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Going Home: A Novel of the Civil War by…

Going Home: A Novel of the Civil War

by James D Shipman

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I didn't realize this novel was based on a true story until I was well immersed in it. Written by the main character's great-great-great nephew, it toggles back and forth from Joseph's early years, coming to America with his parents and the events that led him to join the army in the Civil War. He is a hard worker and admired by his peers. An all around nice guy.
The story line is interesting and kept me engaged. For awhile. But when trusting Joseph was taken advantage of for the 'gazillionith' time, I wanted to scream! How can one person be so naive and that trusting in the people, in family, that have continually let him down? And then trust them again when they say "it won't happen again".
The character of Nurse Rebecca Walker was disappointing and the rather trite love story between her and doctor tending Joseph went on and on - going nowhere!
I was hoping for a satisfying ending since this was based on true events. But that was also disappointing. Seemed like the author wanted to wrap things up too quickly. At least the epilogue gave this reader some closure. ( )
  Dannadee | Apr 20, 2017 |
This is a civil-war novel which opens with a terribly injured hero, Joseph Forsyth, languishing in a hospital tent on the battlefield. The story switches between his present condition, and his history, which goes back to leaving Ireland with his parents in search of a better life in America when he was 11.

The story is a fictionalized account of the author's great-great grandfather. Joseph, according to a local obituary, was honorable, steadfast, honest, hardworking, and just an all around good guy, and the novelization of his life picks up on those quality traits to tell the story of a man who faces adversity after adversity, challenge after challenge, in his quest to make a life for himself in the New World.

The author's depiction of Joseph, despite his moral uprightness, is engaging and entertaining. Joseph's struggles and trials are depicted realistically, and the characters, for the most part, are sympathetic and real (there are a few stock characters, like the evil plantation owner and his spoiled daughter, for example). Joseph has a failing which makes him more realistic, and that is his denial of his father's scoundrelhood. This plot element really pushes the narrative and Joseph's choices forward, and the reader is put into great suspense, reading to learn if Joseph will finally make the right choices. The reader is drawn into Joseph's life and does come to care about him.

The dialogue I found to be a little stilted and unrealistic. Other than that, I quite enjoyed this.

Thank you to the author and publishers for a review copy. ( )
  ChayaLovesToRead | Apr 15, 2017 |
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