In the Season of the Wild Rose: A Novel of the Civil War

Clara Rising, Author Villard Books $19.95 (889p) ISBN 978-0-394-54673-5
This massive, panoramic novel, 10 years in the making and clearly a product of the heart, deserves high ranking among the many historical novels about the American Civil War. Writing as a Southerner, Rising is less concerned with the politics of the war, or even the great moral issue of slavery, than with the emotions war arouses, especially at that point in which pain or horror threaten not simply one's sense of honor but the very integrity of the self. The narrative centers on two proud Kentucky families joined by marriage, the Hunts and the Morgans, and in particular on John Hunt Morgan, the dashing Confederate cavalry officer whose Raiders almost turned the tide of the war. Told in tight, elegant prose, the story is full of vivid portrayals of actual people like President Davis, Robert E. Lee and St. Leger Grenfel, a British officer who contributed significantly to Morgan's successes, as well as the numerous Hunt-Morgan clan, most notably Morgan's second wife. It's also dense with actual events, of which the bloody battle of Shiloh is perhaps the most graphic, and Morgan's escape from his Northern captors perhaps being the most exciting. (October 1)
Reviewed on: 08/05/1986
Release date: 08/01/1986
Genre: Fiction
Discover what to read next