Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Shades of Gray by Jessica James--Book Review

A powerful, engaging, and totally captivating novel of the War Between the States awaits you in Shades of Gray: A Novel of the Civil War in Virginia by Jessica James.

Andrew Sinclair is a Union spy and the dreaded foe of Confederate calvary officer Alexander Hunter. Both fighting a war based on honor and conviction--one fighting to keep the Union together, the other to preserve a way of life--they vow to fight to the death.

But there is something about Sinclair that Hunter does not know: he's a woman! And not only a woman, but a woman who is haunted by her past and motivated to fight without concern for her welfare to right past wrongs.

Neither could have imagined how their lives would become entwined. Neither could imagine giving up the fight. And neither could imagine life without the other!

Shades of Gray is without a doubt the finest historical fiction has to offer. Complex characters, an engaging plot, and historical accuracy, come together to make this novel a must read for any fan of historical and Civil War fiction.

It is a rare book that can pull the reader in so deeply that she is overcome with emotion. And yet, as I mentioned here yesterday, I could not contain myself as I read certain passages. A true page-turner, I digested over 400 pages in three days.

A reviewer can be alarmed when she receives a book the size of Shades of Gray (524 pages); what if it is like fingernails across a chalkboard that forces you to cover your ears until the painful screeching stops. This reader can attest that you will not find that in this novel. Every page moves the story forward, and so involved will you be with Andrea and Alex's story that you will be unable to break away from it. Not a page is wasted, not a word should be removed.

James has done her research and she has done it well. From the fashions, to the language, to the sense of honor and duty that fills its pages, Shades of Gray explores the War Between the States in a way that will touch you like no other work of fiction. If anyone seeks to know more about the reasons brother fought brother in a war that threatened the future of a nation, then she should read this book.

All this and more, makes me declare Shades of Gray by Jessica James, the best book I have read this year! Worth every penny, if you only read one book in 2009, make it this one.

Title: Shades of Gray: A Novel of the Civil War in Virginia
Author: Jessica James
Publisher: Patriot Press
ISBN: 978-0-9796000-0-5
Suggested Retail Price: $27.99 (US)


thewriterslife said...

Fantastic review, Cheryl! I love books like this. The page length would have made me hesitate, too, but it sounds to me like this might be one of those rare books where you're glad it's longer because you never want it to end!

Gladys Hobson said...

What a wonderful review. You must be very proud and happy to have your book so well received. I hope it sells well. Who knows — maybe make a film too?

Cheryl said...

I would love to see this book made into a movie! I kept thinking that as I read it.


Cheryl said...

Definitely, true of this book Dorothy. I never wanted it to end.


Anonymous said...

Thanks everyone and Merry Christmas! Thank you especially, Cheryl, for understanding the message of honor and true love.

Cheryl said...

Glad you stopped by Jessica. One of the good things about "Shades of Gray" is that it gives the reader a sense for how people on each side felt about the War without giving either side an advantage. Reading this book is an excellent way to realize why things unfolded as they did.