Title: Asunder, A Novel of the Civil War
Author: Curt Locklear
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance, Civil War
“I’M TRAPPED!” Sara Reeder, a headstrong, beguiling, Southern sympathizer is caught between charging armies!
“AWAKEN, SPIRITS”… “Tell me where my husband, Joseph, fell in battle.” Cyntha Favor, an ardent abolitionist and believer in Spiritualism, seeks to free her dead husband’s tormented soul.
EXCEPT… Joseph, a Union soldier, is not dead! Knocked unconscious in battle, he has lost all memory. Nursed to health by Sara and her father, Lucas, a disabled veteran, Joseph feels drawn to Sara, yet compelled to find his past.
WAR SURROUNDS the Reeder home. Transformed into a field hospital, their only support is Dred Workman, a Union traitor.
FORMER SLAVE, Josiah Reynolds, is protector and confidant of Cyntha. Deep in slave territory, he knows the danger he faces.
THE FOX SISTERS –President Lincoln’s wife invited spiritualists to invoke séances in the White House. These most famous of all Spiritualists become Cyntha’s hope.
MARAUDERS terrorize, kill and move ever closer to the Reeders’ farm.
With RIVER PIRATES, INTENSE BATTLES, and CAPTIVATING ROMANCE, from Texas to New York, Missouri to Minnesota, the WAR rages. Can love triumph? Who will survive? ASUNDER is a GRIPPING EPIC.
I have studied the Civil War for decades and this book is an accurate portrayal of that time period. The author really brings to life the world of the 1860's Missouri. The characters of Joe, Cyntha, Sara, Lucas and Dred amongst others are very well crafted and quickly a reader finds himself caring for what will happen to each character. The story runs in relatively three distinct plot lines that are deeply interwoven. The author very accurately portrays not only that war is killing and death but he also amazingly brings to light the fog of war. I have rarely seen anything outside of unit battle diaries that offer such a succinct feel for that key aspect of war. I really enjoyed Joseph in the army and Sara and her family not to mention Cyntha and her protector Josiah.
It was not clear to me as a reader that this was part one of three until late in the book. Further, I was more than disrupted by the constant flash backs and flash forwards. It was extremely confusing at times to go from six months ahead to five months back to three days later to six months back, etc. Had this book been crafted in a smooth chronological order, it would have been 5 stars.
I personally found the portrayal of the river pirates and the Jayhawks to be too realistic and offensive. Fans of Games of Thrones/Walking Dead/Vikings will appreciate the lawlessness and disgusting behavior. I could do with much less of it. There is enough in the basis of the story with the war and all the turmoil and drama without the extra aspects.
A worthy read and now I must read part two to see what happens to Cyntha as she tries to find her brother.
My Rating: 4 stars
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CURT LOCKLEAR - award-winning author, history teacher, musician, composer, and positive education consultant. In my career, I have delivered presentations to thousands, small and large groups. My talks are always sprinkled with jokes and intriguing stories. If asked, I can play a few Civil War era tunes on my banjo and/or guitar.
My father trained a race-horse in the Kentucky Derby. My mother was a librarian. I’m related to the first wing-walker. My heritage is Southern and Northern. My Rebel forbearer once cleverly hid from a Yankee squad in corn crib. My Yankee forbearer was a bugler.
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Reviewed by: Mr. N