“Beautifully formed sentences express unsettling truths about humanity, yet tendrils of hope emerge, showing how love and kindness can take root in seemingly barren earth.”



Mr. Powers last novel, The Yellow Birds, a novel of war in the middle east which was short listed for the National Book Award now writes about the American Civil War. It is as every bit as powerful as his last novel.

This is a story about George Seldom, a baby at the beginning of the war, who as an old man in his eighties attempts to go back south and find the home where he came from, to try and remember his life at that time.

The story is told in flashbacks, where George as a very young child is found alone on a battlefield by a confederate soldier and given to a family to be raised. It is a story about the Beauvais plantation, owned by a man named Antony Levallois, a shark of a businessman who takes a mans property from him on the assumption that he is dead as he did not return from the war, allowing him to use that property to become rich.

When the man Bob Reid returns, alive but terribly disfigured in battle, he can do nothing about his property, and can only watch as Levallois marries his only daughter Emily. On this plantation are Rawls and Nurse, a couple together from slavery still working on the plantation. They are the couple that George has been given to.

The story goes back and forth from the 1950’s back to the 1860’s, where the entire story is filled in, and we learn about what occurred on that plantation so many years ago, things that George is better off for being to young to remember. A terrific story, well worth reading.

Highly recommended.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 13th July 2018

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Richard Franco