It is evident in the book that the author spent time and energy to make the background details of the mid-Revolutionary War in Virginia accurate. However, the spirit of the times and the nature of war escaped him in the writing. The Revolution might have had a lasting effect on Tom and his family, for both his father and his uncle fought with the colonists and his home was used briefly to billet British officers and men. Nevertheless, when the Redcoats move off, Tom and the reader are left with the memory of pleasant, homesick enlisted men and courtly officers. The food and stock are depleted, but there is no permanent change -- it might just as well have been a bout with bad weather as a close-up of war. Causes and effects of the Revolution are blurred here and the message seems to be ""Love this enemy"" and it confuses rather than enchants. Unconvincing and unsatisfactory.