Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Widow of the South

The Widow of the South The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks

rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Widow of the South is a historical fiction novel set around the Battle of Franklin near the end of the Civil War. Much of the novel is grounded in historical fact--the house, the "widow" Carrie McGavock, the slave Mariah, the battle. As such, Robert Hicks spares no detail in taking the reader to the battle, in all of its grotesque and sobering glory.

The book is a good reminder about what happened here, on U.S. soil, and how cruelly we can treat one another. But it is also a reminder of how good can rise above and humanity can lift burdens.

There were moments when I was reading when I felt like the emotional side of the story wasn't fleshed out very well. As a woman reader, I found that unsatisfying. I also felt like while some of the side plots were interesting, they didn't add to the overall flow of the novel and served as a distraction.

From an educational standpoint, I'm glad that I read it. It was unsettling and quite violent for my taste. I would recommend it if you love Civil War stories or happen to be heading to Franklin, Tennessee to visit Carnton where 1,500 Confederate soldiers are buried.

She also reviewed it: Sarah


Corinne said...

I do like Civil War stories, but usually only if there is a lot of plot beyond the actual battles, if that makes sense. I need some love or something to keep me going through the gore :)

Tricia said...

Corinne: There is some love, but it isn't your typical love story at all. We read this for our in person book club this month, and some of us even wondered why the author bothered with the love bit at all!