I am listening to Rachmaninov's Island of the Dead Symphony no. 29. Percy thought it was pleasant, or so I judge by his chuckling. Have you heard a Guinea Pig chuckle? It is so cute. He also chuckles when I tell him I love him. Don't tell me piggies don't understand English.
A Year in the South: 1865: The True Story of Four Ordinary People Who Lived Through the Most Tumultuous Twelve Months in American History by Stephen V. Ash
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Ash takes us through the lives of four people starting in the beginning of 1865 and how they lived through this final half year of the Civil War. (The War ended in May.)
One is a slave who becomes a freedman. His family must now learn how to cope with getting a job and making a paid living. Ironically many freed men and women left the South where there was now a desperate need for labor to the North where they found themselves competing for jobs with European Immigrants. This caused another type of conflict as too many people fought for too few jobs.
Another is a woman whose husband fought as a Confederate and was killed in action. One watches as she and her young family work to keep from starving on their once respected and wealthy plantation.
Two others are men, one young and one old, who also fight as Confederates and after the war must find new identities and work in the devastated South. The younger one moves north and learns to interact with people whose customs and cultures are very different than anything he's been exposed to.
The book is divided up into the four seasons of the year and inside each season each person gets a chapter.
This is a work of non-fiction and it is compelling in its drama and the fight to survive from four Southern people, very different from each other, and how they adapted and adjusted during the end of the Civil War and the life they once knew that is now lost forever and the beginning of Reconstruction.
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