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HomeNewsArchivesThe Bookworm Reads: A Civil War Romance in 'Freeman'

The Bookworm Reads: A Civil War Romance in 'Freeman'

“Freeman” by Leonard Pitts Jr.
c.2012, Agate Bolden $16.00 / $18.50 Canada 432 pages

You’ll always remember the breakup.

It started with a he-said, she-said moment forever burned in your mind. You remember where you stood, the words that were said (or not), the anger and the queasy feeling that a mistake was about to be made but you didn’t know whose it was.

Relationships come and go, but you never forget your first love and you never forget losing it either.

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And yet, what if you were separated by something beyond your mutual control? Would it be easy to find that love together again? In the new novel “Freeman” by Leonard Pitts Jr., one man aims to find out.

He called himself Sam because that’s what she’d said he looked like he was. A “Sam,” and he told her she looked like a Tilda. So that’s what they called one another, even though Mistress had given them ridiculous Greek names when she brought them to her plantation.

Sam had fallen in love with Tilda in that naming minute, and they were inseparable. Mistress let them live together. They had a child together too, but then Luke was killed and Sam was sold away. And that’s just the beginning of this tale.

Have you ever read a book so good that you forgot you were reading? Yes, that’s what it’s like reading “Freeman.”

The author serves up a novel that’s both ugly and beautiful, with characters that you’ll feel honored to know, though it’ll hurt.

This novel throws you down in the aftermath of war and pushes your face into it – gently – and then rubs. That’s a conundrum, for sure, but it’s also one of the finest Civil War novels I’ve ever had.

If you promised yourself one decent book this summer, then look no further because this is it. Read three pages of “Freeman” and you’ll know that this isn’t a story you’ll soon forget.

The Bookworm.____

The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Terri has been reading since she was 3 years old and never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 12,000 books. Her self-syndicated book reviews appear in more than 260 newspapers.

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