The BookBrowse Review

Published June 22, 2022

ISSN: 1930-0018

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Contents

In This Edition of
The BookBrowse Review

Highlighting indicates debut books

Editor's Introduction
Reviews
Hardcovers Paperbacks
First Impressions
Latest Author Interviews
Recommended for Book Clubs
Book Discussions

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Literary Fiction


Historical Fiction


Short Stories


Essays


Mysteries


Thrillers


Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Speculative, Alt. History


Biography/Memoir


History, Current Affairs and Religion


Science, Health and the Environment


Travel & Adventure


Young Adults

Literary Fiction

  • Big Girl by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan (rated 4/5)

Thrillers


Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Speculative, Alt. History


Extras
  • Blog:
    6 Novels for Book Clubs That Reflect on Reproductive Rights
  • Wordplay:
    T O Thing W H T F I F I
  • Book Giveaway:
    Win a signed copy of Where the Crawdads Sing
Book Jacket

Voices in the Dead House
The American Novels series
by Norman Lock
5 Jul 2022
288 pages
Publisher: Bellevue Literary Press
Genre: Historical Fiction
Peperback Original
Critics:
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Walt Whitman and Louisa May Alcott meet the horrors of the Civil War as they minister to its casualties.

After the Union Army's defeat at Fredericksburg in 1862, Walt Whitman and Louisa May Alcott converge on Washington to nurse the sick, wounded, and dying. Whitman was a man of many contradictions: egocentric yet compassionate, impatient with religiosity yet moved by the spiritual in all humankind, bigoted yet soon to become known as the great poet of democracy. Alcott was an intense, intellectual, independent woman, an abolitionist and suffragist, who was compelled by financial circumstance to publish saccharine magazine stories yet would go on to write the enduring and beloved Little Women. As Lock captures the musicality of their unique voices and their encounters with luminaries ranging from Lincoln to battlefield photographer Mathew Brady to reformer Dorothea Dix, he deftly renders the war's impact on their personal and artistic development.

Inspired by Whitman's poem "The Wound-Dresser" and Alcott's Hospital Sketches, the ninth stand-alone book in the American Novels series is a masterful dual portrait of two iconic authors who took different paths toward chronicling a country beset by prejudice and at war with itself.

"Lock's latest novel reckons honestly with the legacies of two beloved writers...What makes the novel, particularly its Whitman-centric first half, so gripping is the way in which Lock depicts Whitman's inner conflict...A haunting novel that offers candid portraits of literary legends." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Lock delivers immersive accounts of Walt Whitman and Louisa May Alcott during the American Civil War in the evocative latest installment of his American Novels cycle...The landscape and environs of D.C. are memorably described, and Lock's uncanny gift for reproducing the literary voices of his narrators goes beyond mere pastiche. This insightful double portrait brings both Whitman and Alcott into sharp focus." - Publishers Weekly

"Lock captures the strong personalities of Whitman and Alcott without glossing over their flaws in this fascinating snapshot of history." - Library Journal

"A stunning historical novel that brings history and literature together to share a singular perspective on the Civil War." - Foreword Reviews

Norman Lock is the award-winning author of novels, short fiction, and poetry, as well as stage and radio plays. He has won the Dactyl Foundation Literary Fiction Award, the Paris Review Aga Khan Prize for Fiction, and has been longlisted twice for the Simpson/Joyce Carol Oates Prize. He has also received writing fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Aberdeen, New Jersey, where he is at work on the next books of the American Novels series.

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