With more than 50 million copies of his books in print, John Jakes is one of the preeminent novelists of American historical fiction. Now this beloved storyteller takes readers to Charleston, South Carolina, in a stunning multigenerational saga that tells the story of two apocalyptic, nation-shaping wars as seen through the eyes of a powerful South Carolina dynasty.
Written in three parts, Charleston follows the lives, loves, and shifting fortunes of the Bells, saints and evildoers mingled together in one unforgettable family, from the American Revolution through the turbulent antebellum years to the Civil War and the savage defeat of the Confederacy. Delving into our country's history as only he can, Jakes paints a powerful portrait of the Charleston aristocracy who zealously guarded their privilege and position, harboring dark family secrets that threatened to destroy them all. Sweeping from the bitterly divided Carolina frontier of the 1770s through the tragic destruction of the city during the Civil War, and peopled by a sprawling cast of memorable characters-patriots and cowards, aristocrats and abolitionists, slaves and freedmen, heroic men and courageous women-Charleston represents America's premier storyteller at his very best.
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Though at times a historically illuminating work, Charleston, bestselling author John Jakes's fictional retelling of the title city's early history through the Civil War, remains a largely uninspiring drama. Charleston offers an account of the burgeoning city from the perspective of the fictional Bell family, whose British immigrant predecessors arrive in Charleston in 1720. The story of the family's lasting, influential link to Charleston begins with Edward, whose political ideas during the Revolution put him at odds with the town's largely loyalist population, including his brother Adrian. Edward fights bravely in the Revolution, joining an effective band of hit-and-run fighters, but is later murdered by a jilted, mentally ill lover. Charleston then leaps forward, following the fortunes of Edward's granddaughter, Alex, who adopts Edward's liberal, abolitionist views, and begins a romance with lifelong black friend Henry. As slave-revolt paranoia heightens in the South, Alex watches Charleston become an isolated, violent police state, and eventually travels north, becoming a songwriter for the abolitionists and a witness to Charleston's downfall. Jakes combines fictional characters with meticulously researched historical settings and figures to give the events of Charleston context, significance, and immediacy. But rather than relying on the simple power of history, Jakes distracts from the narrative with clumsy metaphors and exaggerated characters. --Ross DollAbout the Author:
John Jakes is the author of fifteen consecutive New York Times bestselling novels, including On Secret Service, American Dreams, Homeland, California Gold, the North and South trilogy, and the Kent Family Chronicles. Descended from a soldier of the Virginia Continental Line who fought in the American Revolution, Jakes is considered one of today's most distinguished authors of historical fiction.
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Book Description Wheeler Publishing, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 1587243555
Book Description Wheeler Publishing, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. New item. Bookseller Inventory # QX-236-55-0623510
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97815872435541.0