I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Every newspaper editor may owe tribute to the devil, but Harry Wentworth’s bill just came due.
As America marches toward the Civil War, Harry Wentworth, gentleman of distinction and journalist of renown, finds his calls for peaceful resolution have fallen on deaf—nay, hostile—ears, so he must finally resolve his own moral quandary. Comment on the war from his influential—and safe—position in Northern Society, or make a news story and a target of himself South of the Mason-Dixon Line, in a city haunted by a life he has long since left behind?
The day-to-day struggle against countervailing forces, his personal and professional tragedies on both sides of the conflict, and the elegant and emotive writings that define him, all serve to illuminate the trials of this newsman’s crusade, irreparably altering his mind, his body, his spirit, and his purpose as an honorable man. Blind Tribute exposes the shifting stones of the moral high ground, as Harry’s family and friendships, North and South, are shattered by his acts of conscience.
Blind Tribute will give you a new perspective on the American Civil War. Seen through the eyes of Harry Wentworth, a controversial journalist who advocates for the media’s freedom of speech, one can imagine how the times were and how important people’s voices can be.
The vivid descriptions and riveting editorials written by Harry, shed light on the many issues that were plaguing the country at the time. One can get a sense of the similarities between the past and the present. The issues of freedom of speech, human rights, and politics are all there. It’s like holding a mirror between the past and present, except you see that only the clothes have changed and many of the issues have remained.
Besides the political aspect, this is a story heavily focused on family themes. Harry’s role as a husband and father raises many questions about his character. In fact, in my opinion, I don’t think he was good at being a family man in any way shape or form. He was a great journalist, but when it came to managing his family, he was quite blase’ about it. I can appreciate his flawed nature and there were times where I could sympathize with his thinking. His wife Anne, was horrendous. I have no doubt that she was part of the reason why he remained career oriented.
The Civil War not only divided the country, but it divided families as well. Harry’s relationship with his father, cousins, and friends becomes a hot topic. You will find some truly heartbreaking scenes in this story and key elements that make Harry grow as a character, but still remain true to himself. Besides not agreeing with many of Harry’s decisions, I found myself becoming fond of his character. His ups and downs become your own as you read this story. His kind nature shines through on many an occasion, but it’s his gruff outward persona that really clinches it.
This is a really long book, there is no doubt about it. However, I’m still thinking about it weeks after finishing it. It’s a story that sticks with you, because of its very real setting and characters. I found myself wanting more story and that’s because of Harry, but mainly because of the secondary characters that play such a large role in his life.
Anne’s face contorted, red with rage. Her entire being seemed to swell three sizes. As many weeks as Harry had been considering this evening’s discussion, so had she. She would spring at him any moment with two weeks’ worth—two months’ worth—of argument she’d been amassing. He should have known; she’d been much too accommodating of his opinions thus far.
“Far be it from me to keep you from suicide, Palmer, for I shall be a very merry widow, but you cannot expect me to uproot my children over a minor conflict about which you have a bad feeling. You would have me leave everything I know to assuage your fears for our safety, when you refuse to stay and ensure it yourself?! I have family here, and a home, and two girls to present and marry. There is no chance the fighting will reach Pennsylvania before the insurrection is put down, and I’ll not disrupt everything for you, or for this ridiculous war!”
Instead of backing away, he stepped forward. “I married you because you read the newspaper, Anne, and because you do not usually speak drivel. Can you be so short-sighted? You would refuse to take our children to safety, simply because it is I who suggest it?” He raised his voice for the first time since their argument began. “No, Anne! I will not hear it! I have chosen the safest course for you and the children, and the only course for myself. Stop screeching about something you should have expected. I’ve had enough argument from you for one evening. The decision has been made.”
Her tone lowered from a shriek to a loud yell as she took a step backward. “I never believed you could do such an awful thing to your wife and children! Tearing us away from everything—our whole lives—so you can stand on some ill-defined principle! It’s inhuman!” She stomped her foot again, retaking the ground she had lost, shaking the pictures on the blue silk walls and the curios interspersed among the bookshelves. An Argentinean mask toppled off a shelf, but didn’t break on the Persian carpet.
He saw the tears well up, and hoped sincerely he would ultimately be allowed to soothe her when he won the disagreement, rather than watch her walk away from the fight, lock the door to her rooms, and prepare herself for continued battle until she’d won her point. Unfortunately, Anne’s tears in such a situation could portend anything—except surrender.
Join the Facebook Launch Party for Blind Tribute for guest authors, prizes, and a live streaming event!
Mari will be giving away a quill pen (like Harry’s) and powdered ink, a swag pack including Harry’s Editorials Collection, and a e-copy of the book to one winner.