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Posted May 26, 2009
Powerful view of Civil War South
This sequel to William Henry is a fine Name is equally well written. Robert is five years older and makes a new friend who is a Confederate soldier. The author seems to make a point of keeping him a non-combatant, sympathizing with the abolition of slavery, but never actually enlisting in the Union army. I think I would have been more comfortable with this if she had made him a Quaker who struggles with pacifism in the face of injustice on both sides. As it is, she seems to be trying so hard to bring out the good and bad of both sides in the war, that neither is really effective. Parts of the plot seemed contrived to prolong the journey and give opportunity to portray yet another aspect of the Civil War. I enjoyed revisiting some of the people Robert met on his trip north in the first book as he now travels south to rescue his mother. The resolution of her story is both tragic and inevitable for a 'happy' ending. That and some of the other content is pretty strong, not suitable for younger readers.
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Posted March 6, 2009
Moving Account from a Young Man's Eyes
One of the finest qualities of Cathy Gohlke's I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires is the way lines become blurred between Union and Confederate sympathies. And I don't simply mean the sympathies of the endearing, believable young hero, Robert Glover. Any reader of this touching, exciting novel will be surprised to find herself rooting for the southern inhabitants as often as for the northern. By dividing Robert's family, Gohlke shows the reader how our divided country suffered; how the conflict wasn't as simple as pro-slavery vs. abolition, states rights vs. Federal power. And, best of all for this reader, Gohlke never reaches for sentiment. Still, she managed to move me to tears more than once. An excellent read for teens and up.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 19, 2009
A House Divided
Fantastic read with believable characters and plot. Each chapter will keep you turning the pages to see what happens next. Very thought provoking and will lead the reader to really think about what the War Between the States was like for families caught on opposing sides. The lines blurr between God, country, family, and foe. Where would you stand?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 3, 2008
I¿m not the biggest fan of historical books, but I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires was a major exception. This book was incredible. <BR/><BR/>At the start, seventeen-year-old Robert is waiting the few months till he can enlist and become a Union soldier. But Robert receives a letter from his cousin, Emily, asking him to see her father, who had been captured in a battle. <BR/><BR/>When visiting Emily¿s father and other unfortunate events lead him to be declared a Confederate spy, Robert must forge a way to his mother and Emily. While running for his life, he receives help from unlikely sources and learns what it really means to put all his trust in God.<BR/><BR/>Cathy Gohlke writes with eloquent prose that draws a person in as though he/she is part of the story. I was right alongside Robert as he found himself in scrapes and struggles; I cheered him on and felt his pain. A definite must-read, for historical and non-historical fans alike!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 27, 2008
I Also Recommend:
Slavery comes in many forms.
I couldn¿t wait to read the sequel to William Henry is a Fine Name, and Cathy Gohlke didn¿t disappoint. I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires hooked me from page one. <BR/><BR/>Not yet eighteen (which is old enough to enlist) Robert Glover bides his time at home in Maryland. Pa has gone off to the Civil War and his mother has been living the past five years at her childhood home in North Carolina. A letter from Robert¿s cousin, Emily, begs he visit her father, a Confederate colonel who¿d been captured during the battle of Gettysburg. Unbeknownst to Robert, her father uses him to pass secret information to his men, helping them escape the prison. <BR/><BR/>Now thought to be a Confederate spy, Robert is on the run. He heads for North Carolina, hoping to get to his mother and cousin and be of use. But war has ravaged the land, and Robert is in danger at every turn. He berates himself for not joining the Union and fighting against slavery like his Pa and other young men his age, but he learns that his plans are not always God¿s plans. As Robert cheats death again and again, he discovers slavery comes in many forms and only by becoming a slave to Christ will he ever be truly free.<BR/><BR/>Very highly recommended.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 24, 2013
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