Friday, June 12, 2009

A Difference of Opinion- A Book Review

I just finished reading an awesome book, so I thought I would blog about it. I've never done a book review before so bear with me. My thoughts tend to get so rambly that there is no telling where this will end up, I seem to get off little wild tangents alot, but hey, its my blog so I can do that right? See, there I go...okay back to topic!

I guess I should tell you what book it was huh? It was Difference of Opinion, by Nancy Dane. Its the second book in her Tattered Glory series. I really enjoyed this book. I totally expected it to be great but it really took me by surprise. I started and finished it in one day (and I have the unfiled files at work, dirty dishes at home, and bags under my eyes to prove it!). The first book was great, the second even better. Speaking of which, I should go back and re-read the first to just refresh my memory some...alot has happened since I read it last....anyway I'm digressing again.

I dont want to give too much away because I want you to go read the book! But, it really brought to life the fact of how the Civil War was so different from any other war because you and your next door neighbor could literally be on opposite sides. How would you handle such a thing? Your life long friends are now your enemies? I cannot fathom how that would have felt. One day you are happy-go-lucky and everything is fine, the next day they are trying to kill you, just because you have a different viewpoint from them. Not only friends, but family...literally brother against brother. In the book, the main character, Nelda, was frequently gathering information on BOTH sides, Union and Conferdate, because she had friends and family serving in both. In most wars in history it was easy to look at the enemy as such, they were an unknown force, but when the enemy had been your friend longer than enemy? Wow....

Another reason I get such a thrill out of reading these novels, is the fact that Nany is a local author. These books are centered right in this area. The twon where I work, live, the area where my family has always been. Its so much more fun to read them and hear talk of Spadra, Clarksville, Hagarville, etc. When the book is telling of such landmarks as the Methodist Church, I can truely visualize it. My mind goes back and I see Clarksville in a different era, its like being there. It gives it so much more depth and reality.

Yet another reason I enjoy these books, is the fact that Nancy is a friend of mine. I knew her before she was a famous author. She's been my Bible School teacher, Sunday School teacher, mentor, and friend. She let me read a manuscript one time years ago, just a stack of typed computer printed out pages. Now that she's 'famous' I feel special, I knew back then she had a true gift. AND all my books are personalized and signed...hehe! Are ya jealous yet? haha Seriously, she is a pretty cool person, and I really like being able to support and enjoy something coming from a friend.

The book was so filled with twists and turns....there were times I want to scream at Nelda for being dense and then there were times I want to be her friend and give her a much needed hug. Another main character, Allen, immediately won me over with his rugged, mountain charm. I could see the families described living up in the mountains. They could have easily been MY family. I found myself switching back and forth from a Union Symapthized to a Conferate Rebel on a regular basis. I could very much see both sides of the story and how hard it would be to be living in that time and making those choices. The book also brought to light the point of what the Civil War really was about to most in the South, not slavery as we are so often taught to believe, but freedom. Many of those fighting for the Confederacy were not fighting to keep slavery, many were in reality against slavery, they were fighting for the rights and freedoms of the state. I feel like that point is too often neglected. It also brought to light the fact that not all slaves were treated badly, that many, even after being granted their freedom chose to stay. I'm not saying slavery was a good thing, I think it was awful and horrendous, but too often these points are neglected.

I highly reccommend reading these books. They are fictional, but prior to their writing Nancy spent year compiling the facts and doing the research on what happened in this area with the Civil War. With this research she compiled the non-fiction documentary Tattered Glory. I have not read this one yet, however, my dear sweet mother-in-law has and it is on my "borrow list." So, even though the characters and actual dialog are fictional, the story is factual. They are actually being used as textbooks in some schools.

Okay, there's my review, my thoughts, my ramblings, all that jazz. That all being said....I can't wait for book #3!! To read more on Nancy Dane and her books...check out her website...

I should really write more book reviews, I should really read more books, but I am too obsessive about stuff...I start a book I MUST finish it. All life is on hold until I finish it! Which is rather hard to do these days.

Oh yeah, I wanted to throw in my 2 cents about MY civil war ancestor...My great-great-great grandfather, Isom Terry was a private in CoH 27th Arkansas Infantry in the Confederate States Army. He was a real character as I've been told. He's a hard one to track down in genealogy though, he was pretty rough and tough, married a few times, lived in several different places, and rumored to have came home early from the war and therefore was kind of in hiding for a while. I'll post the picture of him later, but it includes a dress suit, mule, pistol, and what appears to be a busted lip. Oh, to know the story behind that photo....


TammyIsBlessed said...

Very cool. I think that's so neat that you knew her before she got published - how exciting!