3 out of 4 stars
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At the age of 17, Patrick O’Leery joined a ship crew to come to New York. Finding out that the Irish are treated no better in New York than in his homeland, he goes to Perry’s Corners in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. Perry’s Corners had a population of approximately 251 citizens. In 1861, Patrick kept a journal from April through July that contained the opinions of the events leading up to the Civil War. Five men, Patrick, John, Doc, Seth, and Gerald, kept up-to-date on the events happening in the south, and met every morning for coffee at Patrick’s general store, O’Leery and Sons Mercantile, to discuss politics and the impact of the War on the community. They got most of their information from the “Harpers Weekly Journal of Civilization” and telegrams that John got in trade for maple syrup. What impact did the Civil War have on this mountain community? You will need to read The Ledger by Paul Tick to find out.
There were multiple things I liked about this book. Firstly, at the beginning of the book, the author provides a list of the citizens of Perry’s Corner. This list helped keep the vast number of characters in the book straight. Secondly, there are calendars inserted throughout the narrative showing the events that were occurring. Thirdly, the pictures of the “Harpers Weekly Journal of Civilization” and the Spencer rifle were interesting. Fourthly, although this book is historical fiction, the journal pages with notes about daily purchases looked authentic. Fifthly, the author makes it clear that the Civil War was not about slavery. The only confederates who wanted slavery were the large plantation owners. The rest of the soldiers were fighting to keep the government from telling them how to live their lives. Most of the south was against slavery. Finally, the book has many lessons for us to learn. One of my favorites was that people only took what they needed from nature. They did not kill animals for sport but for food.
The only thing I disliked about this book is the number of errors it contains. The errors are so numerous they distracted me from my reading enjoyment. A professional editor has not edited this book.
I seriously thought about giving this book two stars due to the number of errors. However, the book is exciting and contains good historical information. I was able to engage with the characters and felt like I knew them. It was easy to understand the opinions of the War on both sides of the coin. Therefore, I decided to give the book 3 out of 4 stars. If the author had the book edited by a professional editor, it would deserve the maximum number of stars.
I recommend this book to anyone interested in historical fiction, especially concerning Civil War politics. The sexual content in the book is not exotic, and the profanity is borderline. However, they do exist if you are a sensitive reader.
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