The latter years of the War Between the States come to fierce life in Coyle's sequel to Look Away (1995). Covering 1863-1865, the narrative continues the desperate chronicle of two Irish American brothers, James and Kevin Bannon, as they fight on opposing sides. James is a private in a Confederate infantry regiment; Kevin is a captain in a Union regiment. Both men are tired, embittered and hardened after enduring two years of suffering, sacrifice and danger through grueling campaigns and horrific battles. With death and fear as constant companions, they are battlefield enemies, but they also share the burdens of loss and pain. Estranged from their tyrannical father, they mourn for the girl they both loved and lost, each blaming the other for his suffering. As the war drags on, grinding down the lives and wills of both armies, James and Kevin grow ever more brutal, and increasingly fatalistic about their own chances for survival. From the Wilderness and Spotsylvania to Petersburg and Appomattox, Coyle renders the Civil War battlefields in stark and gripping fashion. Gone, however, are the subplots that added spice and intrigue to the earlier book. The story line here is simpler, leading the two brothers down a predictable path to forgiveness and redemption. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996 Release date: 09/01/1996 Genre: Fiction
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