Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Shades of Gray Review

Will Page's life and family was ruined by the Yankees. The war has destroyed everything he knew and loved. So when he must stay with his Northern relatives, he's not happy.He loved his home in the Shenandoah Valley and doesn't want to live with relatives he has never met, people struggling to make a living on their farm in the war-torn Virginia Piedmont area. But, worst of all is that Will's uncle Jed had refused to fight for the Confederacy. How could his Uncle be a Union sympathizer?  Uncle Jed is cowardly, not fighting for either side and saying he's for the Union-or so Will thinks. Will refuses to call him "uncle". Aunt Ella, the peacemaker is kind, reminding Will of his mother, and she tries to help Will. And then there's Meg, his cousin, who could care less about the war and just wants to be Will's friend. Still, she's a bit silly and she doesn't seem to understand Will's pain-even when he tells her the Yanks are responsible for the death of his whole immediate family. Just as Will starts to understand Meg, she brings home an injured Yank! Will is furious! However, the Yankee, Jim, is interested in befriending Will. He tells Will he never wanted to obey Sherman's orders of destroying the Confederate countryside. Still, Will is suspicious. Besides, he has his own troubles with bullies. He doesn't need a Yankee friend! Just as Uncle Jed, Jim, Meg, and Will begin to get along, Will's friends from the South offer to take him in. How can he choose between the family he's grown to love and his good friends? 

   I gave this book 5 stars because I think it really explains the Civil war from the perspective of both sides in an unusual way, and it teaches you that someone you might think of as an enemy could be your friend. I also think the author did an amazing job of describing the characters so you felt like you knew all of them. Plus, the book is great for a Civil war study or a Virginia study, because it teaches about both.

1 comment:

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