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Customer Reviews for

A Separate Country

Average Rating 3.5
( 40 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(6)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Robert Hicks does it again

I read the previous book A Widow Of The South and loved it.I read A Separate Country and fell back in love. This is a story of the South,post Civil War.The characters tell the reader of how life in New Orleans was during the days following the War and through plagues an...
I read the previous book A Widow Of The South and loved it.I read A Separate Country and fell back in love. This is a story of the South,post Civil War.The characters tell the reader of how life in New Orleans was during the days following the War and through plagues and how the racial issues continued.
This is a love story between a beautiful Creole girl and a disabled,war ravaged General.It's told in various perspectives.If you are a fan of historical romance or the old South,you should read A Widow Of The South and A Separate Country.

posted by FallenAngel on November 15, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

i am divided about this book

This book as some beautiful descriptive writing. The best characters are Yellow Jack (Yellow Fever) and the weather in New Orleans. What a horrible way to die; as Hood's wife, oldest daughter, and himself do at the beginning of the novel.

Think of New Orleans without...
This book as some beautiful descriptive writing. The best characters are Yellow Jack (Yellow Fever) and the weather in New Orleans. What a horrible way to die; as Hood's wife, oldest daughter, and himself do at the beginning of the novel.

Think of New Orleans without air conditioning and our modern dress or the bugs with no bug spray.

My problem was the with the portrayal of General Hood and his wife. Anna Marie Hennen was young, lively, bright, and lovely. Well stationed in society, she could have her pick of men. Yet she spots a man sitting off from the group, with his artificial leg off. She was attracted to him?

Here was my problem, human nature has not changed a lot since the Civil War. Lots of people would not ventured toward this man.

How should I know? I am disabled and have been around disabled veterans a lot. They and I have experienced negative reactions from able bodied people. It is a sad commentary but true. I talked to my 90 yo mother to see if I was wrong about how people reacted to people wounded people when she was a young Child of the Confederacy, a wife during WWII and Korea. I know about the survivors of Viet Nam. Things have not changed. My problem; inability do see her action. Much less, the General taking off his artificial leg in public. As an officer and a gentleman of the South, this would be totally inappropriate.

The more I read about General John Bell Hood, the less I believed in him and the harder it was to read this novel. I had to stop reading. I read other's glowing reviews. I had to be nuts.

Then I googled him (http://www.johnbellhood.org/). Both characters are Generals, who were shot through the hand, then had an arm made useless, and then lost a leg while fighting for what they believed was the right thing to do.

I didn't see the character in the book as the one online. What I read online seemed very real. Did he lose some battles? Yes. Was it his fault? When he lost his money, was he the only one or was it part of the time? What kind of strength must a man have to sustained the injuries Hood did and yet carry on in war and after?

I must find a way to believe in the major characters to really appreciate a book; no matter how well worded.

posted by spv on October 14, 2009

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  • Posted November 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Robert Hicks does it again

    I read the previous book A Widow Of The South and loved it.I read A Separate Country and fell back in love. This is a story of the South,post Civil War.The characters tell the reader of how life in New Orleans was during the days following the War and through plagues and how the racial issues continued.
    This is a love story between a beautiful Creole girl and a disabled,war ravaged General.It's told in various perspectives.If you are a fan of historical romance or the old South,you should read A Widow Of The South and A Separate Country.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Separate Country

    Eli Griffin has been given a special task by General Hood. A task that will take him deep into the Hood family's history and open a whole can full of mysteries and intrigue. General Hood and his wife, Anna Marie, have both written their histories down and we follow their tale as Eli reads through it, with the occassional jump back to the "present" as we see the effects their stories have on the man.

    General Hood is not a good man and has done things that lead to the deaths of many people. This is his story and how he comes to terms with his past and tries to make up for what he has done. While I did not like General Hood in the beginning, he seemed to be a callous and cruel man, by the end he had earned, at least, my respect. Respect for accepting the consequences of his actions and learning from them. Respect for trying to change his life.

    I'm a little at a loss as to what to think of Anna Marie. I had a very hard time relating to her as a woman, mother, or wife. She seemed to be constantly trying to overcome something within herself, something similar to selfishness, that she could never quite master. This seemed to hang over her head too often to allow me as a reader to get too close.

    Eli Griffin, the main narrator, was an odd man, and I'm still not quite sure what to think of him. He changes and grows in ways that are surprisingly familiar, but I can't seem to put my finger on why.

    I enjoyed reading the book, but there were times I had to put it down, especially near the beginning, because the scenes were a quite disturbing. They were there for a purpose, and the book wouldn't have been the same without them, though.

    4/5

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I thought this book would be informative and interesting. Instea

    I thought this book would be informative and interesting. Instead it was slow and vulgar. The author carried on about pointless information. I have never actually fallen asleep from boredom while reading...until this book. 




    I say it's vulgar because it seemed every chapter had something about the two main character's sex life...to the point of where it was extremely unrealistic. For example, for a good chunk of the book the story is being told from a mother's perspective in a letter to her daughter. What sane mother would include such heavy details about her sex life? it was disgusting, and a sad piece of historical fiction (as if it had much history in it at all...). 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2012

    Ok book

    I love reading books about the old south. However this book I gave up on I thought it was rather confusing. I was really disappointed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fascinating Historical Fiction

    In A Separate Country, Robert Hicks takes the reader to post-Civil War New Orleans. The book follows the life of General John Hood and his family in this period. General Hood came to New Orleans as a feared and respected man, a Confederate general who led forces and unleashed chaos upon the land.

    After the war, he flounders trying to find what his new life will be. Grievously injured with one leg missing and one arm that won't work, he isn't sure he even knows how to fit into society when he isn't needed to lead men to war. He finds his purpose when he meets and marries Anna Marie Hennen, a famous New Orleans society beauty. Hood and Anna Marie have eleven children.

    Hood introduces the reader to the intricacies of Southern society. There are cotton brokers, lotteries, freed slaves now attempting to make a living, and men in societies formed for the sole purpose of refusing African-Americans their rights. There are many orphans who also claw and fight for a chance at a new life once their family ties have been cut asunder by war. There are men that learn to fit in, and those who are so damaged by the war that they never find redemption.

    This book is highly recommended for lovers of historical fiction. It is rife with complex characters. There is Rintrah and Pascale, orphans who run away from the orphanage and carve out lives for themselves. Pascale has both black and white heritage and sometimes passes as a white man, a scheme for which he pays dearly. Rintrah is a dwarf who fights and schemes until he controls much of the underworld of the city. Father Mike is a priest who isn't priestly, except when the yellow fever plague arrives. He recruits all these characters along with John Hood to fight the plague and try to save the poor people of the city who are it's first and most severely affected victims.

    Hicks has created a city where the reader feels they could walk down the streets and encounter people they know. The characters are intricate and Hicks outlines the various relationships that tie them together. He explores what it means to be a man at war, and a man who seeks redemption. This is an extremely satisfying book, and readers won't be disappointed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 4, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Really Enjoyed This Book

    I read Robert Hicks other Civil War Book "Widow of the South" and enjoyed it so much that purchasing this book was a no brainer. And....I wasn't disappointed. I like how you slowly learn the personality of each character in the book and Mr. Hicks write so vividly that I could just picture New Orleans so long ago. I also enjoy that he writes about strong women! Great book and would highly recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another great book by R. Hicks

    I originally found Widower of the South by accident. I was looking for a new genre - and found that his writing style is very good. I loved that book and thought he is a great storyteller.

    A Separate Country is no different. The characters are very good and the writing is superb. I would recommend this book who wants to learn about the South after the war and of personal redemption, love, and struggle.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 14, 2009

    i am divided about this book

    This book as some beautiful descriptive writing. The best characters are Yellow Jack (Yellow Fever) and the weather in New Orleans. What a horrible way to die; as Hood's wife, oldest daughter, and himself do at the beginning of the novel.

    Think of New Orleans without air conditioning and our modern dress or the bugs with no bug spray.

    My problem was the with the portrayal of General Hood and his wife. Anna Marie Hennen was young, lively, bright, and lovely. Well stationed in society, she could have her pick of men. Yet she spots a man sitting off from the group, with his artificial leg off. She was attracted to him?

    Here was my problem, human nature has not changed a lot since the Civil War. Lots of people would not ventured toward this man.

    How should I know? I am disabled and have been around disabled veterans a lot. They and I have experienced negative reactions from able bodied people. It is a sad commentary but true. I talked to my 90 yo mother to see if I was wrong about how people reacted to people wounded people when she was a young Child of the Confederacy, a wife during WWII and Korea. I know about the survivors of Viet Nam. Things have not changed. My problem; inability do see her action. Much less, the General taking off his artificial leg in public. As an officer and a gentleman of the South, this would be totally inappropriate.

    The more I read about General John Bell Hood, the less I believed in him and the harder it was to read this novel. I had to stop reading. I read other's glowing reviews. I had to be nuts.

    Then I googled him (http://www.johnbellhood.org/). Both characters are Generals, who were shot through the hand, then had an arm made useless, and then lost a leg while fighting for what they believed was the right thing to do.

    I didn't see the character in the book as the one online. What I read online seemed very real. Did he lose some battles? Yes. Was it his fault? When he lost his money, was he the only one or was it part of the time? What kind of strength must a man have to sustained the injuries Hood did and yet carry on in war and after?

    I must find a way to believe in the major characters to really appreciate a book; no matter how well worded.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2014

    Slow and boring. Very pointless and hardly any likeable characte

    Slow and boring. Very pointless and hardly any likeable characters. One star for use of New Orleans as a character.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 12, 2014

    A work of historical fiction, Robert Hicks wrote A Separate Coun

    A work of historical fiction, Robert Hicks wrote A Separate Country from the perspective of his purported main characters. Each chapter speaks from a different character. However, General John Bell Hood was a real person. This story tells of his life after the war, living in New Orleans with his wife and children. The problem is: how much is the reader supposed to believe? I am not an expert on General Hood, so I don’t know. Hood died in the yellow fever epidemic that decimated New Orleans, but how much else of this story is true? Hicks would have done better to write a biography, rather than attempt a novel with fictional content about a real person in a real place.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2013

    Mr. Hicks once again brings us a story that is aching to read an

    Mr. Hicks once again brings us a story that is aching to read and eye opening to comprehend. John Hood was deeply scarred from the war and 
    very flawed as he goes through all of the hell the aftermath of the war brings forth for New Orleans.  Mr. Hicks writing has come along from his first
    book, and the story is relevant for how we are shaped today.  Really opened my eyes to the issues of the south in a way I had not previously encountered.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2011

    Very Interesting Book

    A Different view of a hero of the Confederacy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 23, 2011

    Southern Read

    If you like stories about the south, it's good. A little slow.

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  • Posted May 19, 2011

    Wonderful!!!

    It's a must read! I couldn't put this book down. I wish to read more like this.

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  • Posted October 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Robert Hicks provides a strong look at life in a battered pandemic depressed Deep South

    In 1879 in New Orleans former Confederate General John Bell Hood is dying from yellow fever. He has one death bed wish that his memoir of the past decade instead of his Evil War account be published. He asks Tennessee transplant Eli Griffin, who came to New Orleans four years earlier intending to murder the Rebel general for his defeat at Franklin, to promise he would..

    After the South lost the war, Hood moved to New Orleans trying to make a go as a businessman who lost the use of an arm and had a leg amputated during the hostilities. He married Creole Anna Marie Hennen and they had eleven children together raised in abject poverty, which deletes the élan of life from her. Their relationship took another negative spin when Anna Marie's best friend is murdered and Sebastian Lemerle arrives to extort money from his former commander in order not to reveal an ugly secret he knows about Hood from their Texas days together. Others like Rintah, Beauregard and the KKK forerunner want a piece of the war hero too.

    This is a deep historical thriller told mostly as an autobiographical account of a major Southern Civil war general. The story line is vivid as the audience sees a teetering New Orleans trying to rebound from the defeat, but reconstruction is hampered by racism, cheating opportunism, and overall amoral behaviour that debilitate the energy from those playing fair. Robert Hicks provides a strong look at life in a battered pandemic depressed Deep South.

    Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted August 13, 2009

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    Posted July 22, 2011

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    Posted January 21, 2010

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    Posted December 28, 2009

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    Posted September 24, 2009

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