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Publisher's Summary

In a startling departure, James Lee Burke has written an epic story of love, hate, and survival set against the tumultuous background of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

At the center of the tale are James lee Burke's own ancestors, Robert Perry, who comes from the slave-owning family of wealth and privilege, and Willy Burke, born of Irish immigrants, a poor boy who is as irreverent as he is brave and decent. Despite personal and political conflicts, both men join the Confederate Army, determined not to back down in their commitment to their moral beliefs, to their friends, and to the abolitionist woman with whom both are infatuated.

Willie's friend, Flower Jamison, a beautiful young black slave is owned by - and fathered by, although he will not admit it - Ira Jamison. Owner of Angola Plantation, Ira Jamison returns after the war and transforms his plantation into a penal colony which houses prisoners he rents out as laborers to replace the emancipated slaves.

Against all local laws and customs, Willie teaches Flower how to read and write. She receives the help and protection of Abigail Dowling, the Massachusetts abolitionist who has attracted both Willie and Robert Perry's attention. These love affairs are fraught with danger and compromised by the great and grim events of the Civil War and its aftermath.

With unforgettable battle scenes at Shiloh and in the Shenandoah Valley, White Doves at Morning is an epic masterpiece of historical fiction.

©2002 James Lee Burke (P)2012 Simon & Schuster Audio

Critic Reviews

"[A] Civil War blockbuster....Extraordinary. The Washington Post Book World Violent, lyrical, and engrossing....The man has a touch of the poet in him." ( People)

What listeners say about White Doves at Morning

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Where's Will?

Narrator made it difficult to distinguish dialogue between characters. Books about the South are more enjoyable when narrated with an accent.... Will Patton would have been perfect.

5 people found this helpful

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Burke’s Best

This is James Lee Burke‘s best literary fiction novel. I would put it on the shelf beside Gone with the Wind any day. In my opinion White Doves at Morning is better, for the lack of soap opera, romance and drama, although there is certainly great drama, great history, and the epic stage of the American Civil War.

3 people found this helpful

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An honest portrait

This is a book written for lovers of civil war history and the harmony orchestrated by James Lee Burke in every novel he writes.

2 people found this helpful

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James Lee Burke at his best

Would you consider the audio edition of White Doves at Morning to be better than the print version?

Even though my favorite narrator didn't narrate this book, I was able to get into this narrator as well. Burke's language flows so beautifully and the descriptions are beautiful mind pictures. The subject matter is harsh but truthful and depicts such a sad part of our history - a must read for any Burke fan!

What did you like best about this story?

Staying true to history

What about Ed Sala’s performance did you like?

he is easy to listen to - articulates beautifully and keeps the momentum

Who was the most memorable character of White Doves at Morning and why?

Willie - he is a Burke

1 person found this helpful

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If you love James Lee Burke...don't buy this book!

What would have made White Doves at Morning better?

A complete re-write with logical dialogue and characters that I could care about.

What could James Lee Burke have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Do a much better job of developing the story line, and characters.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Ed Sala?

I would "normally" suggest Will Patton---but I'm hopeful that Will looked at this poor, poor freshman high school novel and decided to take a nap instead.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Incredible disappointment. I have enjoyed all of Burke's other novels...some more than others but this book is TERRIBLE!

Any additional comments?

Why? Why? Why?...what a terrible experience. I stuck with it to the end with some sliver of hope it would have a surprise ending--like "surprise! It's not as terrible as you thought it would be!" But no...it was worse.

2 people found this helpful

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Burke Puts You There

This is not a book for the squeeamish. Descriptions of war (Civil) and immediate aftermath were graphic. The lives of enslaved people was probably as fairly represented as I can imagine. So was the callous diaregard for fellow human beings that, unfortunately, seems to be proudly reasserting itself among the same tyoes of people today. How bad can it get? Burke shows us.

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Review

I have read a number of James Lee Byrne's books over the years, this one is interesting, character relatable. Historical. Takes me back to his early books. Good read.

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One of the Best

James Lee Burke's writing is very rich, so descriptive of places, people, and events. He set the stage and kept my rapt attention from cover to cover. I am a Tennessean and my state and Virginia had the most battles. I have liv

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A great stand alone

Another winner by JLB which I had missed with his Robichaux series,etc
Some good history as well.
I missed Will Patton but this narrator was good except
for 1 or 2 of the women's voices.

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Excellent

Read this book when it was first published. Enjoyed it then, enjoyed it now. Got to love James Lee Burke.