By Patrick Trammell (Vestavia Hills, AL) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Scarecrow in Gray (Paperback)
In his debut novel, Barry Yelton artfully weaves the tale of Francis Marion Yelton, a distant kinsman of the author. Francis' story could have been of any private soldier on either side of the Civil War. The War we see vividly through Francis' eyes is of a world turned upside down. Plucked from a small farm at the tail end of the war, Francis suffers hardship, deprivation, and becomes all to familiar with the call of death and misery. At times gentle, at times violent, but with a code of honor squarely at home in 19th century America, we see a man who is all too human. Barry Yelton has done a masterful job of stripping away the cavalry sabres and mint juleps, and presented War as most live it. From a craftmanship standpoint, Yelton holds his own with the finest historical fiction writers. Indeed, the book is only historical fiction by accident. It hold its own with the best of recent Southern fiction. Worth a read, and worth more exploration of Barry Yelton's talents.