Thursday, January 9, 2014

All Other Nights: A Great Civil War Novel


As I age, there never seems to be enough time to devote to books already read - I'm always hungry for something new. But, it's 2014 and, never one prone to make New Year Resolutions, I may slide a little and devote this new year to revisiting things that made an impact on me.

To that end, I recently re-read Dara Horn's masterful novel, "All Other Nights," . . . and recommend it as enthusiastically as I can.

Horn's tale, set during the American Civil War, centers on Jacob, a young Jewish man who, ends up joining the Union army in order to avoid a ghastly arranged marriage set up by his parents and their potential business partner. He quickly ends up as a spy, infiltrating the Confederacy, marrying a confederate spy before becomine intricately involved in a plot to stop the assassination of President Lincoln.

Giving nothing else away, I'll only comment that Horn brings us (sometimes preposterously so, other times breathtakingly) through the turbulent world of the Civil War and provides - even through fiction - a fascinating insight into Jewish culture during a point of little known Southern American history. In my estimation, "All Other Nights" is one of the finest, most gripping, and emotionally satisfying Civil War novels to date.

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