My teacher assigned us a well over 500 page book for history class. I managed to get through it, but at times it was rough. The book is Red Coats and Rebels, written by Bruce T. Clark.
*THIS OVERVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS*
The story is centered around two twin brothers, Andrew (Andy) and Colin Quinn. The revolution has broken out, and the two brothers decide to take sides, opposite sides in a brutal and bloody war. Andy joins the Patriots, while Colin becomes a Redcoat.
Andy fights in many different battles, and stays loyal to his friends, Tim Murray and Dave Elerson. He is a part of the army for many years.
One of my favorite parts of Andy’s story is his romance with his love and future wife, Elise Struble. Elise is a beautiful and charming red haired girl that he meets while in the army. Elise takes to him immediately, but her father stays unconvinced for a long time. Herr Struble, Elise’s father, takes great measures to keep Andy away from his daughter, even beating him up. One day, Elise and her friend Kathleen are captured by the enemy, and that is when Herr Struble finally opens up to Andy. Elise is helped by Colin Quinn, and finally marries the man of her dreams.
Colin is involved in many different hardships of his own. At a battle, he is severely wounded by an enemy soldier and almost looses his life. His true love, Lydia, helps to nurse him back to health, and they finally get married. Lydia refused to marry Colin even though she loved him until she knew he was ready to settle down. The two of them have a daughter once they are married. Colin is called back to war after all of this, where he witnesses his friend’s death.
Colin and Andy both survive, but we do not see a heartfelt reunion between them, for the ending is just a letter from Colin to Andrew.
It was a fairly good book, but had some problems:
- The version I read was published by Seton Press, and copywrited in 2009. It had quite a few typos, my favorite being:
“How about the garrison at Cherry Valley?” asked Captain Reynolds? (End quote.) (pg. 364 of Seton Press version)
I find it humorous because they used a question mark, not a period, to end the sentence, thus showing uncertainty about if Captain Reynolds asked the question or not.
2) The first couple chapters dragged on…and on….and on. It involved some very unimportant characters talking about and recalling different historical events which had previously happened. To me, it’s summarized by pretty much this:
“Remember that event where those patriots threw tea into the Boston Harbor?” said unnecessary character #1.
“Yes, those patriots were crazy. (Goes into a ton of historical background).” said character you never see again.
“Oh, then there was that other event. Do you remember it?” said another unimportant character.
And etc. It is pretty dull and could be solved by a prologue or historical note. As an author, I believe it is important to draw your readers in, and I did not feel as drawn in as I would like to have in those first couple chapters. I’ve also learned that sometimes secondary characters are unnecessary, and those characters seem pretty unnecessary. After the historical background was over, overall it was an enjoyable book.
If you like historical fiction, long novels, and don’t care about typos, you might enjoy this book.
For the storyline/characters, overall I would give it a 9/10.
For the writing, I would give it a 7.5-8/10 (Points must be removed for the many typos involved. He did manage to put history in it while keeping his readers interested, but there were points when there was too much history and not enough plot line).
Overall, it was a good book. Bruce T. Clark did a pretty good job.