true story of Confederate General John Bell Hood and the love of his life, his wife Anna Marie. It is told in the words of three characters: General Hood, Anna Marie, and an acquaintance of General Hood, Eric Griffin. Each one speaking from a unique perspective, they relate the remarkable tale of love, regret, hate, self-reflection, and redemption.
There are books one feels honored to have on the shelf of their personal library. This is one of those! It is richly textured and hauntingly eloquent. A tale to read again and again.
(Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my complementary review copy.)