Glorious Reality of War is a riveting account of the Civil War written by Michael Mendoza. The book's main character, C.W. Rickard, to his 25-year-old daughter. The fictional account he came up with based on this letter is extremely interesting and hard to put down.
Young Charlie, only eight-years-old, has parents who are very strict and very religious. His dad leaned more towards the differences between right and wrong and believed that a man should always do what is right. His mama seemed to lean more towards compassion and believed that people should practice mercy.
There is rejoicing in the streeets because the nation is going to war. The South was the first to fire a shot and recruiting is actively being done. If little Charlie were only 4 years older, he would sign up and leave home to go fight. He so wants to get away from his parents. There has to be so much more for him out there besides farming. Charlie wants to experience 'the glorious reality of war'. Right now, he really believes that going to fight in the war would be glorious.
Charlie and his friend, Will, both want to join the Army and go fight in the war, but they are too young to sign up. Charlie's dad tells him he was born to be a farmer and he needs to be satisfied with that. Will's dad, the preacher, wants him to go to seminary. Both boys want to leave their homes and not come back to them. They make a pact to always be friends no matter what.
Will's dad signed up to go fight and found a way to sign young Will up as well. Now Charlie is determined to go and fight. He is so focused on what he believes to the glorious reality of war that he won't listen to reason. His dad, after being talked to by his Charlie's grandpa, relents and tells Charlie he will sign to get him in if there is a way. At fifteen years of age, he is allowed to join the army as a musician, but Charlie's desire is to fight, not play music.
In his letters home, Charlie tells his mama how he is doing and how the fighting is progressing. In one of his first letters, he tells her that he is keeping his feet dry, even though it has continually rained. He has two pairs of socks, so he keeps one pair tucked under his armpits to dry out while he is wearing the other pair. He is doing that because a lot of the men he is with have had problems with their feet since there has been so much rain.
This book goes into a lot more detail about the war, about all of the fighting, and all of the bloodshed. By the time the war is over, does Charlie still think that war is glorious? How does the war change him? Do he and his friend, Will, both survive the war?
Even if you are not crazy about historical fiction, this book wil interest you. As much as it focuses on the Civil War, it also focuses on Charlie and the experiences he had, as well as the changes he went through. I received my copy of this book free from the publisher. If you would like your own copy of this book, I have provided an Amazon link for you below.