And you thought you were having a bad day?
FedEx dropped off a lovely square, heavy package for me yesterday. The package screamed “BOOK”, and sure enough it was a review copy of something called A Separate Country, by Robert Hicks. Mr. Hicks, I have discovered is the New York Times bestselling author of The Widows of the South. How do I know this? Because it says so on the book jacket’s cover.
Okay, let me back up here. Firstly, why do FedEx NEVER knock? I was home, and yet they saw fit to simply dump this parcel on the doorstep. Hmmm… Oh well.
Secondly, it was addressed to me at the California Literary Review, whom I’ve been known on several occasions to write book reviews for. Surprise! I love Paul Comstock and his great site. Go check it out. But the publicist who sent me the book, should have sent it directly to him. A Separate Country is a rather heavy tome about the aftermath of the Civil War. I went to school in Australia and England, and believe me, the Commonwealth has had its fair share of wars. I’ve read and studied them all and I don’t want to read any more war stories from yet another land, so I’m sending this book back to Paul and will let the publicist know I don’t want any more civil war novels to read and review.
Still, this one sounds like a doozy. How can you resist a synopsis like this?
Set in New Orleans in the years after the Civil War, A Separate Country is based on the incredible life of John Bell Hood, arguably one of the most controversial generals of the Confederate Army–and one of its most tragic figures. Robert E. Lee promoted him to major general after the Battle of Antietam. But the Civil War would mark him forever. At Gettysburg, he lost the use of his left arm. At the Battle of Chickamauga, his right leg was amputated. Starting fresh after the war, he married Anna Marie Hennen and fathered 11 children with her, including three sets of twins. But fate had other plans. Crippled by his war wounds and defeat, ravaged by financial misfortune, Hood had one last foe to battle: Yellow Fever. A Separate Country is the heartrending story of a decent and good man who struggled with his inability to admit his failures-and the story of those who taught him to love, and to be loved, and transformed him.
Sounds like great bedtime reading, no?
Oh and they’re plugging A Separate Country‘s Web site here. So I think I’ve done my duty.