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Hough's eighth book (after The Last Summer) is a dramatic and tragic tale of Civil War-era brutality and suffering as seen by soldiers, slaves and civilians, culminating at the battle of Gettysburg. Hough writes about the Civil War with a novelist's insight and a historian's eye, creating a vivid story of two teenage Massachusetts brothers, Luke and Thomas Chandler, who naïvely enlist in the Union army and end up on the killing field of Gettysburg. As privates in the 20th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Luke and Thomas endure hunger, fatigue, illness and some hard soldiering, with the elder Luke looking after younger Thomas, though their relationship is strained due to a secret love affair that threatens the close bond they will need in battle. When they are thrown into the titanic fight at Gettysburg, they land in the middle of a firestorm of musket balls, exploding shells and the screams of the wounded and dying as Pickett's charge nearly carries away the Union center. Amid the blood and fury of battle, a tender and poignant story of idealism, love and brotherly devotion shines through. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.