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Posted by on January 25, 2014

Book Information:

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 1st 2014 by Simon & Schuster
1451663323 (ISBN13: 9781451663327)

“A novel of the American Revolution by a writer who is himself a true American revolutionary.” —Mark Edmundson, author of Why Teach?

In 1782, during the final clashes of the Revolutionary War, one of our young nation’s most valiant and beloved soldiers was, secretly, a woman.

When Deborah Samson disguised herself as a man and joined the Continental Army, she wasn’t just fighting for America’s independence—she was fighting for her own. Revolutionary, Alex Myers’s richly imagined and meticulously researched debut novel, brings the true story of Deborah’s struggle against a rigid colonial society back to life—and with it the courage, hope, fear, and heartbreak that shaped her journey through a country’s violent birth.

After years as an indentured servant in a sleepy Massachusetts town, chafing under the oppressive norms of colonial America, Deborah can’t contain her discontent any longer. When a sudden crisis forces her hand, she decides to finally make her escape. Embracing the peril and promise of the unknown, she cuts her hair, binds her chest, and, stealing clothes from a neighbor, rechristens herself Robert Shurtliff. It’s a desperate, dangerous, and complicated deception, and becomes only more so when, as Robert, she enlists in the Continental Army.

What follows is an inspiring, one-of-a-kind journey through an America torn apart by war: brutal winters and lethal battlefields, the trauma of combat and the cruelty of betrayal, the joy of true love and the tragedy of heartbreak. In his brilliant Revolutionary, Myers, who himself is a descendant of the historical Deborah, takes full advantage of this real-life heroine’s unique voice to celebrate the struggles for freedom, large and small, like never before.

My Review:

This book was borrowed to me because the owner thought I would enjoy it, she was right. I plan purchasing a copy for myself for re-reading, just as a general note there. Now onto the nuts and bolts of my review.

I have done living history events for both the revolution and the civil war and I enjoy reading books that are set in the era. The down side is more often then not historical fictions tend to make the wars romantic. War is not romantic, war is bloody. War is a lot of hurry up and wait making sure that uniform and gun work well, then bits of action which are usually fast, hard and bloody as well as traumatic. I appreciate that the author Alex Myers seems to have a firm grip on that. Deborah was a woman yes but she was a woman posing as a man in an army that was not exactly known for its cleanliness over all (hey they didn’t have a lot of modern stuff back in that era!). So you got that dirt and grit, right from that smelly tent that Deborah takes over when she first arrives in west point. Right on through to how much camp work needed to be done and how little fighting there was at that point in the war. Little does not mean none however. All of this is painted really well in Revolutionary.

The story itself was engaging, the cast of characters made you want to know more about them. Not just Deborah/Robert but the supporting characters as well, I look for that in a book. I admit when one of the key moments near the end of service came for Deborah (and I will not say what exactly in the interest of spoilers) I had to set the book down. Not because I did not enjoy the passage but because I was upset about what happened. Upset for Deborah upset for what I knew that would mean overall in the course of the story. If a book can make me feel that much for a surrounding cast it truly has been well written.


My rating in the end: 5 bows (might have a fun graphic later)

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