In That Deadly Space author Gerald Gillis spins an interesting yarn about a young man, Conor Rafferty, going off to fight for the confederacy in the Civil War. He does so against his father's wishes and carried with him his father's admonishments that he will be no good in combat. He also does so despite his personal opposition to slavery. These conflicts affect him throughout the war, but he is determined to be a good officer and soldier.
The author is adept in portraying his protagonist's experiences as well as giving the reader insight to a soldier's life in that war. Conor's story is a tragic one, but without doubt resembled the story of many real soldiers who fought in that war. As with most wars, the young men and women who fight and die in it had no role in initiating it. I recommend That Deadly Space to everyone who enjoys historical fiction and especially to those who enjoy reading about the US Civil War.
Review by Bob Doerr, MWSA Reviewer
The Civil War has begun in earnest. Conor Rafferty joins the Confederate army as a young infantry officer against the wishes of his father who, in his Irish anger, is adamantly opposed to a war with the North. Conor soon finds himself in many of the war’s most consequential battles, leading from the front and risking all inside that deadly space. He serves with distinction in General Robert E. Lee’s celebrated Army of Northern Virginia as it seeks the crowning victory that will end the war and stop the carnage. Along the way, Conor becomes a protégé of fellow Georgian John B. Gordon who eventually rises to command a Confederate army corps. At the conclusion of each chapter, the narrative transitions to the now aged Conor who answers the probing questions of his grandson Aaron, himself a captain in the U.S. Army and scheduled for duty in Europe during World War I. The grandfather and grandson thus spend a week together—a week of sharing, learning, and bonding.
That Deadly Space is a compelling tale that portrays the drama, heroism, romance, and tragedy of the Civil War.
Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle
Genre(s): Historical Fiction
Review Genre: Fiction—Historical Fiction
Number of Pages: 340