Authoritative military history, well-rendered battle scenes. Inevitably, though, it suffers by comparison to Michael...




The former Speaker of the House and a military historian take a what-if look at the historic battle.

July 1, 1863: the end of a long day of mutual slaughter. Cemetery Hill and Cemetery Ridge have happened bloodily, the death toll in the thousands. Emotionally as well as physically drained, the legendary Robert E. Lee, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, sits in his tent missing the late great Stonewall Jackson, as well as cavalry General Jeb Stuart, off somewhere raiding, apparently having forgotten that he's supposed to be Lee's “eyes.” Though only recently appointed to command, the far from legendary George E. Meade, Lee's opposite number, is at the moment feeling pretty good about himself and the way day one has gone. He's fought the vaunted Lee to a standstill, and is now advantageously positioned along Cemetery Ridge, looking down at Lee's forces with reason to contemplate day two optimistically. All this history tells us. Ah, but what if while Lee contemplates day two, he has a radical (uncharacteristic) change of heart? What if he listens to the counsel of his play-it-safe general Pete Longstreet and decides not to throw 15,000 men into an ill-fated attack? Then, Gingrich and Forstchen tell us, he might have swung south in the kind of flanking maneuver that worked so well for him at Second Manassas. No more the doomed, disastrous Pickett's Charge. And, in fact, no more Army of the Potomac. A smashing victory for Lee. Ultimately decisive? About that, Gingrich and Forstchen remain positively cryptic.

Authoritative military history, well-rendered battle scenes. Inevitably, though, it suffers by comparison to Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels. Shaara breathed life into that iconic Gettysburg cast; Gingrich-Forstchen can't quite manage it.

Pub Date: June 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-312-30935-X

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2003

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.


A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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Shalvis’ latest retains her spark and sizzle.


Piper Manning is determined to sell her family’s property so she can leave her hometown behind, but when her siblings come back with life-changing secrets and her sexy neighbor begins to feel like “The One,” she might have to redo her to-do list.

As children, Piper and her younger siblings, Gavin and Winnie, were sent to live with their grandparents in Wildstone, California, from the Congo after one of Gavin’s friends was killed. Their parents were supposed to meet them later but never made it. Piper wound up being more of a parent than her grandparents, though: “In the end, Piper had done all the raising. It’d taken forever, but now, finally, her brother and sister were off living their own lives.” Piper, the queen of the bullet journal, plans to fix up the family’s lakeside property her grandparents left the three siblings when they died. Selling it will enable her to study to be a physician’s assistant as she’s always wanted. However, just as the goal seems in sight, Gavin and Winnie come home, ostensibly for Piper’s 30th birthday, and then never leave. Turns out, Piper’s brother and sister have recently managed to get into a couple buckets of trouble, and they need some time to reevaluate their options. They aren’t willing to share their problems with Piper, though they’ve been completely open with each other. And Winnie, who’s pregnant, has been very open with Piper’s neighbor Emmitt Reid and his visiting son, Camden, since the baby’s father is Cam’s younger brother, Rowan, who died a few months earlier in a car accident. Everyone has issues to navigate, made more complicated by Gavin and Winnie’s swearing Cam to secrecy just as he and Piper try—and fail—to ignore their attraction to each other. Shalvis keeps the physical and emotional tension high, though the siblings’ refusal to share with Piper becomes tedious and starts to feel childish.

Shalvis’ latest retains her spark and sizzle.

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-296139-6

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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