I much preferred Hick's first book. A Separate Country was long: 400+ pp that I feel could easily have been condensed to 3/4's of that. Specifically, for about 50-75 pp in the "300's", it was as though the editor or proofreader had either skipped them entirely or delegated the job to a summer intern. That section seemed to me to be very loose. For some reason, Hicks has an annoying quirk of liking to separate two independent clauses with a comma, e.g., "Susie was thirsty, she bought milk at the store." The first couple of times I came across that, I thought they were oversights but it happened over and over and I really didn't notice it except in that segment of the book. I agree with the previous reviewers: I plodded through to the end, hoping for the best, but overall I was disappointed. Will I read his next book? Probably, but I will check it out of the library or swap it when it's posted here. I will not invest $20+ on another of his hardcovers until the quality of Widow of the South is again evidenced.
Not near as good as I expected. The story didn't flow well in my opinion. It is written in the voice of 3 different persons: John Bell Hood, his wife, and some guy named Eli Griffin who I kept confusing with Hood.
Griffin's role takes place after Hood's death, but it was sometimes hard to remember which place and time we were in when I was reading Griffin's sections. Maybe if his character had been more distinctive it would have been easier? I don't know.
And the whole "love story" angle was kinda lost on me. It wasn't developed well. I didn't get a real sense of Hood's deep feelings towards his wife, only that it was stated by others after his passing.
The difficult relationships between black and white were presented, including relationships that rose above the social norm of the time. I always appreciate when characters care for one another despite color differences and the social divisions of their time. And a dwarf is in the mix too! Love the diversity here.
Reading this wasn't a complete waste of time. But it could have been so much better.
I was real excited when my book club decided to read this book.I was in for a great disappointment I hated the book.I just could not get into the story.I felt it dragged along.I dint care much for the characters either.I kept forcing myself to read it hoping it would get better but it didnt.I Think sometimes when an author has a first book that is a hit and decides to write another book it dosent always turn out as good as the first.
I would say dont bother wasting your time reading this one.
I thought I would never get through this book. Although the story is interesting and the characters are as well, the sory is just too wordy. The descriptions and conversations go on and on. We hear the same stories through both his journal and his wifes journal with the story told also through several friends views. General Hood describes himself as a widow and orphan maker and that he is. Almost everyone he ever meets ends up dying of yellow fever or gets killed. I would not recommend the book.