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!!!
2 weeks ago