It’s a story of a very young and inexperienced soldier in the civil war named Henry. It tells of his inward struggles finding courage and making sense of this terrible thing called war. It is disturbing at times to read some of the horrors he describes, not because it’s graphic, but just emotionally heart wrenching.
I love this paragraph:
“As he gazed around him, the youth(Henry) felt a flash of astonishment at the blue pure sky and the sun-gleamings on the trees and fields. It was surprising that nature had gone tranquilly on with her golden processes in the midst of so much devilment.”
After reading this, I could really feel myself in his shoes. Here he is in this captivatingly beautiful place, listening to the stream running by and the birds singing, how can life go so peaceably on for nature, when something so horrible and ugly as war is raging at the same time.
It was sad to read how insignificant he felt at times, his lieutenant called his regiment a bunch of slow “mule-drivers” and sent them off to charge the enemy stating that few would make their way back. How would that feel? Like being sent off as one of the unimportant masses to be slaughtered for the greater good. I can’t imagine. I hope our soldiers understand how important they are not just collectively. but individually. They are each heros to me, for just being there.
I loved this novel. It wasn’t an easy read for me, but it was worth it.