Meet John Trow
1 journaler for this copy...
I got this hardcover at the by-the-pound sale room of a local Goodwill thrift shop. It has an intriguing premise: a burnt-out advertising man in a troubled marriage is drawn in to a local Civil War re-enactors group, assigned to portray Private John Trow, one of the actual soldiers who took part in the battle. (The story is set near Mt. Riga in Connecticut, an actual historical site with a history of iron-foundry as well as the Civil War tie-ins.) The protagonist gradually gets into the role - and begins to feel as though John Trow is taking over, making him more assertive and, perhaps, more dangerous... When letters, apparently authentic Civil-War-vintage ones, start arriving, from the wife of Trow's commanding officer, it triggers an affair between our hero and the woman who's portraying the letter-writer. And Trow's influence seems to be helping even in our hero's work-life, sometimes in unexpected ways. Even his relationship with his teenaged son improves once the boy - caught in an illegal act - is given the option to join the re-enactors as probation, and finds that he really likes being the drummer boy for the company.
So far so good, more or less... but the season for the re-enactors is drawing to a close, and our hero is feeling more and more possessed by Trow's increasingly hostile spirit. And then some revelations turn the whole situation around - with several twists coming hard and fast near the end of the book. It's... an odd mix of anguished mid-life crisis, hints of actual horror, the fear of mental illness and domestic disaster, and occasional notes of ludicrous humor. I appreciated the scenes in which the commitment of the re-enactors leads to moments of pure synchronicity - with jarring bits as some of the participants can't resist dragging out phones to check on stock prices; and near the end, the protagonist - who has his own reasons for being sure that he'll either kill or be killed for real during the final battle - muses that the re-enactors can duplicate almost everything from the original setting *except* that fear of death...
Unusual story; glad I picked it up!
Journal Entry 2
Little Free Library, Roby Park in Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Released 5 mos ago (12/19/2018 UTC) at Little Free Library, Roby Park in Nashua, New Hampshire USA
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
I left this book in the Little Free Library on this chilly day - the nearby ice-rink was in use by some young hockey players! Hope someone enjoys the book!
[See other recent releases in NH here
*** Released for the 2018 D for December
release challenge. ***
*** Released for the 2018 What's In A Name
release challenge. ***