Heaven and Hell: the Conclusion of the North and South Trilogy
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Heaven and Hell: the Conclusion of the North and South Trilogy (North and South #3)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  6,527 ratings  ·  133 reviews
Heaven and Hell: The Conclusion of the North and South Trilogy, by Jakes, John
Hardcover, 700 pages
Published September 1st 1987 by Harcourt Brace International (first published 1987)
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Matt
In the final installment of the North and South series, Jakes examines life in the United States after the Civil War. Using his strong collection of characters and their various situations, Jakes shows that the end of the War was not the end to all issues. In some cases, it only served to fan the flames and make things worse. Charles Main becomes the new main character from the South, who grapples with life as a Confederate soldier who wishes nothing more than to assimilate back into society and...more
Ashley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christina Merrill
Wanted to like this book, but I hate when characters I've grown attached to become The Woobie, endlessly beaten down for dramatic effect. Charles is not allowed to be happy or content, EVER. And really, resurrecting a Big Bad from the dead just to drive the story forward strains the limits of my credulity. And I absolutely hate what he did to Cooper, one of my favorite characters from the first two books. I suppose a thwarted idealist could possibly become that twisted, but it doesn't make for f...more
Samyann
North and South, Love and War, and finally, Heaven and Hell is an American Civil War trilogy. This final edition is intended to be the reconstruction period, so I thought … the rebuilding of the southern states following the war. Although a terrific series, this novel is much more focused on the development of the west, the American Indian wars. The history is interesting, but frankly, it would have been a better story if the author had focused on reconstruction and stayed with the American Civi...more
Marilyn
Book #3 of the North and South Trilogy: North & South; Love and War; Heaven and Hell

"From America's master storyteller and writer of historical fiction comes the dramatic conclusion to the North and South saga. The Civil War has ended, but the Hazards and the Mains have yet to face their greatest struggles. Even as the embers of old hatreds continue to burn in the heart of a nation torn apart by war, a new future in the West awaits a new generation of Americans seeking a life of their own -...more
Danielle
I wasn't born yet to see the miniseries when it was actually on, but I decided to watch it after I saw my dad watching it on VHS. Then I found out my dad actually owns all three novels, so I got started. I had to read each one with a few other books in between, because I find these to be very heavy reading. Nonetheless, I eagerly devoured each one because I'm such a history buff :). I didn't think Heaven and Hell was as good as North and South and Love and War, but it was still pretty okay. This...more
Brittany
"The pain comes from more than the facts of circumstance, or the deeds of others. It comes from within. From understanding what we've lost. It comes from knowing how foolish we were-vain, arrogant children-when we thought ourselves happy. It comes from knowing how fragile and doomed the old ways were just when we thought them, and ourselves, secure. The pain comes from knowing we have never been safe, and therefore will never be safe again. It comes from knowing we can never be so ignorant again
...more
Shara Faskowitz
John Jakes is a fine historian who is also a good storyteller. He's not a great writer imho or a particularly literary one. I understand that the North and South Trilogy covers a massive amount of ground. There are many events and themes that weave through the books, and it's to Jake's credit that he gives us such a broad sweep of the Civil War and makes it so rich with detail. However he tends to succumb to purple prose (when he's not describing actual history). Also, some of the characters are...more
Kent Horner
These three books were very enjoyable to me because the fiction story was so intertwined with historical facts that it made it both entertaining and interesting. The first book, NORTH AND SOUTH introduces the many, many characters and their involvement with the events and politics that led to the beginning of the Civil War. The second and longest (1087 pages) LOVE AND WAR depicts the four year period of the war itself. The north, having fought for the restoration of the Union and for the freedom...more
Cbear215
It was an okay finish. I would have preferred more of the book to actually take place in the North & South - more Reconstruction than westward expansion and conflict with the Native Americans. It also felt like Jakes lost the whole Hazard/Main thread for most of the novel, and it was just about Charlie. I didn't like that Madeline's story was told via journal - I thought that was too easy, and that Jakes was summarizing her story rather than actually telling it. It did make me realize that m...more
ROBB
Feb 02, 2008 ROBB rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Civil War/History Buffs
Of the three books of the "North and South" trilogy, this was probably the one that I liked the least, although that isn't to say that I didn't like it. I just thought it was written differently than the previous two, and some of the events were scattered to previously minor characters, and I didn't like the outcome of some of the earlier major characters. It is still a great read and overall ties the entire trilogy together well. Justice is served to some; death comes to others (some who deserv...more
Beth Bedee
EDIT 2nd read: It's funny how the passage of time changes your view. I first read this when I was 19 and in college. Since then I've become more interested in politics, Reconstruction, and Native Americans. I thoroughly enjoyed my second read. I thought the trilogy was nicely tied together and was sad to see it end (again.)

I did not enjoy this 3rd part of the trilogy as well as the 1st two, probably because the story leaves the East coast and travels to the West. Also, several of my favorite cha...more
Robin (RBBR)
This may have what is considered to be a spoiler.



Custer has been a character in the other books but he has a larger role in this one and if I recall right so does Elkanah Bent who also has been in the other books but in this one I seem to remember that his colors really showed and he really is quite an A**H--- who although no one deserves to have done to them what he had done one is still inclined to say it serves him right. I'm referring to Bent not Custer. I think there was a mini series for B...more
Rebecca
As a whole, the North and South series is excellent. There seems to be no aspect of American history from the Civil War & Reconstruction eras that are not left untouched. The characters are vibrant, and while I'm not sure I appreciate Jakes' characterization of the only likeable females as docile, I found myself forming emotional attachments to them-- something I rarely do.

That said, H&H is easily the weakest of the three. There's too much attention paid to just two characters while othe...more
Charlene C
This was a reread...seems like I was more enthused with the first read, but still thought it worth my time...a good conclusion to the North And South trilogy. Q
Kelly Waugh
Just finished this massive trilogy. I love historical fiction, and this was one of the best i've ever read.
Dee Green
The first half of the book is captivating and very difficult to put down. The finishing up of the series was somewhat slow, but it does leave the reader with closure. I can't imagine not reading this one if you have read the previous ones.
Amy Patton
Another of my favorite genre's. Highly recommend this trilogy for any who want to read about the civil war.
Edward Weiner
This was the third and last book of the author's civil war saga. I read all three books, covering about 35 years -- 1840 to 1876. I read a lot of historical fiction and thought this trilogy was very good. The history was concise and probably quite accurate. The fictional characters were reasonably interesting and tried to portray the social and political values of the times. The writing techniques reminded me of Edward Rutherfurd (Jakes is better), Ken Follett and Howard Fast; and a little bit o...more
Tracey Hartley
Great book and great look at reconstruction life as well as life on the frontier.
Gina Murray
The ending was well deserved of George and Madeline.
John Mcintosh
Great series about the civil war.
Michael Wasco
The saddest, most tragic and yet the most compelling of the three tales. Stories of redemption and hope and perserverance coexist with hate and senselessness. I found myself wondering apropos to one character "what next?" How much can one man take? Jakes explores this with one of his main characters, and the discovery of what he can take is as moving as any part of this trilogy. It takes work to get through all three, and this one in particular, but I think that you'll find it worthwhile to make...more
Sandy
This was number three in a trilogy. It has been quite a few years since I read the first two, so I was a bit concerned. Jakes writes well enough that I needn't have worried. Each book stands alone beautifully, but as soon as I started reading the others came flooding back. This book served a a real reminder that although much has changed in the years since the Civil War, much has stayed the same. I enjoyed the trilogy very much and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in History/
Autumn
This trilogy was a pretty good read; especailly since I love history. However, its crammed with politics and could be hard to read at times. The plot has just about everything anyone could want though; love, suspense, action, history, wisdom...if you're a patient reader and have oh, about a year to read this series, I think you defintely should. The civil war was a brutal time for our country, and I don't think very many people realize just how horrible it was, or the time after it.
Brecht Denijs
Great book but definitely my least favourite of the series. A lot less characters in this one, the books focusses mostly on Charles Main and Madeline Main. I felt Jakes could have done a bit more with this one and do find the ending to be rather depressing, though I suppose that is the reality of post civil war america. Still a great read. The whole series is highly reccomended!
Tara Lynn
I was bitterly disappointed when I finished this series. As I've previously mentioned, I've been heavily involved in historical fiction in terms of my reading material for the last month. I LOVED this series, and really hoped that it would continue. I think that the author's meticulous attention to the smallest destails and his ability to carry you along through DOZENS of characters without losing the reader is amazing. I'm definitely going to read his other series.
Stephen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deb
What a great book. This is actually book 3 of the North and South Trilogy. These books goes from pre-civil war to the end of Reconstruction. John Jakes manages to cover (I believe) every single angle & view point of those times. That is what makes these books, so very interesting & enjoyable to read. All his characters are complex & very believable. This book was 800 pages, but his style of writing is easy to read, so it never felt like an endless book.
John Harder
Heaven and Hell is the final book of Jakes’ civil war trilogy. A primary fault with this series is that the characters are not properly interwoven and the plot jumps about from one isolated scene to the next. This book seems to possess this fault even more than the others and it really detracts from the flow. There are some good points to the novel, such as Charles Main’s western adventures, but afterward the plot seems to lag. Thumbs down.
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John Jakes, the author of more than a dozen novels, is regarded as one of today’s most distinguished writers of historical fiction. His work includes the highly acclaimed Kent Family Chronicles series and the North and South Trilogy. Jakes’s commitment to historical accuracy and evocative storytelling earned him the title of “the godfather of historical novelists” from the Los Angeles Times and le...more
More about John Jakes...
North and South (North and South, #1) The Bastard (Kent Family Chronicles, #1) Love and War (North and South, #2) The Rebels (Kent Family Chronicles, #2) The Warriors (Kent Family Chronicles, #6)

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“The pain comes from more than the facts of circumstance, or the deeds of others. It comes from within. From understanding what we lost. It comes from knowing how foolish we were - vain, arrogant children - when we thought ourselves happy. It comes from knowing how fragile and doomed the old ways were, just when we thought them and ourselves, secure!. The pain comes from knowing we have never been safe, and therefore will never be safe again. It comes from knowing we can never be children again. ” 11 likes
“Losing innocence. Remembering Heaven. That was the essence of Hell” 5 likes
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