Across the Great Divide

The Clouds of War, Book 1
Narrated by: Joshua Young
Length: 13 hrs and 53 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Lexington, Kentucky, 1859. After saving John Hunt Morgan from a puma attack, 15-year-old farm boy Will Crump joins Hunt’s militia, the Lexington Rifles. Morgan mentors Will and enrolls him in the local university, where he hopes to study law. As tensions rise between the North and South, Will is torn between his loyalty to Morgan and his love for his family. Will’s father, sisters, and sweetheart follow the Union, while Morgan and Will commit to the South. As part of Morgan’s band, Will participates in ambushes and unconventional warfare until his first real battle at Shiloh. He fights bravely, but increasingly questions what the war is accomplishing, and whether his devotion to honor has led him astray. And where is God in all this killing? 

Will’s sister Albinia, friend of the Clay family, becomes increasingly aware of the plight of the slaves. When she finds Luther, a slave she knows, trying to escape, she must decide between her conscience, and her friends. She becomes involved in the Underground Railroad, helping slaves to freedom - but will it cost her love and her freedom? 

Will’s other sister, Julia, is approaching spinster status and despairs of ever meeting a man who can give her more than life on a farm until she meets Hiram Johannsen, a son of immigrants who owns a steamship company. They marry and she makes a new life in the North. When Hiram answers the call to fight for the North, Julia runs the steamboat company in her husband’s absence and uses her boats to help Albinia ferry escaped slaves to freedom. Her business relations put her in the perfect position to spy for the North. When the Confederates capture her, will she survive? 

Luther is one of the first slaves Albinia helps flee the South after his master cruelly abuses his mother and sister. He escapes with his family, and when war breaks out, he fights for the North as an auxiliary of the Third Ohio Cavalry, alongside Julia’s husband, Hiram, and against Morgan and Will. Luther has to confront the demons of his past, an abusive master, and a slave catcher that kills his little sister. Will the desire for revenge destroy him? 

Throughout the war, Will is forced to examine and question everything he believes in - his faith in God, his love for his family, his loyalty to Morgan, and his worth as a human being. 

Will and his family must somehow mend the torn fabric of relationships to find peace, and reach Across the Great Divide.

©2018, 2019 Micahael L. Ross (P)2019 Michael L. Ross

What listeners say about Across the Great Divide

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Great listen

I love historical fiction and this work doesn’t disappoint. I’m eagerly looking for the next release.

1 person found this helpful

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Very well written and great plot.

At first I had a hard time keeping all the different characters straight. But it didn't take long in order to follow each one through this terrible time in our country's history. The book is very well written with a great plot and the narration by Mr. Young was outstanding. Now I need to mention that this time period typically isn't tops on my "to read" list and even though I gave it 4 stars, others may very easily give it the full 5. Mr. Ross I think did an excellent job at keeping my interest and wanting to hear what happened next. With that being said I believe it could've earned the extra star from me if the few battle scenes had been a little more intense maybe. Or a little more detail so that it would bring me closer to the action. Only once did I feel my heartrate quicken and that was when a girl had been arrested for spying and was sentenced to the gallows. I realize not everyone is for intense action, which will make this most perfect for those readers. I just found it hard for me to feel what the characters themselves may be feeling or experiencing. Other than that minor detail I would definitely recommend this to anyone even remotely interested in this time period.

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An Intense Story

The story line was well developed and well written. I was saddened at how terrible the plantation owners treated their slaves. I cringed at the cruelty and my heart went out to them. At times I found myself weeping for them. This is a very emotional story, so you'll need to have a hanky ready. I didn't realize how terrible it was before the civil war and now I do. I'm grateful to those who fought against slavery. The narrator did a great job with the voices and the inflections for each voice were great. He would chuckle when a character chuckled and I liked that.