Monday, May 20, 2013

Review of 'Return of Catesby' by Bob O'Connor

Title of Book: The Return of Catesby
Publisher: Infinity Publishing
Length:  242 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Brief Synopsis: 

The Return of Catesby is a sequel to Catesby: Eyewitness to the Civil War published in 2008. In this account, Catesby, a former slave, becomes the first colored teacher at Storer College in Harpers Ferry, WV. Storer was one of the first schools in the country to be established for the purpose of educating former slaves. Catesby, a real historical character, brings his experience as a blacksmith, a veteran of the Union Army, and his survival of the famed Andersonville Prison to his students. The historical fiction story is based on Catesby's journals, papers and letters.

**My thoughts**

Yet again, Bob O'Connor has found a way to share his passion for the Civil War with readers. His excitement for the topic shines through in the prologue, where he tells the tale of how he came upon these writings to create the second story about Catesby. The passion continues to shine through as he details Catesby's story as a former slave who is now teaching others how to build a better life for themselves. 

It's a different version of the Civil War times, as Catesby isn't a prominent historical figure as many of the people about whom most of us have read. That lends a feeling of fiction to the story, though Catesby's experiences are real.

It isn't going to be a page-turner that keeps you up at night, but it is going to be thought-provoking. It is going to take some time to go through it, as you digest each one of Catesby's experiences and relate them to your own or to your ideas of the Civil War. It's an alternative way to learn more about our nation's history, and one of the most intriguing times that I adore to explore.

Bob O’Connor has been a life-long student of the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln. He has published six books about the Civil War era and has given over 500 presentations about his subjects in the last six years.

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