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The Year of Jubilo (Signed First Edition)

Howard Bahr

431 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0805059725 / ISBN 13: 9780805059724
Published by Holt, 2000
New Condition: New Hardcover
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About this Item

New York: Holt [2000]. FIRST EDITION. First printing. Hardbound. SIGNED BY AUTHOR on half-title page. New/New. A pristine unread copy, very fine in all respects. Smoke-free. Shipped in well-padded box. Dust jacket comes with mylar wrapper. This book was purchased new and opened only for author to sign. He has signed his name only, with no other writing. [c2]. Bookseller Inventory # 1009-1

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Year of Jubilo (Signed First Edition)

Publisher: Holt

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition...

About this title

Synopsis:

From the author of the award-winning novel The Black Flower comes a novel about a Confederate soldier returning home to find that life-and love-will never be the same.

On a balmy spring day in 1865 Gawain Harper trudges toward his home in Cumberland, Mississippi, where three years earlier he had boarded a train carrying the latest enlistees in the Mississippi Infantry. Unmoved by the cause that motivated so many others, he had joined up only when Morgan Rhea's father told Gawain that he would never wed his beloved Morgan unless he did his part in the war effort. Now, upon his arrival, he discovers post-war life is far from what he expected. Morgan has indeed waited for him, but before they can marry there are scores to be settled. For in his hometown yet another battle is being waged, and the enemy is not the occupying Federal troops, but Cumberland's own King Solomon Gault, a deranged, manipulative man on a mission to restore his own brand of justice to a community turned upside down. As Gawain struggles to find a way to avenge the Rhea family's honor, he is drawn into an inexorable showdown with Gault that once again pits South against North, and dignity against defeat.

Written with scrupulous respect for historical accuracy, The Year of Jubilo brilliantly evokes a time of sorrow and defeat, of anarchy and violence, and also of hope and rebuilding. A poignant and sweeping novel that reveals the human side of one of the most trying and pivotal moments in American history, it is sure to catapult Howard Bahr to the top rank of American novelists.

Review:

Midway through Howard Bahr's gripping, evocative second novel, Colonel Burduck sums up the Civil War with this rueful conclusion: "Too much had happened, was still happening, and enough remained for generations to wallow in bitterness, making charge and countercharge, revising and accusing and apologizing long after the smoke had drifted away on the wind, and those who had walked through the smoke were dust." The Year of Jubilo, set in Cumberland, Mississippi, in the summer of 1865, is the account of some who passed through that smoke.

A reluctant soldier, Gawain Harper was goaded into joining the Confederate forces in 1862 by the rabid secessionist Judge Rhea, father of the woman Harper loves. After three years of fighting the Union, the former professor of literature is now trudging home defeated and confused, weighed down by the thought that he is "walking through someone else's memory." The South of his past has indeed vanished, and the town Harper returns to is now governed by the victorious (but wary) soldiers of the North and overflowing with vengeful planters, opportunistic spies, and the fear and ingrained attitudes of its vanquished citizens. These characters are larger than life, as only those who live in such a land and time--one of Queen Anne's lace and poisonous snakes, of Victorian manners and the human indignity of slavery--can be. There's "King" Solomon Gault, the ruthless captain of a band of insurrectionists, plotting an attack on the ruling army; Colonel Burduck, the battle-worn commander who captured slave ships off the African coast in his youth and must now maintain order in a region that once supported slavery; Molochi Fish, a grotesque semi-being who lurks on the edges of humanity, scarred by brutality and meting it out in return; and of course Harper, who, spurred on by the meddling but ebullient Harry Stribling, dives back into this mess to create a life and retrieve a love.

Time is as enveloping in The Year of Jubilo as the lingering smoke of war and the sudden downpours that drench Cumberland's burned landscape. Bahr weaves his characters in and out of one another's lives, creating an almost smothering net. Harper notes, "they were spared of death, so must once again pay the tally for living; free, so they were indentured to tomorrow." In a fascinating narrative of epic proportion and intricate detail, Bahr intertwines life, love, loyalty (or the lack thereof), freedom, slavery, and death. --S. Ketchum

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