Summary from Christianbook.com: Michael Palmer is a good man, a family man. But honor and duty push him to leave his comfortable life and answer the call from Abraham Lincoln to fight for his country. This "citizen soldier" learns quickly that war is more than the battle on the field. Long marches under extreme conditions, illness, and disillusionment challenge at every turn.
Faith seems lost in a blur of smoke and blood . and death. Michael's only desire is to kill as many Confederate soldiers as he can so he can go home. He coldly counts off the rebels that fall to his bullets. Until he is brought up short by a dying man holding up his Bible.
It's in the heat of battle at Gettysburg and the solemn aftermath that Michael begins to understand the grave cost of the war upon his soul. Here the journey really begins as he searches for the man he was and the faith he once held so dearly. With the help of his beloved wife, Jesse Ann, he takes the final steps towards redemption and reconciliation.
It is normally extremely rare for me to find good faith based historical fiction that is published by major Christian publishers. I say this because the majority of Christian fiction that is historical is usually historical romance. There's nothing wrong with that but sometimes you need something more meatier that focuses on history than romance. I have been pleasantly surprised though in the past several months that the industry appears to be slowly changing and there are more good historical reads without romance coming out. This debut novel by Karl A. Bacon can be added to that list.
Bacon's historical research is absolutely awesome as we travel with the characters. The life of the soldiers is not glamorized or made appealing. Instead we are treated to the harsh realities of the war life and how the men had to deal with it. He goes into detail about the battles and then the aftermath and how this affected the lives of the soldiers. Death is constantly surrounding them and every day could be your last. Luxuries are scarce but when they do happen, it's a joyous celebration. Since the story is told from Michael's point of view, we are also treated to knowing the fate of his family back home. I found it interesting that when Michael went on furlough, he found himself not able to sleep comfortably in the bed with his wife after being used to being on the ground for so long. War changed the men and Bacon shows both the positive and negative aspects about this.
Faith in the story is handled appropriately to the time period. This means that it while it is historically significant in the lives of the soldiers, it is not preachy to the modern reader. In cases like this, religion is an important part of the lives of the people during this time period and to not include it would be damaging to recreating an authentic story. While the story is not heavily detailed into battle details as other Civil War novels tend to be, there is a great deal of information in the book. Since there is a lot of historical detail, those who aren't into that might be bored but me, being a history major, absolutely loved it. The lack of a romance (though we do see the main character think of his wife a lot) really strengthens the story and allows the focus more to be on the soldiers.
This is a wonderful debut. I really enjoyed reading it and it is one that I have been and will continue to recommend to fans of historical fiction and the Civil War. I am looking forward to any future releases from him. HIGHLY recommended.
An Eye for Glory by Karl A. Bacon is published by Zondervan (2011)
This ARC was provided by a publicist
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