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Jacob's Ladder: A Story of Virginia During…

Jacob's Ladder: A Story of Virginia During the War (1998)

by Donald McCaig

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275761,186 (3.64)3



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Multiple characters' stories are told in different chapters, which can be a bit confusing but, overall, an excellent portrayal of the war from the South's perspective, specifically, Virginia. ( )
1 vote ShouldIReadIt | Sep 26, 2014 |
Virginia during Civil - praise as storyteller
  lindap69 | Apr 5, 2013 |
I'm enjoying this book, although it flips back and forth between the many main characters. Sometimes, I have to stop and try to remember just what was happening to that character the last time we read about them. It's a good book on the life of civilians and soldiers during the Civil War. ( )
  civilwargirl | Nov 7, 2009 |
Actually, I didn't quite finish this book. But I invested so much time in it, I'm counting it, dammit. I was disappointed in it " I was looking for much more story about the people, and much less descriptions of battles. I expected it to be a story about Duncan, Maggie, and Jacob. And since Maggie was essentially the narrator, I was disappointed that there were large stretches where you just didn't read anything about her. What it comes down to is that I just lost interest in the story. ( )
  miyurose | Dec 13, 2008 |
A review on Amazon referred to this novel as a result of Margaret Mitchell meets Shelby Foote. The story follows the lives of several different characters including Maggie, a nearly white house slave, who bears a child by the Plantation owner's son and is consequently sold; the plantation owners/family are basiscally good people and we follow the stories of Duncan (the son) & Catesby (a son-in-law) who enlist in the Confederate army. Lots of verifyable history - I know of its truth due to the Ken Burns PBS series. ( )
  lindymc | May 30, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140282653, Paperback)

Widely acclaimed, with comparisons to Margaret Mitchell and Shelby Foote, Jacob's Ladder is a rich and poignant novel. It is the story of Duncan Gatewood, seventeen and heir to the Gatewood Plantation in Virginia. Duncan falls in love with Maggie, a mulatto slave, who bears him a son, Jacob. Maggie and Jacob are sold south, and Duncan is packed off by his irate father to the Virginia Military Institute. As a cadet, Duncan guards the gallows of John Brown; as a man he will fight for Robert E. Lee and the South. Another Gatewood slave, Jesse -- whose love for Maggie is unrequited -escapes to freedom and enlists in Mr. Lincoln's army; in time he will confront his former masters.

Permeated with a wealth of scrupulously researched historical detail, McCaig conjures up the interlocked lives of masters and slaves so skillfully that he has gained praise from African American historians and the descendants of confederate veterans. Jacob's Ladder, lauded by the Virginia Quarterly as "the best Civil War novel ever written, " is an epic tale that resonates with all the bitter glory and deep human shame of America's greatest war.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:57 -0400)

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A story of the interlocked lives of masters and slaves before and after the Civil War, based on the recollections of Maggie, a light-skinned slave, whose love affair with Gatewood Plantation heir Duncan Gatewood resulted in much heartache, as well as a son.… (more)

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W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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