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Daniel's Garden Paperback – April 14, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Young Daniel Stuart, a quiet, poem-reading college boy from Boston (weaned on money and his father's intentions that he become a lawyer in a respectable Massachusetts office after college) answers the call to war in 1862 to enter the floodtide of Union blue headed to Fort Ellsworth in Virginia. With Milton's "Paradise Lost" in his pocket and a daguerreotype of his straight-laced (and disapproving) family tucked in his haversack, he turns his back on everything safe and familiar to take his place alongside three Harvard college buddies on their way to battle: Andrew, the courageous private with a short temper and a quick trigger; David, the soft-tempered poet and faithful reader of Bible passages; and Matthew, the spectacle-wearing map-reader who seems always to be stumbling just behind the other three, wiping steam from his glasses and murmuring facts about the location of the Army in grey.
These four friends, so certain they know it all when they emerge from the front steps of Harvard after freshman year at the novel's open, will grow up before their Union officers just as boys all over America became men overnight during the War of Secession over a century and a half ago. As realistic as walking beside them, "Daniel's Garden" is a novel of cinematic movement and astounding emotion--the tale of a boy who was willing to leave the security of his Boston garden to search for himself.
The Virginia soil will sting your nostrils alongside Daniel's. You will weep with him, you will march with him, you will bear the weight of his haversack and feel the bitter winter bite at your skin as he plunges onward, onward through the war. His brothers will be your brothers, and they will live on in you after you turn the last page.
The author weaves in climax, tension, emotion and graceful realism to a crescendo; you can't help but feel it. She knows the era and the history--but more importantly, she knows how to deliver a historically authentic tale without getting preachy. Poetic in places and deceptively quiet to start, this sweeping novel delivers one boy's journey through Second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, and beyond. Battle scenes are depicted with a sharpness that sears the imagination.
With a lilting Irish love story threaded amongst the battles, this novel is a treasure to be read again and again.
I'm eager to see what Meg North writes next. She's one to watch.
The story is well written and depicts a man that, against the wishes of everyone in his family, goes off to find his true self.
He and three friends join the Union Army. The story is fast paced, exciting and thought provoking.
All of us have 'a garden', a place of refuge even if it's in our fantasy's only. Did Daniel leave that place or take it with him? Did it serve him well or haunt him?
To anyone that has ever longed to set their own course and march to the beat of their own drum, regardless of the consequences, this book is for you.
Daniel's Garden is about the youngest son of an affluent Boston family. In a fit of pique after his father's death (and during a rousing recruitment scene with Frederick Douglass), Daniel joins the Northern army. The rest of the novel follows Daniel's regiment. The author follows an extremely detailed look at one of the Massachusetts regiments though all their battles and major events (such as the Mud March). The battle scenes are visceral and daily life of the Civil War soldier portrayed in detail. The conflict between the weathly young brahmin-soldier and the reality of a soldiers life is brutal and at times very funny. All in all a hell of a rousing and poignant read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Young Daniel Stuart, a quiet, poem-reading college boy from Boston (weaned on money and his father's...