A little novel about the War of Secession, narrated in the voice of a young Southern boy from Nashville. The boy is caught up in a maelstrom of violence and is continuously trying to avoid danger and get to his father who is fighting for the Confederate cause somewhere nearby. His travels and adventures recall those of Huckelberry Finn and Jim, since our hero also has a black companion. The big themes of the war are the scenario that mix with the more immediate lives of these two young kids: It is very interesting to see how the big picture, History with capital h, is filtered through the innocent eyes of young men, how they see and feel their circumstances, how they understand what is going on around them, and, most of all, how they judge their roles in that history.
I recommend this little jewel of a book. It is a great historical novel, and helps us adults see our unbending positions on major issues that divide nations and peoples as folly, something that kids only would act up but never take so seriously as to kill their neighbor over it. Distance yourselves from reality through the eyes of innocent children, and you'll see how irrational we adults can behave. A healthy and poetic little novel filled with Southernness and sensibleness.