Top positive review
10 people found this helpful
Very dry, but full of information
on March 13, 2014
Jimmy Carter did a lot of research for this novel. I read it completely through once about 15 years ago. I have recently attempted to read it again, but it is difficult to stay interested the second time around. I seem to recall that problem the first time. That said, I learned an awfully lot from this book that I did not learn in history class. Honestly, I did not learn much in history class, even though I got good grades. I did not retain hardly any of it.
What earns this four stars is the research that went behind this book, and the depiction of the American south during the Revolutionary War, in the form of a readable novel. That Carter was able to find so much of this information before the internet is both fascinating and awesome to me. Even though it is fiction, our former president somehow put what happened into a tangible story form that makes you remember. I do genealogy, and this book gave me the key to find out why much of the Quaker side of my family started off in Georgia and Virginia and moved north. I have access to Ancestry's card files online, and as I put together my own family's past, piece by piece, I keep remembering this book. Carter already put some of it together for me, after a manner, without even knowing it. With every little bit I uncover in some document, I think back to this book, and I am impressed at its accuracy. The Quakers were persecuted by both the English and the settlers. The novel also portrays the mindset that helped create the south after the country was formed. These are the missing parts in history that are not taught in public schools; the parts that might capture the interest of children. Carter may not be a particularly engaging novel writer, but he can put a story together in a tangible and relevant way. This book is a irreplaceable piece of my home library.