Join as John Hough talks about his new novel of the Civil War that describes the experiences of two brothers from Martha's Vineyard who fight in the war. John Hough describes life in the Union Army during the Civil War as he tells the story of two young brothers coming of age who volunteer to serve their country. Luke and Thomas Chandler grew up on Martha's Vineyard, raised by their abolitionist father and Rose, their headstrong and beautiful Cape Verdean housekeeper. When a recruiter comes to the island, the boys, who have already witnessed their father and Rose helping a runaway slave to freedom and who are determined to join the fight against slavery, eagerly enlist in the storied Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Throughout the hot days of early summer the brothers march with the army through Virginia and Maryland, crossing the Mason-Dixon Line into Pennsylvania. They experience unaccustomed hardships: food that is barely edible, terrible thirst, chilly nights, and rain-soaked marches. They share in the camaraderie of their fellow soldiers, spending their evenings discussing over card games what they will do when the war ends, alternately exhibiting anxiety and bravado as the next battle looms. The climactic battle at Gettysburg is rendered as vividly as in the classic Civil War novel The Killer Angels. John Hough does full justice to the townspeople, including free blacks suddenly imperiled by the arrival of the Confederate army, and the Rebel soldiers themselves, battle hardened, war weary, yet convinced they are fighting for a just cause. But above all this is a heartbreaking story about two brothers united and then separated by the powerful bond that only love can forge, and break. (titcombsbookshop)
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