Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Book Review; The Confederate General Rides North

Title The Confederate General Rides North: A Novel
Author Amanda C Gable
Rating ****1/2
Tags 1960s, childhood, mother-daughter relationship, mental illness 

Upfront disclaimer: I know the author of this book, and like her quite a bit though it has been a few years since I've seen her. She is a bright woman and a kind person. So I was quite excited to hear she has published a novel, and was prepared to be kind to it even if it turned out to not be my kind of book.

Happily, that isn't necessary. It is indeed a fine novel. The narrator is Katherine, an 11 year old girl who is obsessed with the idea of being a Confederate general. It is the late 1960s. One summer morning her mother announces that the two of them are going to take a long trip from their home in Marietta, Georgia up to Maine, buying antiques for the store they are going to open.

Katherine knows her Mother has her rocky days, but the trip sounds exciting. The farther they go, the more disturbing the plans. For one thing, her mother reveals that they are going to live in Maine and open the store there. Katherine hurts at the idea she will not see her father and grandparents for a long time. Along the way, Katherine gets to visit some of the major Civil War battle sites, and learns that war is not the noble thing she had thought.

On the surface, there's not a lot of action in the novel. Yet it is a marvelous book, an excellent exploration of character. This will be one of my favorite books of 2009.

Publication Scribner (2009), Hardcover, 288 pages
Publication date 2009
ISBN 1416598391 / 9781416598398

Posted via web from reannon's posterous

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