"We pierced the thick, black veil of the fever fires and entered hell."
As the guns fell silent at Appomattox the gods were already shaping the next battlefield. No one living in Memphis realized the target would be narrowed this time to just eight square miles overlooking the Mississippi River.
This second book in the ten-part Your Winding Daybreak Ways series begins where author Gary Bargatze’s debut novel, Warfield, leaves off. Thomas has survived the Civil War and the gods’ war on his family; he has been graduated from the university; and he is now happily on his way to Memphis to teach English at the prestigious Westminster Academy. But unbeknownst to Thomas he is about to enter an even more punishing circle of hell.
This historically accurate, underreported telling of the horrific yellow fever epidemics of the 1870s explores race, unspeakable loss and the courage of African-Americans who sped toward death to serve as nurses, undertakers and police as the masses fled Memphis in panic.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Great follow up to Warfield! Through wonderful narrative, the reader continues the journey young Thomas began in Warfield during the Civil War, and follows him to Memphis during the yellow fever epidemic of the late 1800s. Mr. Bargatze's thorough research of this time period is obvious. He gives intricate detail of the horrible effects of the epidemic on individuals, families, and communities. However, within this detail, is not lost the emotional story as Thomas uses his knowledge of such literary works as the Bible, Whitman and Irving to try to make sense of the trials and tribulations he is witnessing. I have read textbook descriptions of this time period, but it was poignant to experience the horrors of the epidemic through the eyes of Thomas. I am looking forward to seeing how the scales continue to tip in Thomas's life in Mr. Bargatze's next sequel, Hurricane Creek.