About the Book
In 1861, 16-year-old Joe Roberts leads a mundane life as far as he's concerned. His world spins in the same circle each day: working at his family's store, taking his sisters on boyish escapades, and bickering with his rogue of a cousin, Lucas. Joe can't understand why his mother allows Lucas to live and work with them after all the pain he caused their family.
When war is declared, Joe is quick to join up and become a soldier with the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteers, but war is nothing like he imagined. To make matters worse, he must endure having Lucas in the same regiment.
Can Joe put the pain of the past behind him? Forgiveness is easier said than done.
I was truly impressed with the presentation of this story as an audiobook! The narrator did a phenomenal job, even singing songs from the American Civil War era a capella (and pulling it off quite wonderfully!). There were instances where the two main characters, Joe and Lucas, really came through the narrator's voice, and I greatly enjoyed being so effectively immersed in the novella - even if the subject matter itself had its difficult and tragic moments, given the wartime backdrop.
The story's characters were well-drawn, and the scenes showed a wide range of snapshots from life leading up to and during the Civil War. While the characters had their frustrating flaws, and some complete turn-arounds seemed to come about with little prompting, it was overall intriguing and satisfying to step into their lives. Time seemed to jump a little quickly, in a bit of a jarring way, in the second half of the book, but perhaps a second listen would help in either solidifying my opinion or changing my mind... (I confess it can be easier to get distracted with an audiobook than with an ebook or hard copy!)
From script to "acting," this was a marvelous performance. It's a well-researched tale, one that provides an endearing glimpse into a family struggling to find themselves and understand one another through the difficulties of war. In a little over three hours, it's like experiencing an epic play outside the theater. All you need to do is pause halfway through for an intermission. :)
*With thanks to the author for providing me with a complimentary audiobook download in exchange for my honest opinion.*
Bonus: Read my interview with the author of It Took a War for a special behind-the-scenes look at the story!
*Sharables created by the author.