Love and War (North and South, #2)

ISBN: 0451200829
ISBN 13: 9780451200822
By: John Jakes

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About this book

The Hazards and the Mains -- the first fatal shot fired at Fort Sumter divided them irrevocably with loyalties more powerful than family ties. The young would clash on the bloody battlefields of Bull Run and Fredericksburg, while in intrigue-ridden Washington and Richmond strong-willed men and beautiful women would defend their principles with their lives...or satisfy illicit cravings with schemes that could destroy friends and enemies alike.This surging drama is the second part of the trilogy that includes NORTH AND SOUTH and HEAVEN AND HELL

Reader's Thoughts


I read this book after the mini-series was on when I was young. The books are better than the tv version. Of course, they are much longer and more detailed.It is an excellent story with memorable characters. While it was enjoyable, there wasn't anything particularly significant about it in that it didn't change my thinking, impact me on an emotional level, etc.Also, there is objectionable material presented.


Another Jakes masterpiece! This novel, like its predecessor North and South, draws the reader right into the emotional period that was the time of the American Civil War. Jakes is quick to point out that his novel is about change first and foremost, which makes sense, as we see immense differences come about in the lives of basically all the members of the Hazard and Main families as they live through the turmoil of the Civil War. Overall, this second part of the trilogy doesn't disappoint. I have Heaven and Hell, part three, on my shelf and am ready to begin!

Ndlela Ntuli

It was longer than Book 1 I think. It felt like it.Gosh war is dreadful, it really is.Anyway, while this book does not necessarily establish causality, it has put some context behind my perceived division between the American north and south. I had this simplistic idea that America is divided along ideologies of the Republican south against those of the Democrat north. I thought this book may help, though it is fiction based on history. I find it is a little bit more complex than that and I should look elsewhere for the answers. The fictional saga continues and I hope to read book 3 before end of year.


While I absolutely loved North and South, I can't say that I enjoyed Love and War quite as much. It followed the characters that were only touched on or equals in the first book, Charles and Billy, and only had a page or two about George and Orry here and there. Of course, there were a lot of boring war scenes, and lots of pages about political views that didn't really interest me at all. The book was also really depressing, as I suppose should be expected from a book about a depressing time, but still, I wouldn't recommend reading it unless you're really happy. Since this book is so long, there's a lot of character development that's really confusing. While showing a particular character's thoughts, he seems the same, but for some reason everyone around that character sees some great change. Charles seems to bounce back and forth. Good book, but I don't know who I would ever recommend it to.


** spoiler alert ** I will admit, I had to skim to get through this book. It's not that the book is bad, it's that it's about 200 pages too long and I'm not convinced the extra stuff was worth it. I think overall, the book does a great job of dealing with the war, and how it affected the Mains and Hazards. However, I thought the main problem was that there were far too many characters to deal with and some were given short shrift. Additionally, there are a number of revelations made in the last 200 pages, that came out of nowhere. Orry is given very little to do for most of the book except be in love and then he dies in less than 2 pages at the end. All that said, the actual storylines were interesting, especially Ashton and James's storyline and the Billy and Charles stuff. A good continuation of the story. We'll see how the third book is later in the year.


This book is an epic about two families embroiled in the great war and their struggles to remain loyal to their sides of battle, but also to each other. A great study in human character and since I have an interest in The Civil War, this book characterizes the events of that period as well as can be expected. I have also read its prequel, "North and South" and enjoyed this volume more. When I read books of this type, which spend so much time in building the characters involved I get the feeling when I am done that I have made new friends. Off to volume three.


From the first Union rout in Virginia to the last tragic moments of surrender, here is a gigantic five-year panorama of the Civil War! Hostilities divide the Hazards and the Mains, testing them with loyalties more powerful than family ties. While soldiers from both families clash on the battlefields of Bull Run, Fredericksburg and Antietam, in intrigue-ridden Washington and Richmond, strong-willed men and beautiful women defend their principles with their lives ... or satisfy illicit cravings with schemes that could destroy friends and enemies alike![return][return]"Massive, lusty, highly readable,.. a graphic, fast-paced amalgam of good, evil, love, lust, war, violence, and Americana." -- The Washington Post Book World[return][return]-From John Jakes' website:

Gina Murray


Robert Grant

Originally read in 1995.An excellent sequel to North & South. Extremely detailed. You can almost hear the battles and the horses rampaging out of the pages as you read. Only complaint is that it is a little on the long side. Could have been over and done att least a couple of hundred pages sooner than it was while still serving the story. A little soap-opera-e at the end.Still stand as a classic novel and with the other two books in this series, probably the finest work in fiction I have read on this period of the American Civil War.

Brecht Denijs

If you only ever read ten books in your life, this should be one of them. I already loved the first one, I was blown away by the second. It explores every single, gritty, horrible war that was one hand a senseless waste of human life (like all wars) yet on the other such an important leap in american history. What sets this masterpiece apart from other literature about this event is that we follow not the generals and presidents but the "common" (albeit quite rich) people which had little to no say in how the war was done and could only hang on and hope for the best. I find it hard to do this book justice in a review. It will touch you deeply, leave you gutted and wretched yet hopeful. A book that truly makes you feel and think. Highly recommended.


** spoiler alert ** I did not enjoy this as much as North & South. Up until the last couple hundred pages, it felt more like a non-fiction novel. I do love the descriptions and the history, but it felt like the point was to get the history out, rather than to tell the story of the characters within that history. Nothing happened to any of the characters for the first 700-800 pages, and I found myself skimming a lot. SKIMMING! I hate skimming. I just didn't care about whole chapters. This novel also switched to points of views of secondary characters that I did not care about. Again, this added to feeling like the author used the characters to tell a history story rather than the other way around. Ok, this is the Civil War, with hundreds of thousands of casualties, and you've got two characters that are in the war from the beginning to the end - no battle wounds, really, no deaths! I know he killed Orry but that was so sudden-and maybe that was the point? Billy and Charles survive four years of the war but Orry joins and dies almost immediately...maybe this is some statement about fate, or luck, or what have you. The only character I really felt invested in was Charles. His transformation through the war broke my heart, much more than Orry's death did. The loss of Sport was written more heartbreakingly than the loss of Orry. The author did an excellent job of describing the losses and changes of those people that survived, Charles being the best example. His point that the war changed everyone, everything, even those who didn't die or weren't directly involved, was very well driven home. Just like in the first novel, I think he did an excellent job portraying different points of views and the political atmosphere surrounding the war. Villains and heroes on both sides of the line. That's really the most heartbreaking fact of the Civil against brother, friend against friend, American against American. That sadness was prevalent throughout the novel.


This generation of characters didn't capture my interest the way the first generation did in North and South, the first book in this trilogy. This book dragged a bit, but it definitely picked up towards the end. I think the last book in this trilogy will probably be the best based on the ending to this book! I can't wait to read about what happens to Charles- he's my favorite character.


Quite honestly, I don't remember much about this book. I remember liking North and South, but Love and War is a fleeting idea in my own head. I do remember enjoying the read, and I liked the ideas that immersed themselves in my psyche. As a white kid growing up in the suburbs, the concept of a black man and woman having an affair was something I hadn't been exposed to. This was implanted in my psyche, and has benefited me throughout my life. I was inspired to read this after reading the Novel "Homeland" by John Jakes. I have to admit, I preferred the Homeland novel, but that's why I didn't give this review 5 stars. Besides, who knows how my perspectives would change if I read it again. I haven't read this book in over 10 years, if I read it again, I'm sure my impression of the writing, the characters, indeed my own psyche's interpretation of the concepts and themes would be different.

Christina Merrill

In my opinion, the best book of the trilogy. Much of the action deals with the Civil War battles in Virginia and Maryland. The characters of Charles and Billy are well developed. The death of a major character toward the end of the book was heartbreaking and senseless in the way it happened...much like the war itself. Many of the characters are so one-dimensional as to be caricatures of themselves. Ashton is particularly obnoxious as the Scarlett O'Hara type with even fewer moral scruples and zero inhibitions. You'll have to wait till the next book to see if she gets her just deserts.


I just keep picturing a young Patrick Swayze as Orry Main. Sigh. 4 stars for nostalgia.

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