Sunday, October 18, 2009
Review: A Separate Country
Robert Hicks’s new novel, A Separate Country, is a novel about Confederate General John Bell Hood’s life after the Civil War. General Hood was a strong and tough General. The decisions he made during the war stayed with him the rest of his life. Hood lost the Battle of Peachtree Creek, Battle of Franklin and Nashville. When the war was over, Hood headed to New Orleans, the only Southern City that still functioned as a city, to try to live out the rest of his life. While attending a ball, he meets young Creole society girl, Anne Marie Hennen, they marry, having 11 children.
Hood starts as a cotton trader but fails, then takes on General James Longstreet’s insurance business and fails again. The war had scarred him and ate at his sole. It ate at everything he tried to do except the one thing that he truly had, the love of his wife but by the time he realized this Yellow Fever had taken over the city. He had written his war memoirs after the war as most of the Generals had done, with hatred in his heart. As the years went by he had also written a totally different book that no one knew about. After his wife and eldest daughter Lydia had died of the Yellow Fever, Hood on his own death bed summoned Eli Griffin, whose history intertwined with his, to publish this second book only if he got the first memoirs back that was in the hands of General Beauregard, burn it and let Sebastein Leverle, another New Orleans Creole, to read and approve the publication of this one. After the death of Hood, Eli also discovered a journal written by Anne, as she was dying, to her daughter Lydia that was about the life of Anne and their extraordinary marriage. With this book you will dwell into the life of this couple, the depth of New Orleans, the Creole people; a dwarf, priest and an assassin.
Robert Hicks shows us that Hood was not only a General but also a man.
Personally I enjoyed A Separate Country even though it was a fictional account of General Hood. It shows us that love can conquer all if we only let it.
If you would like to hear more, here is an interview with Robert Hicks – you can click here to listen.
Review copy provided by Hachette Books