Other Sellers on Amazon
Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing "Send link," you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message & data rates may apply.
Jacob's Ladder: Hardcover – January 1, 1998
Enhance your purchase
"Mrs. Rochester's Ghost" by Lindsay Marcott
In a modern and twisty retelling of Jane Eyre, a young woman must question everything she thinks she knows about love, loyalty, and murder. | Learn more
Frequently bought together
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
- Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.; 1st edition (January 1, 1998)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 525 pages
- ISBN-10 : 039304629X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0393046298
- Item Weight : 1.98 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.5 x 1.75 x 10 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,155,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Donald did a great deal of research for this book. He used a great number of newspaper stories, letters, memoirs, etc. Then, he changed these stories to fit his narrative. The result is a very interesting book. He does talk about the people left at home once the war broke out; but his main emphasis is on the battles that took place and how these young men handled those.
He sets the story up by having a young lady come to a home expecting to interview the maid, Kizzy. However, she ends up being told the story by the mistress of the house. Her father and friends told her to go back to the WPA and ask them to put her somewhere else to get a better story. However, she is pulled into the story much like the reader is drawn into the book, and she returns again and again to get the rest of the story.
In general I am not a big fan of novels of this genre. There are hits in every genre and I think this is one.
Basically, this story is of the owners and slaves of Gatewood Plantation and their extended families. Here, author McCaig's epic invites the reader into the innermost worlds of white and black people, their most sublime feelings of love as well as their equally dastardly words and deeds of racism and unthinkable cruelty. At the top of the chain is Duncan Gatewood, hardly more than a boy, who falls madly in love with Maggie, an equally young slave. Their relationship and the child it produces literally tear apart the sprawling plantation society of Virginia, both black and white. Author McCaig develops a dozen other lines of revelation among the white families and their servants as they march into the inevitable holocaust that was the civil war. As the confederacy shatters the union we also experience the war through its politics and profits as well as through the eyes and hearts of Federal and Confederate armies and their families and the massive loss of life and limb on the battlefields. We see first hand the treatment of prisoners, men and women, who are convicted of sheltering runaway slaves and the work of women in hospitals for the dead and dying troops. Author McCaig's portrait of the 23rd Regiment United States Colored Troops is as fine as I've ever read as well as the affection former slaves held for the man they variously called "Master," "Uncle," "Father" Abraham (Lincoln). My guess is that I'm not the only reader who felt a lump in the throat when reading those passages.
Finally, it's not possible to ignore praise for the incredible quality of the writing craftsmanship that fills every page of "Jacob's Ladder." The following examples are just that, mere examples of the author's delightful creative command of language, e.g., "Mr Tyree's eyes were black as hard coal as if all the blackness in his chalky complexion had drained into them"; "all about snow-covered mounds were becoming pairs of men, standing like storks on their sleep-warmed blankets;" and, "The people crossing the bridge were as irresistible and anonymous as the tide."
"Jacob's Ladder" is a wondrous reading experience, one you're certain to recommend to all your friends.