The Journal

TheJournalLarge-196x300The Civil War is just beginning. A Confederate soldier is given a journal by his sweetheart, Mary. She asks him to write in it during their time apart, and when he comes home they’ll read it together.  He begins writing it, then it is lost and passed to a Union soldier. He also writes in it, loses it, and someone else finds it and begins writing in it.

Some of the men are Christians, some are not. Some are Confederates, some are Union soldiers. Some are enlisted men, some are officers. All write in the journal.

I assume the journal is lost for the most part because the current writer was killed in action. One soldier stole it, but he is the only one to get it that way,  one man was given it, but I believe the rest died. The book does not say.

The Journal by Beth Harlow is a short, fast, fairly easy read fictional account.  I would say it is written on an 8-12 year old reading level.  I have no qualms at all about having my children read this. In fact, it seems to me it should be classified more as young adult/children’s book than an adult book.

I found it at times a bit confusing. In places where it changed hands was marked but only with a “swirly” graphic, and it took me a time or two to realize “oh we switched people.”  There was one time when the book not only switched hands, but switched sides a couple of times.  Ms. Harlow, it seemed, was confusing the sides and who had the book. I kept having to go back and read to find out and yes, she should have written that the soldier was Union, but she had him as a Confederate.  In a book like this, I can see how it would be VERY easy to confuse.

I also would rather the book was written as one would write in a journal. Being somewhat of a history lover, I have read bits and pieces of actual journals from this time frame, and I would have much rather this book be written in a like manner. It would have made the book more “believable” to me.

All-in-all, it was a good book.  I would recommend it to anyone. I give it 4 turning pages.

You can order the book by following this link.

Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher through book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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