Tad is a young slave boy who has just discovered just how different life is for him because of the color of his skin. Shortly after his first whipping, soldiers from the North descend on Fort Beauregard and destroy it. The southern plantation owners flee, leaving their slaves behind. Tad sets to work planting his field. He's going to need a corn harvest if they're all going to eat come winter. But when some men and women from the north show up to start a school, Tad starts to think he'd like to be a soldier and fight too.
This is a story that's based on true events. It also won the Jerry B. Jenkins Operation First Novel Contest. Well deserved, I'd say. The story sucked me in from the start, as Tad got into mischief following his friend into trouble. I couldn't put it down. I found it fascinating and very engaging. I thought this was a unique take on Civil War events. I'm a big fan of the movie Glory, and some of the real people from that movie also appear in this book. This is an entertaining read for pretty much anyone. Whether you like history or are learning about it at school, this is a great book. I highly enjoyed it.
Gideon's Call is an exciting story of a young man, who will capture your heart and admiration. Tad's story is a testament of faith and indomitable spirit of one young slave boy growing into manhood during explosive change in the mid-1800's. Tad's faith in himself and his ability is only overshadowed by his faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior.
Gideon's Call is also the story of those who worked to help the newly freed slaves make a life for themselves--often at great personal sacrifice. The good that these people accomplished is contrasted with the heart-wrenching prejudice and cruelty of those without conscience.
The war scenes were vividly portrayed. I felt as if I were right there in the midst of the battles--though it was a bit difficult to keep up with all the major players.
I recommend this book to everyone, who is interested in the plight of the freedmen at the close of the Civil War. Gideon's Call is an excellent and interesting novel.
Thank you, Peter Leavell, for taking up the task of telling one of the most intriguing aspects of the Civil War: the Port Royal Experiment. Gideon's Call struck that fine balance between drawing us into the personal drama of individuals, and painting for us the larger picture of what was at stake during this time period: freedom and bondage, life and death, love and duty. Having studied this piece of history myself (but clearly only a fraction of Leavell's investment into it!), I was delighted to see so many historical figures in the novel, not just making cameo appearances, but as robust characters. The author adeptly carried the reader from Boston to Washington to South Carolina, presenting the drama from varied perspectives. Some books entertain. Some books teach. Gideon's Call does both.