Glimpse into Civil War soldiers lives with Beth Harlow (Book Review)

Title: The Journal
Author: Beth Harlow
Publisher: Crosslink Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-936746-34-7

My rating: 3 stars

A Confederate soldier’s wife gives him a journal. He doesn’t expect to have any time to write in it while he’s off fighting Yankees, but he does have the opportunity to make some entries. Throughout the course of the war, several others also find themselves with the soldier’s journal and the opportunity to write in it. The journal travels many miles, crossing lines between North and South and giving each new writer a peak into the lives of the writers before. The events portrayed in the book are real, and the story will appeal to anyone who wants to see history as if they are living it themselves.

This book is built on an intriguing idea, that of a journal passing through multiple hands through the War Between the States. It gives an idea what people might have been thinking and wrestling with in the midst of the battles, not least of all their thoughts concerning faith and religion. The story brings to light the fact that the soldiers fighting in the war were individuals, with unique wants, fears, thoughts, and prayers – but also shows how closely linked they were.

As someone who enjoys journaling, I was interested in the idea of a journal capturing the thoughts of multiple men during the Civil War. I would have liked to get into their heads more and get to know them more. Some of the entries seemed to be there simply to inform the reader and did not delve as deeply into the characters’ minds as I would have liked. The characters could have been greatly expanded. Still, I enjoyed the read and I would recommend it for anyone who wants to better understand what might have been going through the soldiers’ minds during the Civil War.

Available on Amazon: The Journal

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Disclosure of Material Connection:

I can, and do, think for myself, therefore all opinions here are my own. the book review bloggers program was kind enough to provide me with a copy of the book to review. Because the government thinks it has to control everything, I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”