Friday, March 16, 2007

Novel: Stonewall's Gold, Entertaining for adults, young and old

Stonewall's Gold: A Novel of the Civil War, Robert J. Mrazek, St. Martin's Press, 240pp, 2000.

In the Shennandoah Valley in the final winter of the war, this novel plays both necessary storytelling chords: plausible mystery/adventure and accurracy in historical setting/period detail. The characters are believable within their contexts and take actions commensurate with their abilities. A reader may quibble with the young adult's adventures but their motivations are made clear and their journey is in the realm of the possible. I initially avoided this novel because of the title and Jackson does not, as I recollect, make any appearance in the book, though one of his Valley battles do. The front cover blurb about Cold Mountain is undeserved; I dismissed the comment when I saw the name of the who author made the comparison. But when McPherson and Krick gave it a nod, I bought it, enjoyed it passed it along to my children as well as my wife.

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