LEIGH ANN’S CIVIL WAR by Ann Rinaldi

LEIGH ANN’S CIVIL WAR

Age Range: 10 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

Veteran Rinaldi spins a tale that combines low melodrama, cringeworthy faux-Indian mysticism, a back story only the author could possibly understand, a saccharine depiction of slavery, two pregnancies of convenience and only a passing regard for historical accuracy for a nearly 300-page slog that seems to have enjoyed zero editorial intervention. Leigh Ann, youngest child of a Georgia textile-mill owner, has grown up on the family plantation, effectively raised by her brother due to the desertion of her vicious, tomcatting Yankee mother and her father’s concomitant senility. Her father is a Cherokee who stayed behind when the rest were driven out on the Trail of Tears, thus bequeathing to Leigh Ann’s other brother Indian features and an owl totem that does not appear until the middle of the novel. The painful trials endured by Southern civilians are given only perfunctory mention; the loving negroes (not called slaves) stay with the family even after the brother graciously frees them after the end of the war, in blatant narrative disregard of the Emancipation Proclamation. Dialogue is breathtakingly wooden, character development arbitrary, sentiment sodden. A mess. (author’s note, bibliography) (Historical fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-15-206513-3
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2009




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