This story weaves several time periods deftly, with the present established as the days leading up to the Battle of Bull Run (Manassas) and the battle itself. The majority of the book centers on the cadets days at West Point (United States Military Academy – USMA) and describes military training details as well as the feelings and positions on a state’s right to secede from the union and the hope for peace versus the possibility of war. The cadets are well aware of the tensions between the cotton-producing states and the manufacturing states and their interdependence. The reality of the situation affects not only the relationships of the cadets but also their personal lives. This is a period piece that will appeal to a broad audience.
Period photographs on the cover and in the first few pages enhance the book. The author provides a list of main characters that includes the states from which the cadets come, which helps you to understand their positions. In the Foreward, Brigadier General Peter M. Dawkins (ret) notes that this book “brings American history to life and, in the process, makes you think, smile, and sometimes weep.” How true.
Review by Nancy Kauffman. MWSA Reviewer
The Parting is the true and epic story of the “band of brothers” of the West Point Class of 1861 that experienced its last year at the Academy on the eve of the Civil War before confronting each other in the first major battle of the war. The book's cover artwork features a period photograph of cadets conducting field artillery drill on the Plain at West Point. Pictured on the cover are the story’s protagonist John Pelham from Alabama and his close friend Edmund Kirby from New York. The story unfolds in flashbacks from the days leading up to and including the First Battle of Bull Run, and chronicles the divisive issues of slavery, states' rights, the election of Abraham Lincoln, the unraveling of a nation, the formation of another, and the cat and mouse game that is Fort Sumter. The cadet and military characters in The Parting are real and their deeds and fates are recorded history. Pelham’s friends include George Armstrong Custer and the abolitionist Emory Upton. Pelham, who would be lauded in the war as "The Gallant Pelham" by Robert E. Lee, is the most popular man in his class as well as the best artillerist, horseman, and swordsman, but like Custer also has the most demerits. Central to the story is Pelham’s relationship with the beautiful Clara Bolton from Philadelphia who, with her five girlfriends from Clermont College for Women on Long Island, spends a chaperoned week at the West Point Hotel, barely two hundred yards from the most eligible bachelors in the country.
Rich Adams is the first of three brothers to graduate from West Point, a Vietnam veteran, a consulting engineer, a former university adjunct professor, an author and screenwriter, and a lifelong student of West Point history. His author’s website is www.RichardBarlowAdams.com
ISBN/ASIN: 978-1-48360-231-8 (HB), 978-1-48360-225-7 (SB), 978-1-48360-226-4 (EB), B00BVH437M (Amazon Kindle)
Book Format(s): Hard cover, Soft cover, Kindle, ePub/iBook
Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Romance, History
Review Genre: Fiction—Historical Fiction
Number of Pages: 410