Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Johnny One Eye, by Jerome Charyn

Johnny One-Eye: A Tale of the American RevolutionThe country is in its infancy, and in the midst of what we would later call the Revolutionary War.  Washington is trying to lead his men to victory, loyalists are trying to lead the rebels to gallows, spies abound, and in a section of Manhattan referred to as Holy Ground, the true fate of the country lies in the hands of prostitutes.  This is the world in which John Stocking lives, as a double agent, and son of a madam.  As battles are waged in the colonies, similar battles are being waged within Stocking himself, as he attempts to learn the truth about his father, and battles his love for a woman who may never love him back.

I love when historic fiction opens the reader up to a whole new aspect of the history it describes, and that is exactly what Charyn has done with this book.  This is not the Revolutionary War you learned about in gradeschool.  And chances are, this "fictional" book is much closer to the truth than many school textbooks.  The characters are those who truly did battle, the scoundrels, the spies, the whores.  They are the ones whose stories are never told when history is conveniently sanitized.

I particularly loved the title character, and loved hearing about his journey throughout the war.  I loved his interactions with Washington, and have now learned to see Washington in a new (and much more interesting) light.  Although I am not much of a student of history, I simply adored this book.  The writing was so engaging, I found it hard to stop reading, and read late into the night just to see what Johnny would be dealing with next.

I think many fans of historical fiction will like this book.  Similarly, historians who specialize in the Revolutionary War will enjoy this fictional, though most likely accurate account, of the political climate at that time.  As I read this, I thought of how much my husband would love it for that very reason, though his interest is more politics than history.

All in all, another wonderful book by a truly masterful storyteller.

The publisher has provided me with a copy of this book to giveaway to my blog readers.

In order to enter, you must be a follower of this blog.  Giveaway is open to US Residents only.  Entries will be accepted until 12:01 am EST on June 18th, 2011.  In order to enter the giveaway, complete this form.

I received a review copy of this book  courtesy of the publishers.