4 out of 4 stars
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It is during the Civil War. Two brothers, Jacob Jake Harris and Lorenzo Dow Harris, decide to join the army. They are quickly assigned to the 51st Virginia Infantry Regiment. The farmers and business people in the southern states had to work hard to support the troops at war. The Confederate States of America army was disadvantaged. The Confederate army was smaller and had lesser ammunition than the Union but was determined to win the war. To them, any resolution that meant preserving their Southern lifestyle and dignity which included the right to own slaves would be victory. In the end, both the Confederate and Union Forces suffered heavy losses.
In His Name is Jacob Harris, the author intertwines many themes to create a fascinating story. The characters were adequately developed. There are numerous characters in the book, but all of them had specific roles to play. The story is narrated in the third-person point-of-view hence making it possible to follow every action as it takes place and also monitor the characters as the story progressed. Jacob and Lorenzo were already married back at Burke’s Garden Virginia. However, in the course of their visits to Charleston to acquire slaves, they came across two beautiful ladies. At first, their relationships seemed casual. As time went by, it was easy to notice how Jacob was becoming drawn to Lilly more than his wife. Jacob had always thought his relationship with his wife would remain intact. Many secrets are to remain hidden by those who know them in this book.
The plot of the story was also well built. All the events flowed in a way that was easy to understand. On the other hand, there were moments when the transitions in time were poorly executed. This is for example in an instance where many years had passed and yet this could not be easily told until one read in the story. I felt this could have been done better than the way it is currently. The use of vivid description in the story was mind-blowing. The depiction of Burke’s Garden Virginia was so superbly done that I felt like visiting the place. This was not the only place where description was done well. It occurred in every instance where the author was describing anything. Some illustrations and maps were also included. They complimented the descriptions well.
The themes handled in the book were able to reveal the effect of war on the lives of ordinary people even those who were not involved in the war. Many young men to volunteer to serve in the army. This showed the level of sacrifice people were willing to pay so as to preserve their way of life. The love relationships between Jacob and Lilly and also Lorenzo and Lucy made the book more interesting as well. Ultimately, there is something for every reader in this book. The book was well edited. I found only one misspelled word. Therefore, I rate it 4 out of 4 stars. I enjoyed reading it a lot. The number of turns and twist were few but were amazing. They caught me off-guard all through.
The author, J.J. McFarland, has visited Burke’s Garden Virginia severally. He has also been an avid reader of spy novels since his teenage years. Backed with his experience of working in the intelligence community, this book is bound to capture one’s attention from the first page. I recommend this book to all fans of historical fiction books. Those who do not enjoy stories set in the eighteenth century might not fancy reading this one.
His Name is Jacob Harris
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