Pilot Mountain by Robert Wall
Setting: It’s 1862 and America is in the midst of Civil War. During this year on April 16, a law was passed stating that it was mandatory for able-bodied men 18 to 35 to serve in the military.
Synopsis: 18 year-old Louis is the eldest son of the Wall family in North Carolina. Along with some cousins, Louis decides to join up fighting for the South. He and his cousins are shipped off into the Army of Northern Virginia. Upon arrival, Louis is introduced to Sergeant Flarity who takes Louis under his wing and teaches him the craft of making medicinal alcohol and stills.
Later on, Louis’s abilities become noticed and appreciated by his Captain, which gives him the idea to send Louis on a treacherous trip to Arkansas in order to give medicinal aid to another Southern regiment. Throughout the entire trip, Louis was put in several life-threatening situations where he used his cunningness to escape with his life. Once Louis makes his way back home he is forced to make a decision that could change his life forever.
Review: Pilot Mountain isn’t directly focused on the Civil War like I initially thought. Instead it is about a young man’s life journey serving in the Army and his near death experiences in some of the most famous and horrific battles during the Civil War. This story was based on the author’s Great-grandfather and his regiment during the Civil War.
Some highlights of this story that I liked was Louis’s journey to Arkansas and how he managed to stay alive despite all the obstacles he had to face. I also liked learning about how to make medicinal alcohol, which saved many lives during this war.
There were some things that were really distracting throughout the entire book. For one I didn’t see how the book cover pertained to the story until the very end. I kept wondering who the woman was on the cover and what her role is in the story. Also, there were so many grammatical and punctuation errors in the book. I would have over-looked them if it was a review copy, but it wasn’t. I found those mistakes to be very distracting.
Overall the story was really an easy read that was a bit dry in certain areas. It was really hard to get myself motivated to finish the book. Robert Wall did a great job researching for this book, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I don’t think of this book as being completely hopeless, but I wouldn’t go out and recommend it to just anyone. I would have to say that I would recommend it only to someone looking for a light read looking for bits and pieces of the Civil War thrown in the mix of the story.