In the midst of the Civil War, two brothers fight from opposite sides of the battlefield. . .
As a rookie reporter, Calvin Hogue has been given an assignment to cover the Malburn family reunion, but when he meets the aged Civil War veteran Daniel Malburn, he realizes that he has stumbled onto the story of a lifetime- a tale of two brothers fighting opposite sides of the civil war. He is determined to record their story for future generations before it is lost forever, meeting with the brothers separately, learning their stories and publishing them in weekly installments. Before long, his articles have gathered quite a following, but before he can finish the job, tragedy strikes, and he must return home- leaving behind an unfinished tale and the love of his life.
In this brilliantly written novel by E. Michael Helms, the reader is offered a glimpse into this dark period of American history, full of tragedy, hardships, and incredible loss of life. Helms’ knowledge of the Civil War era and its battles is impressive as he leads the reader through the story, poignantly capturing the hopes, fears, and struggles of soldiers on the battlefield.
It’s easy to fall in love with the quirky, well-developed characters in the story- from the moonshine-swilling Daniel Malburn, to the embodiment of southern hospitality, Alma Hutchins. This book is hard to put down, something not often said about historical fiction, and I am eagerly anticipating book two to find out what happens next. Any fan of historical fiction, American history (or even just a well-told story), would enjoy this book- highly recommended!
Rating: 5 stars
I received a free copy of this book through the author in exchange for an honest review.
About the author:
E. Michael Helms is a USMC combat veteran. His memoir of the Vietnam War, “The Proud Bastards,” has been called “As powerful and compelling a battlefield memoir as any ever written … a modern military classic,” and has been in print for most of the past 20 years.
His work has also appeared in the books: “Semper Fi: Stories of U.S. Marines from Boot Camp to Battle” (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2003); “Soldier’s Heart: Survivors’ Views of Combat Trauma” (The Sidran Press, 1995); and “Two Score and Ten: The Third Marine Division History” (Turner Publishing, 1992).
Book One of his two-part historical saga, “Of Blood and Brothers,” was released September 2013. Book Two followed in March 2014.
The first novel of his Mac McClellan Mystery series, “Deadly Catch,” was published in November 2013 and was Library Journal’s “Debut Mystery of the Month.” The second Mac McClellan Mystery, “Deadly Ruse,” is scheduled for Fall 2014.
“The Private War of Corporal Henson,” a semi-autobiographical fictional sequel to “The Proud Bastards,” will be published in June 2014.
Helms lives with his wife in the Upstate region of South Carolina in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, and continues to work on his mystery series.
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