Thursday, May 8, 2014

Be Strong and of a Good Courage by Will Osborne

Book Review

Enjoy reading stories about the Civil War? Let me suggest Be Strong and of a Good Courage by William Osborne. Subtitled Southwest Virginians in the War for Southern Independence, the novel tells the story of the war as it was experienced by the Fletcher family of Clinch Valley -- Tom and Ruth, and their daughter and four sons.

The novel is more than a rip-snorting war drama, all cannon smoke, bloodshed and the cries of men in battle. Certainly, there are accounts of battles, but we see the other realities of war, as well, in the experiences of the "messmates" in camp, their day-after-day drills, the sometimes humdrum routine, and their campfire meals. But sometimes, the story reads more like a memoir than a novel. That's because Osborne drew from his knowledge of his own family and others -- the generations who settled the mountain South, the way of life in Appalachia, the faith, joys and hardships of the hardy Scots-Irish stock who people his novel.

As a writer, Osborne's greatest strengths are characterization and dialog. The brothers Fletcher and their compatriots in the Confederate Army are personable young men who know how to fight and know what they are fighting for. Exhilarated by victory, stoic in the face of loss and sorrow, they remain true to their cause throughout the ordeal of war. Their story is told primarily through the narrative of the oldest son, Thomas, whose account of a July 1914 monument dedication and reunion is a fitting, and very moving, denouement.

Osborne's deferential treatment of the most catastrophic event in American history, his skillful portrayal of the human side of war, are certain to please history aficionados and Confederate heritage defenders alike.  ~Connie Chastain

Author Comment:

 This novel is ...  historically accurate and will make you laugh, cry, and reflect. The raid on Washington and the burning of Chambersburg along with the second Valley Campaign are covered in detail. The characters are very human and believable. One word of warning for my yankee friends -- it is written from a southern point of view, but I think you will enjoy it nonetheless.
Reader Comments:
This is a great book! It's filled with history of our heritage growing up in the hills of Southwest Virginia. It is set in the Civil War.... It sure opened my eyes to our history and heritage.
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Finished reading Will Osborne's book "Be Strong and of Good Courage" last night. It was a real page turner. Once I got started I couldn't put it down (stayed up way passed my bedtime to finish it). Congratulations Will on penning such an inspirational piece. I look forward to future works by you!
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Well done, Will Osborne!

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This book is a must read for anyone who is interested in the history of southwest Virginia, in the War Between the States, or for anyone who wants to know more about mountain people and how they lived in the mid-19th century. ...  Will takes the reader through the trials of a mountain family as they experience life on the farm, a war, death, and the intense and satisfying love and support that only family can give.
Book Details and Purchase Information:
    Paperback: 212 pages
    Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 inches
    Publisher: Osborne Publishing (August 2013)
    Language: English
    Price $20.00 (includes shipping and handling)

Books can be ordered through PayPal at or directly from the author at 1436 Horton Ridge Rd. Swords Creek, Va. 24649

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