Black Cloud Rising

RB Media. Feb. 2022. 9:20 hrs. ISBN 9781705049969. $19.99. F
Faladé’s (English, Univ. of Illinois; Fire on the Beach) first adult novel tells a story of the tangled web of race relations during the U.S. Civil War. Sergeant Richard Etheridge is the enslaved son of a slaveholder. Richard desperately wants the approval of his father, but that is not forthcoming. There is a longtime rivalry with his cousin, a Confederate guerrilla, and Richard’s forces are searching for him. While Etheridge wants his cause and freedom to succeed, he can’t quite cut ties with his blood relatives, regardless of their goals. Etheridge works to free other enslaved people, especially Fanny, the woman he wants to marry. This book offers a thoughtful picture of the war as well as the internal conflicts of the participants during and immediately after it.
VERDICT Recommended for those interested in race, U.S. history, and the Civil War. A possible selection for high school students, though the vernacular of the time may be hard to comprehend.
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