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4.6 out of 5 stars
Love and War (North and South Trilogy)
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Love and War is an excellent book. It picks up where North and South left off. From the moments before the Civil War to the days after the South's surrender this book takes a close look at the Mains and Hazards and their trials throughout the four years.
This book, while rather long, is fantastic. It definitely is thought provoking. Mr. Jakes writes from the male standpoint and also the female standpoint. I also thought he conveyed the thoughts and dreams of the slaves in a realistic way. There were characters I loved, such as Billy and Brett and ones I hated, like Ashton and James Huntoon. The ever-evil Bent pops up in the story from time to time wreaking havoc everywhere he goes.
While Gone with the Wind (one of my all time favorite books) is a great book in itself it romanticizes the Civil War. Love and War in absolutely no way romaticizes the events of the war. This is a very realistic book with very believeable characters. One can almost believe these two families did exist.
Any fan of North and South will enjoy Love and War. It is a rather long story but well worth the time reading it.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
Love and War is just as exciting as North and South, with romance, lust, and amazing action sequences straight out of an old-time movie serial. But compared to North and South, this novel is fresher, more surprising, and much, much darker.

The book is massive--over 1000 pages--and includes at least 10 major storylines, almost all of which are skillfully rendered and emotionally compelling.

George and Orry are now men in their maturity, grappling with the viciousness and folly of politics in both Richmond and and Washington. Other storylines take you inside the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wade Hampton's South Carolina cavalry, the C.S.S. Hunley submarine, a Confederate prison, the Union nursing corps, a schoolhouse for black orphans, and even an assassination plot against the president--Jefferson Davis, that is. By ferreting out lesser-known episodes of the war and then peopling them with passionate and realistic characters, Jakes brings the Civil War to life in remarkable degree.

The aspect of the book that struck me the most was how unpopular the war was on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. There is no hint here of the idealism of Glory or Gone with the Wind. Instead, Jakes writes of a cold, hard, brutal slog in the field, terrific blunders, greedy profiteers, and peace-at-any-pricers wearing both blue and gray. To the participants in the war, there was no hint that anyone would ever regard it as anything other than a disaster that should have been avoided.

Love and War isn't perfect. The book, like the war itself, gets off to a slow start, and a couple of the storylines are clinkers. One of the key villains, an old classmate of Orry and George's, is tiresomely evil, yet seems far too incompetent to pull off the mischief he creates here. And the one major African-American storyline is awkwardly drawn, with a saintly couple squaring off against a slathering villain straight out of Birth of a Nation.

Overall, though, I was very impressed with Love and War both as an amazing feat of storytelling and as an insightful and original look at the Civil War, with obvious relevance to today's political and military dramas.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This continuation of Jakes' "North and South" is well-done and an absorbing read. The book flings the reader into the Civil War, as seen from various vantage-points: Charles, in the Southern calvary; Billy, a Northern engineer; Orry and George, working desk jobs in their respective capitals; Madeline, Brett, and Constance, as "war widows." Bent continues to wreak havoc in the lives of the Mains and Hazards, but despite him, the war and other trying events, the 2 families remain in contact and even help each other during the war. An excellent follow-up to Jakes' wonderful "North and South."
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
Jakes' "North and South" trilogy is a well-written, entertaining, and historically insightful series dealing with America from about 1845 (Mexican War period) through the post-Civil War period. This novel deals with the Civil War from its outset to the conclusion.
The story traces the activities of the Hazard and Main families, great families deriving from North and South respectively and bound by friendship and marriage, through the nation's bloodiest conflict. This is an engaging and entertaining story. Jakes does a good job of showing the reader that the Civil War was probably inevitable given the intractable differences between the North and South, and the stubborness on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. The story also shows how it came to be that despite the North's numbers and industrial might, it took years for the North to successfully overwhelm the South.
This is not a perfect novel. Despite the overall taut storyline and good prose, Jakes has a tendency to produce exaggerated characters who are almost caricatures of the way people really behave. While there are doubtless real-life examples of Elkanah Bents, Victoria Hazards, and Justin LaMottes (three principal characters in this series) such exaggerated personages abound in Jakes' world. Well, it is after all a novel.
Overall, this is the second best novel in the series; perhaps not as good as "North and South" but better than "Heaven and Hell" which is the third installment. This novel is well worth reading, and provides an entertaining and insightful look at the Civil War and how it affected ordinary people and the nation as a whole.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jakes does a fabulous job of describing the turbulent civil war and also the love of the two main characters. It puts closure to the seemingly never ending torment of Justin La Mont and brings peace to Orey & Madeline. It is John Jakes at his finest. A must read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2006
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
Jakes is a wonderful author. The story line has so many "true" historic references woven with love stories and family issues. It triggers all kinds of emotions -- laughter, tears, anger, sorrow. It carries right over from North and South. I have the feeling that I actually know the characters and am looking forward to Volume 3, Heaven and Hell. His books are easy reading, hard to put down. You don't have to read 50-100 pages to get into the story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was so good I had to check out the follow up books from the library. These stories center on 2 young men that attend West Point. One is from a wealthy family on a large plantation in the south. They have several slaves. The other man is from a wealthy family in the midwest. The book goes through their life experiences at Westpoint and the other men they meet that appear later in the books.
Both men and their families become good friends and vacation together during the summer at a house on the northeast coast.

As tension builds for the slave issues it becomes more difficult for these families to visit each other. They are mistreated by the locals as they travel to visit each other. You get to know the characters i.e the young men's siblings, parents and friends in a way that you feel like you know them yourselves. The families are not too radical and try to maintain a relationship even though they are on opposite sides of the war.

All 3 books involve a lot of actual history within the character's lives. You learn about the many issues going on during this time period. I never knew that the fermenting of the civil war problems started at least 20 years before the actual war. I did not know that Lincoln was a very depressed person and was labeled a monkey by the southerners.

Just a fascinating story! If you want to be educated about the issue in the 1800's and want to be swept up in the busy and interesting lives of those who lived during this period then this would be a great book for you.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The second book in the trilogy is a wonderful addition. It is an indepth look at the trials and tribulations the Mains and the Hazards had to bear. It is a moving and exciting piece and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the first.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
After reading North and South it's a no-brainer to follow up with this book. Lots of characters to love and hate. It's like being able to fight the Civil War from the comfort of my home. After doing lots of genealogy it's a great mind game to play with how my ancestors dealt with the events that happened in real life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Very good personal story but really bogged down with details about all the Generals and etc. associated with the war. Was nteresting , to a point, and I am sure if you are a student of the Civil War,you would appreciate it. Actually found myself skipping pages to move on,and I never do that.
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