4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Do you fancy stories that explore the depths of the human mind and psychology? Or you are an avid reader of tales of war in all its glory and gore. Tales of Little Egypt is a historical fiction book that satisfies these criteria and more. James Gilbert’s 152-page book explores the themes of love, romance, war, and the individual quest for survival.
During the civil war, David Watson was a doctor hoping to end all the needless human suffering and live a life where he practices his profession in harmony. John Clarke was a science and biology nerd who had dreams of becoming an erudite scientist. Ruby Moore was a lady who aspired to the kind of love and romance in the books she grew up reading. In the small town of Marion, all these collections of individual yearnings and aspirations amid war and poverty make up the collective history of the town. To decipher how the stories of all these people and many more turned out, read this book to find out.
Marion is a place that is representative of the small towns of 19th and early 20th century America. James Gilbert brought a collection of the stories of the inhabitants of Marion to life and weaved them up as the collective story of a town. Inadvertently, it was a story of America in that era. The author has written this book with a poignant tone that is so pervasive. He captures perfectly the mood of an era where life is short, and pleasures are scarce. Amid the daily coming and goings, he also explored the underlying unacknowledged tensions of the society. Hot button issues such as homosexuality, abortion, anti-Semitism, racism, and mob violence were subtle but inescapable across the pages. Ultimately, this was a story about how hard life can be. The needless horrors that war brings only compound human suffering.
Although this book had a disparate storyline, the author could connect the threads through the infrequent interaction between some characters. Doctor Watson was the most compelling character, linking him across several characters by his profession. After all, people need to get medical help. I admire Watson’s wife, Delia. Her comforting words are a testament to families’ substantial role.
I found nothing to dislike about this book. The writing was excellent. Despite the number of characters in the book, each of them was surprisingly fully developed, and their roles had depth. For these reasons, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. Also, I found only a single grammatical error, which means the book was professionally edited.
I highly recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction, history buffs, and people fascinated by the human cost of all the needless wars nations have fought. I can only hope that we steer a more humane path in the future.
Tales of Little Egypt
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon