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Love and War by John Jakes
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Love and War (1984)

by John Jakes

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I did not enjoy this as much as North & South. Up until the last couple hundred pages, it felt more like a non-fiction novel. I do love the descriptions and the history, but it felt like the point was to get the history out, rather than to tell the story of the characters within that history. Nothing happened to any of the characters for the first 700-800 pages, and I found myself skimming a lot. SKIMMING! I hate skimming. I just didn't care about whole chapters. This novel also switched to points of views of secondary characters that I did not care about. Again, this added to feeling like the author used the characters to tell a history story rather than the other way around. Ok, this is the Civil War, with hundreds of thousands of casualties, and you've got two characters that are in the war from the beginning to the end - no battle wounds, really, no deaths! I know he killed Orry but that was so sudden-and maybe that was the point? Billy and Charles survive four years of the war but Orry joins and dies almost immediately...maybe this is some statement about fate, or luck, or what have you. The only character I really felt invested in was Charles. His transformation through the war broke my heart, much more than Orry's death did. The loss of Sport was written more heartbreakingly than the loss of Orry. The author did an excellent job of describing the losses and changes of those people that survived, Charles being the best example. His point that the war changed everyone, everything, even those who didn't die or weren't directly involved, was very well driven home. Just like in the first novel, I think he did an excellent job portraying different points of views and the political atmosphere surrounding the war. Villains and heroes on both sides of the line. That's really the most heartbreaking fact of the Civil War...brother against brother, friend against friend, American against American. That sadness was prevalent throughout the novel. ( )
  carebear10712 | Dec 31, 2014 |
Very few authors can write a 1000 page novel that I just glide through -- John Jakes is one of them. I love his Civil War novels. Jakes states in his afterword that this book ultimately isn't about war or slavery, but about change. This story abounds with it -- some for the better, some for the worse, and some somewhere in-between. There is redemption and loss, and above all, strength and love. Many of the more recognizable features of the Civil War are barely touched upon, such as Gettysburg and the final surrender at Appomattox, but this allows more exploration of the lesser known happenings. I can't wait to watch the mini-series and then eventually move on to the final book. ( )
  miyurose | Dec 12, 2008 |
From the first Union rout in Virginia to the last tragic moments of surrender, here is a gigantic five-year panorama of the Civil War! Hostilities divide the Hazards and the Mains, testing them with loyalties more powerful than family ties. While soldiers from both families clash on the battlefields of Bull Run, Fredericksburg and Antietam, in intrigue-ridden Washington and Richmond, strong-willed men and beautiful women defend their principles with their lives ... or satisfy illicit cravings with schemes that could destroy friends and enemies alike!

"Massive, lusty, highly readable,.. a graphic, fast-paced amalgam of good, evil, love, lust, war, violence, and Americana." -- The Washington Post Book World

-From John Jakes' website: http://www.johnjakes.com/northandsouth.htm ( )
  northandsouth | Jun 29, 2006 |
NOT READ--1ST 10 PAGES MISSING
  BKSALLOVER | Dec 31, 1969 |
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Follows the relationship between two families working to keep their bond of friendship despite being on different sides in the Civil War.

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