Robert Hicks began his writing career with
The Widow of
the South, the best Civil War book this reviewer has ever read. I continue to recommend
it to friends and strangers alike. In A Separate Country Robert Hicks picks up with his
Civil War history by telling the story of Confederate General John Bell Hood.
After the Civil War, in which General Hood was grievously injured, he has moved to the
bustling city of New Orleans in Louisiana. He has lost a leg and most of the use of an arm and
feels he is of use to no one, especially a beautiful Creole lady like Anna Marie. After a
beautiful courtship, the couple marry and over the years produce eleven children. As General
Bell ages he relives many decisions he made during the war, decisions that sometimes cost the
lives of thousands of soldiers under his command. In an attempt to right these wrongs and tell
the story, he composes a manuscript.
As General Hood lays sickened with the Yellow Fever, he calls upon a gentleman who is now
his friend but at one time wished to kill him. He asks that the manuscript be published but only
after this gentleman, Eli Griffin, approves.
As the story unfolds, the reader sees it not only through the eyes of General Hood but also
through the diary of Anne Marie and the lives of several other people they both impacted. Robert
Hicks is an amazing historian and writer. His works are beautifully written and meticulously
researched. As I read this book I could see the streets of New Orleans, both during the time
just after the Civil War of its heyday and the later when the Yellow Fever nearly wiped the town
clean with its horrible deaths. I learned to care about the characters and found myself reading
any time a few minutes could be stolen.
This is yet another book I will be recommended to friends and strangers.