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Hatred of the enemy consumes Michael during a long and dusty march to Gettysburg. Michael's only desire is to kill as many of the enemy as he can so he can go home. He coldly counts off the rebels that fall to his bullets until he is brought up short by a dying man holding up his Bible. He was a brother in Christ, Michael realizes after the man dies, and "I had hated him 'with cruel hatred.'" Michael uses the dead man's Bible as his own and delves deeply into the words of life. When a bullet shatters Michael's leg, he returns home.
After months of recovery, life in general returns to normal. In the spring of 1870, Michael leaves home once more, this t ime to return the Bible to the man's widow. This simple journey would change Michael in ways he never imagined. Could he find the faith he once lived by before the Civil War killed it?
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Publication Date: 2011
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Bacon's training as a student of the Civil War comes through in great clarity. Michael's character is very real. Bacon shows what soldiers in that time and situation could be thinking. Every complaint, every fear, and every goal seems like it comes from the heart of a real Union soldier. His descriptions and detailed accounts of military life sink the reader into the mud right next to the soldiers. The decrepit shelters, the grueling marches, the vile food, all are shown in believable detail and clarity. Bacon's historical sense is also impressive. He depicts important Civil War locations all over the United States, each clearly described. Bacon also mentions the constantly changing leadership. This is a strong point, as it helps shape the soldiers views and expectations. The amount of detail is satisfyingly abundant. A final bonus is the addition of Bible verses at the beginning of each unit. They set a tone for the following section.
Bacon's historical accounts are great, but parts of his novel are stylistically bland. Michael is more interesting when he is interacting with his friends, but as the book progresses, he becomes more and more secluded. His time in the beginning, when he is surrounded by other soldiers, provides entertaining, as well as thoughtful experiences. Michael becomes more depressing and uninteresting. Another problem with Bacons characters comes from how predictable they are. It is pretty easy to guess who will die and around what time they will. Most characters either dont stay around long enough to get really fleshed out, or they stay static through most of the book. Michael also seems to be incredibly lucky. Every battle has him fighting valiantly, hardly every sustaining anything more than a bruise. There are a number of times when Michael notices how close bullets came to killing him. This makes him seem like a super hero, untouchable until it is plot convenient. A small complaint about the verses in the beginning is that they reveal some important parts of the chapter and spoil some of the mystery.
Despite a predictable plot, Bacons novel is a good work. Impressive depth of detail and believable events help make the story interesting and engaging. There is a strong spiritual side to this book as well. Bacon explores men under pressure and how they react to the struggles they face. I would recommend this book to those interested in war, regardless of age. Bacon is never gory or obscene in his work, and the realities of war are shown without gruesome imagery. An Eye for Glory is definitely a good beginning for Bacon. It is a solid war novel that should interest a wide audience. Todd Naevestad, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Janna RyanNorth Platte, NEAge: 35-44Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Great way to bring the Civil War to lifeMay 19, 2011Janna RyanNorth Platte, NEAge: 35-44Gender: femaleThis book is a fascinating perspective on the Civil War as seen through the eyes of a civilian that volunteers for a 3 year term as a Union soldier. I am intrigued by the Civil War so I was excited to read this book, but I was concerned that I might have a hard time getting into it. Boy was I wrong. I jumped in and was swept away to the another time and place. I followed Michael Palmer as he enlisted, left his family, trained, went into battle for the first time and the time after that and the time after that... It was really interesting to follow the battles and the process of the war through Michael's eye. A very good book, I look forward to my high schooler reading it soon!
CKendall5 Stars Out Of 5An Eye for GloryApril 15, 2011CKendallQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5When I was in school, I remember studying the Civil war and I use the word â€˜studying' loosely. I was always so bored by it that I just wanted to memorize what I needed to know and move on. As I have gotten older though, I have developed an interest in our country's younger days, especially the Civil War. I was very interested in reading An Eye for Glory because I knew it would be an interesting read and I knew that I would learn a lot from it that I don't remember from my school days. What I wasn't expecting was to be completely engrossed, almost to the point of obsessed with this book while I was reading it.
Even now, after I have finished, I am still thinking about it. I did indeed learn a lot, which I was expecting and the factual information was presented in such a way that it fit into the story perfectly without ever feeling like too much information. I read a guest blog post by Karl Bacon on the Zondervan blog in which he tells us that he spent ten years researching and writing An Eye for Glory. I can say with total honesty that all of that hard work, and prayer, that went into this book was worth it.
Karl's primary goal when he set out to write this book was to glorify his savior Jesus Christ. And he did - in a profound way. I can see that any reader who may not know Christ will be moved and may even get saved because of this book. For believers, they will experience a new depth of God's love and forgiveness as they see Michael Palmer's struggle with the brutal killings he had to participate in during his fight for his country. Michael is just a regular man - a husband, father, and Christian - who comes out of this war changed and damaged. But, God is with him and helps him heal from his spiritual wounds.
Karl Bacon is truly a fantastic writer with a heart for Jesus that shows on each and every page of An Eye for Glory. Even if you have only a passing interest in the Civil War, I cannot recommend this book strongly enough. I have a great deal of interest in that time period in our history, which has only increased after reading this book. I know readers of all levels of interest will be fascinated by the historical detail and raw emotion in this story. Believers and non-believers alike can experience a spiritual awakening that will leave them better than they were when they started this book. An Eye for Glory is one of the best books I have ever read, ever.
BrendaWVAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5An Eye For GloryApril 3, 2011BrendaWVAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5In this book set during the civil war we see the battle thru the eyes of Michael Palmer, a thirty three year old man who lived a comfortable life in his hometown of Naugatuck Connecticut, with his wife Jessie Anne, and their two children. He felt God was leading him to answer the call by Abraham Lincoln to join the fight. So when he and his best friend John Robinson volunteer to fight, John asks him if he will be able to kill the enemy Michael is unsure, but when they find themselves in the midst of battle they do what they are trained to do. Michael soon finds himself looking at the enemy as demons of sorts, that must be killed in order for the war to end so that he can get back home to his family, but during a particularly bloody battle at Gettysburg where Michael is keeping "score" of how many of the enemy he has killed, one of the men he has shot holds up a Bible and asks him read scripture while he passes away, Michael realizes that the enemy are actually his christian brothers that are fighting for a cause just like he is. He becomes disillusioned, losing his faith that God could ever be with him because he is taking the lives of so many. Even though the war comes to an end, it doesn't end for Michael, not until he reveals to Jessie Ann what has been haunting him. She tells him the only way he will find peace is to find the widow and return the Bible that he has kept with him all those years.
It was hard to believe while reading this story that this is Mr. Bacon's first book! I read alot of historical fiction, and stories set during the Civil War are my favorite to read, but in reading "An Eye For Glory" I had to keep reminding myself that the book was actually a work of fiction. As we watch Michael change throughout the story, it was easy to feel the pain of loss that he felt, but more than that the turmoil he felt within himself for what he had to do. Jessie Ann was also a very strong character, whose depth of compassion and understanding new no limits.
It is easy to see that Mr. Bacon really did his research, with richly detailed descriptions of the battles, and the everyday drudgery of a soldiers life. He easily weaves in the element of suspense, as the reader knows that Michael might not make it thru the next battle. I highly recommend this book, and can't wait to read more from this talented author!
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
LJMTOklahomaAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Tough. Tender. Thought provoking.March 3, 2011LJMTOklahomaAge: 45-54Gender: femaleValue: 5Meets Expectations: 5An Eye for Glory is a beautifully written and historically accurate novel set against the back drop of a divided nation. Author Karl Bacon enlists his reader's attention on the first page and marches us along with the 14th Connecticut Infantry through the War Between the States.
Father and husband, Michael Gabriel Palmer, answers the call to duty in 1862 along with his long time friend John Robinson. Together these soldiers for Christ must learn how to become soldiers for the Union cause as well. Throughout his ordeal, Michael continues to pen letters to his beloved wife, Jessie Anne. The future of the nation is at stake, and its Michael's deep faith, fellowship, and his hope of being reunited with Jessie Anne that sustains and drives him onward. But with every passing year, the battle becomes more embroiled, his loss becomes greater, and his war becomes more personal. Duty alone is what now drives him- kill as many Rebels as possible and bring an end to the madness. But when he meets an enemy soldier - a brother in Christ - at the other end of his bloody bayonet, Michael is forever changed.
Long after the War Between the States has ended, the war within Michael G. Palmer continues to hold him captive. Feeling as if only part of her husband ever returned from the war, Jessie Anne confronts Michael, and learns of his dark secret. She must now convince her reluctant husband to embark on another journey, one that will take him away from her again, but which may be her only hope to have Michael return as a whole man.
An Eye for Glory is Michael's story, as chronicled for his grown children many years after the war. It's a story of duty, honor, and restoration. Karl Bacon, a long time scholar of the Civil War, depicts army life of the 14th Connecticut Infantry so vividly the smoke will burn your eyes. His knowledge and skillful writing will both educate and entertain, but more so - this thought provoking story may change how you perceive the bloodiest war in US history.