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First, I absolutely loved the narrators for this book. They captured the characters beautifully. Sometimes a group of narrators working on one book can make the transitions between readers feel jumpy or even startling. That wasn't the case with this book. The reading was effortless and a pleasure to listen to.
Hicks captured a slice of southern plantation life in Franklin, Tennessee near the end of the US Civil War with such heartfelt detail I found myself spellbound. Let me be clear, Hick isn't an apologist nor does he present a tactical exploration of the US Civil War or the Battle of Franklin. What he does do with his writing is simply show the reader Carnton Plantation and the Town of Franklin, Tennessee inside out--flaws and all.
You may at times feel the characters are too self possessed, too unlikeable and even too accepting of what I find to be personally reprehensible and unacceptable behaviors. But, that said, I found myself listening with rapt attention to this story of the US Civil War from the southern plantation point of view. To me, the reality of this life was sad, shallow, duplicitous and worn down to the bone with suffering. Hicks nailed the end of the old south perfectly.
Be aware that some parts of the book are so filled with violence I had to fast forward in two places. At the same time, Hicks really shows us life in the mid to late 1800s. The reality of loss, disease and grief are made palpable. A difficult book but a very human story.
20 of 25 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to The Widow of the South again? Why?
I listened to over 50 audio books in 2016. The production and narration of this book was exceptional. Not only was it a well written book, but the narration was done so well I felt like I was there, really listening to the characters.
What did you like best about this story?
The heartfelt emotion of each character and the pain of love, war and loss was so realistic. I realized as I listed to the story I actually visited the museum, home, years ago. It brought to life what the people who lived actually endured. The senselessness of the injuries and death and what it did to the people who cared for those soldiers.
Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Oh my! This was like watching a well acted play on Broadway. I can't even compare it to other novels which are narrated by one person trying to be many characters and not doing a great job. Carrie's voice, accent and character were so real it is hard to describe how realistic and heartfelt the character was.
If you could take any character from The Widow of the South out to dinner, who would it be and why?
Of course it would be Carrie to learn more about how the war changed her life.
Any additional comments?
This isn't your typical Civil War novel that centers on guts and glory. This is the story of humans who faced a reality that tore this country apart. What the war did to them on not only a physical level, but a personal one.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful