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Diane Vallere

Indivisible? The Story of the Second American Civil War

Indivisible? the Story of the Second American Civil War - Paul Martin Midden The idea is captivating. America is a country divided; citizens are polarized on issues including religion, politics and finances. The future looks bleak and rumblings of a second civil war are everywhere. A civil uprising is on the horizon and this time it’s more than just the extremists. The media is talking about a civil war and secession, politicians are discussing tactics and the White House is preparing…just in case. America found itself in the throes of a civil war once before, could it happen again? If it did, could it succeed? I knew I had to read this book especially once I realized that it takes place during the modern age with President Obama in the White House. The story has a lot of promise but unfortunately, it let me down from page one.

The pace, especially in the beginning of the book, is far too rapid. The book opens in 1865 in the final days of the Civil War. Abraham Bellamy, a Confederate soldier, is celebrating their victory in battle over the Union. He tells his dying cousin that victory is nearly assured but almost immediately the story moves forward to General Lee announcing to the Confederacy that they have lost the war. In the next chapter it has fast forwarded to modern days and the White House is under attack but then, no, that was just a dream. The first five chapters are a confederate victory in battle, union victory in the war, a dream sequence and then modern-day America. It wouldn’t have been too bad except that the chapters were very short, one as short as two pages, so they were over before that portion of the story was even set-up. The most minute of details were included (like mentioning that Joe Biden is an educated man as if readers wouldn’t understand that America’s Vice-President was educated) but then completely omitting the details that would have made the story more engrossing. When there is a helicopter outside of the White House firing shots into the west wing the author spends all of two sentences describing the event. That should be a dramatic moment. The author failed to appeal to my senses and never provided the details I was so anxious to read which left me feeling emotionally disconnected from the book.

The story itself was fascinating and the characters were both likely and relatable. Abner Bellamy (a descendent of Abraham Bellamy, the Confederate soldier from the beginning chapters) and Adam Wilson are the passionate emotional driving force behind the uprising. They are hungry for secession! They want to overthrow the government and free themselves from the oppressive tyranny of a government with too much control. They are radical and methodical, organizing the people and preparing for war. The financial strength of the peoples movement came from George and David Blinder. Motivated by greed more than freedom George and David could see how personally profitable a war could be for their pockets. Selfish, greedy and conniving these two are pushing for war so that they could grow in wealth. The characters were great and I enjoyed them immensely. No doubt, they were the best part of the book.

I love the idea behind Indivisible and deeply wish that it had been more engrossing. I pushed myself through the book because I loved the concept and, if executed better, could have easily been an exciting and thrilling historical fiction. I’m not certain if the book was sent through an editor but a good editor could do wonders with this novel. Remove some of the mundane text, add some sensory detail, slow down the introduction and this goes from being an average read to being something truly incredible.

Review by Ashley LaMar
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