The Year of Jubilo
A Novel of the Civil War
By Howard Bahr
(Henry Holt and Co., Hardcover, 9780805059724, 384pp.)
Publication Date: May 2000
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
Categories: Historical - General
From the author of the award-winning novel The Black Flower comes a novel about a Confederate soldier returning home to find that life-and love-will never be the same.
On a balmy spring day in 1865 Gawain Harper trudges toward his home in Cumberland, Mississippi, where three years earlier he had boarded a train carrying the latest enlistees in the Mississippi Infantry. Unmoved by the cause that motivated so many others, he had joined up only when Morgan Rhea's father told Gawain that he would never wed his beloved Morgan unless he did his part in the war effort. Now, upon his arrival, he discovers post-war life is far from what he expected. Morgan has indeed waited for him, but before they can marry there are scores to be settled. For in his hometown yet another battle is being waged, and the enemy is not the occupying Federal troops, but Cumberland's own King Solomon Gault, a deranged, manipulative man on a mission to restore his own brand of justice to a community turned upside down. As Gawain struggles to find a way to avenge the Rhea family's honor, he is drawn into an inexorable showdown with Gault that once again pits South against North, and dignity against defeat.
Written with scrupulous respect for historical accuracy, The Year of Jubilo brilliantly evokes a time of sorrow and defeat, of anarchy and violence, and also of hope and rebuilding. A poignant and sweeping novel that reveals the human side of one of the most trying and pivotal moments in American history, it is sure to catapult Howard Bahr to the top rank of American novelists.
Howard Bahr teaches English at Motlow State Community College in Tullahoma, Tennessee. His first novel, The Black Flower, was a New York Times Book Review Notable Book and received the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.