From Publishers Weekly
For his first novel, Bacon has crafted the memoir of a Union Army veteran. Idealistic Michael Palmer enlists to fight slavery in 1862, but the brutality and senseless slaughter he witnesses produce disillusionment, rage, and guilt. After the war he manifests what today is called post-traumatic stress disorder. Evocative narrative writing is filled with accurate details of such battles as Antietam and Gettysburg and of the daily lives of ordinary soldiers. Dialogue and characterization is weaker. But the writing gathers force, and the novel ends with an emotionally gripping encounter that brings the book's evangelical Christian beliefs to the forefront. The depiction of 19th-century Christianity, however, is less authentic to the era than the military details; in an age when denominations mattered, the hero and clergy appear to belong to none. Rituals and reports of "a good death" that were crucial to soldiers and families during the Civil War are absent. But overall, the novel offers an engaging introduction to Civil War history as the 150th anniversary of the conflict unfolds over the next four years. (Apr.)
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About the Author
Karl Bacon is a first time novelist, but long time student of the Civil War. He and his wife, Jackie live in Naugatuck, Connecticut.