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The Judas Field : a novel of the Civil War
Howard Bahr
Adult Fiction BAHR

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From Publishers' Weekly:

A middle-aged salesman in 1885 Mississippi, Cass Wakefield is a Civil War veteran of the Army of Tennessee, which saw action far from the leadership of Robert E. Lee, and ended, badly, at the battle of Franklin in 1864. Cass agrees to accompany a neighbor, 54-year-old terminally ill widow Alison Sansing, to Tennessee to recover the bodies of her father and brother, killed at Franklin. As they travel north, Cass's memories return with painful vividness, culminating as he walks over the scene of his army's disastrous defeat. Bahr (The Black Flower) moves back and forth between the tattered post-Reconstruction South and the war. He describes the effect of weapons on flesh in gruesome detail and brings to life a long-gone era with its strange smells, foods, fashions and principles. Though his uneducated characters often seem a little too articulate, their insights are excellent. Author of other well-regarded novels on the same period, Bahr treats the war as a natural disaster not unlike a hurricane. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

It is 20 years after the Civil War, and Alison Sansing has little time left. Cancer leaves few options in 1884, at least none that interest Alison. What does interest her in this latest novel from Bahr (The Year of Jubilo) is traveling from her home in Cumberland, MS, to Franklin, TN, the site of the 1864 battle that took the lives of her father and brother. To accompany her, she enlists childhood friend Cass Wakefield, also a participant in the battle. No youngster caught up in the romance of war, Cass has never forgotten the confrontation and doesn't want to go back, even to help Alison. Most of what befalls a man in war occurs on the inside, and visions and nightmares are what veterans like Cass count among their souvenirs. This beautiful novel turns the tables on our view of war; the combatants we meet are witty and wry, and we can't help but be charmed by the descriptions of their dusty, dreary, less than honorable and unheroic routine. The final return to Franklin brings the memories to life and changes everyone involved. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/06.]-Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Alison Sansing
Female
Age: 54
Widow

Cass Wakefield
Male
Civil War veteran
Childhood friend of Alison's; haunted by battlefield memories; has nightmares; accompanies Alison to face the truth behind the battle he survived.
Salesman



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