Friday, November 14, 2008

TLC Book Tours: Two Brothers - One North, One South review and giveaway!

I was asked by Trish from TLC Book Tours to read the novel Two Brothers - One North, One South by David H. Jones.

I was really excited to read this book. I have not read a lot of historical fiction, and I am always interested in branching out in the genres I read. This historical fiction book is about the Prentiss family from Maryland during the Civil War. While most of the family supported the Union cause, one brother, William, defied his family to support the Confederate side. This story is set in 1865 right after the end of the Civil War. Walt Whitman is the narrator who has devoted much time in comforting soldiers of both sides while they were in hospitals and near death. He happens upon William Prentiss during his final days. After William passes on, Whitman learns that William's brother, Clifton, an officer for the Union, is in another ward at the hospital. Whitman then goes to Clifton's bedside to recall William's experiences with Clifton and their other brothers, John and Melville.

I felt disjointed from the characters in this novel. I didn't think there was enough development of the principle characters to really feel a connection. I think the premise was very interesting, however it didn't translate well into the actual story. I did like the incorporation of Walt Whitman and how he brought the stories of the two brothers together in order to help William's family understand more of his plight and what he went through during the war.

This novel was obviously well researched and I learned some things about the Civil War, particularly the role of Maryland and her soldiers. It seemed, at times, to feel more like a history lesson than a novel. I won't go as far to say 'textbook,' but more informative than novel. I felt that some of the less important characters were more of a filler than part of the story, in order to inform the reader of battles rather than progress the story of the brothers.

I have to say, at times I felt confused and disconnected. I feel as though the story would have been better if it either leaned more towards the historical informative line, or focused more on the brother against brother fictional side - including more internal struggles of the brothers.

All of that said, remember that my tastes might be totally different from your tastes! It wasn't necessarily for me, but if you are interested in Civil War fiction, you might really enjoy this book.

And because of that, I am hosting a giveaway of Two Brothers - One North, One South!! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. Please remember to leave your email address with your comment - I need to have a way to get in touch with you if you win! All comments that do not provide contact information will be deleted and not entered in the contest. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only. The deadline will be midnight Sunday, November 23, and I will announce the winner on Monday, November 24th!

Good luck and happy reading!!!


Amanda said...

Oh I'd love to read this one. What an interesting concept with Walt Whitman.

Sometimes it is hard for authors to make that balance in historical fiction between too much history or too much fiction.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Anna said...

I'd love a chance to read this book. I'm intrigued by Walt Whitman as narrator, and I'm always looking for good war stories. I appreciate your honest review!

Diary of an Eccentric

brainella said...

Intriguing. I'm a huge historical fiction fan so I'd love to read it!

Serena said...

I'm sorry that you felt disconnected from the characters in this book. It looked like a good read. I still might give it a try.

I would love to win this book...Walt Whitman is one of my favorite poets...and war stories are another passion of mine.

Thanks for an upfront and honest review.

Alyce said...

I like reading history and historical fiction, so I would like to give it a try.

akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Stephanie said...

You must be settling in well to already be doing a giveaway!

I don't think I've ever read a book like this, so it would be good for my goal. Thanks for the opportunity!

daq_17 at hotmail dot com

darbyscloset said...

Oh I bet this is a great book to learn history from, and I know my husband would just love love love it! He cannot read enough war books and I think the library has given up on keeping up with him.
He would be so happy to get a book in the mail!
Thank you for the opportunity to surprise him!!!
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Anita Yancey said...

Great review. I am very interested in reading this book. Please enter me.

Lauren said...

I'm obsessed with everything Civil War, I'd love to read it!

thesebrokenwings (at) gmail (dot) com

Teddy Rose said...

Wow, this must be Walt Whitman's year. There is another book that just came out called 'Now the Drum of War' by Robert Roper. I own this one but haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I'm guessing it would be a good compainion to 'Two Brothers'. Please enter me in your wonderful giveaway.

I blogged about your giveaway here:


Linda said...

Ever since watching (and re-watching) the PBS/Ken Burns Civil War series, my interest in the Civil War has been reawakened. I'd love to read this book. The inclusion of Walt Whitman sounds especially intriguing.

lcbrower40 (at)

Kaye said...

I really like historical fiction. One I just read and it is set during the Civil War but has an excellent story to it is, The Gates of Trevalyan by Jacqueline Cook you can see the review at
Please enter me in this contest Thanks

windycindy said...

Hi, Please enter me in your book drawing. I have read a few reviews of this book and would like to see what I think of it! I have visited many sites from the Civil War era. Many thanks for a chance to win this book. Cindi

Sara said...

Please enter me. Thanks! Sararush at hotmail dot com

David H Jones said...

Thank you for hosting "Two Brothers: One North, One South" on your blog and for your thoughtful review. I appreciate the statement that your tastes might be totally different from others who read this book. "Two Brothers" is very closely based on real people and events. The historical characters lived in difficult times and, in my view, their memory should be honored and respected. For this reason, I minimized "character development," hoping that readers would become emotionally involved with the characters given their authenticity. Thanks again for hosting my book on the TLC Book Tour and for conducting the book giveaway.

Book Spot said...

I'd like to give this book a try :)

Book.splot AT gmail DOT com (or the email that shows up with my comment if it does)