Like A River
Juvenile historical fiction
"American history and the Civil War have interested me since
seventh grade. I read every book I could find on the subject. But
several years ago, while visiting the Ohio River Museum in Marietta,
Ohio, I learned about the Sultana disaster for the first time. It was
hard to believe that a steamboat (built in my home city of Cincinatti)
blew up and killed more people than died on the Titanic--and I had
never heard of it!..."
Fortunately for historical fiction addicts (mea culpa) Kathy
Cannon Wiechman did not just tell a few friends about her discovery or
do a little personal fact finding. She put a lot of time into
research including visiting historical sites and attending
reenactments. The result of this labor of love is her Like A River,
one of the finest Civil War novels it has ever been my pleasure to read.
Like A River is the narrative of two characters who plunge quite
early in life into the living Hell of armed combat and come to meet
each other in the struggle for survival.
Leander is the overlooked younger brother in a farming family.
Unlike older bro, Nate, he is constantly criticized, always treated
like a child. When Nate becomes paralyzed, unable to go into combat
against the Rebs, Leander sees his golden opportunity.
"The war effort wasn't what mattered to Leander. Working in the
foundry wasn't something to admire, not like being a soldier in
uniform, a soldier who'd risk his life facing enemy guns. Pa had to
see he was doing a manly thing. Ma, too. And Lila."
Polly had lost her mother when she was born. In the third year
of the war when West Virginia split off from Virginia to join the
union side her father enlisted. When she refused to stay with a woman
who was determined to turn her into a "real lady" Pap, realizing the
futility of trying to change her mind, let her join him disguised as a
"If a Rebel ball pierced her heart, would they bury her without
looking too close at what lay beneath her uniform?"
Like A River is a perfect summer read for an action plot loving
boy or girl. Perhaps coupling its reading with a visit to a Civil War
reenactment could really help kickstart an interest in history.
On a personal note, after not being reelected to school committee and
having time to think things over I've decided to make a clean break.
More time for family, friends, and interests; being able to live
without public scrutiny; and NO MORE ELECTIONS WITH MY NAME ON THE
BALLOT are some of the great benefits of having completed my tours of
duty. Civilian life feels great.
A great big shout out goes out to the 99 people who voted for me.
Sent from my iPod