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The Confederate General Rides North: A Novel
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The Confederate General Rides North: A Novel

3.3  ·  Rating Details ·  96 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
In this richly imagined, utterly original debut a mother- daughter road trip leads a young girl—a precocious Civil War buff—to a hard-won understanding of the American history she loves and the personal history she inherits. Eleven-year-old  Katherine  McConnell  is  so  immersed in Civil War history that she often imagines herself a general, leading troops to battle. When ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published August 11th 2009 by Scribner (first published 2009)
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Aug 03, 2009 Libby rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Literary fiction fans
A mother and 11-year-old daughter sneak away to take a trip so the mother can buy antiques for a shop she wants to open. The girl, Kat, is fascinated by the Civil War so she plans the itinerary to visit battle fields. Even though the mother is Northern and distanced from the father's family's Confederate leanings, she agrees to Kat's plan. Interspersed is Kat's imaginary General's thoughts that increasingly mirror what's going on with the journey. This is one of those books you take to bed and s ...more
Aug 29, 2009 Diane rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ryan
Shelves: fiction
I immediately liked this book because when my daughter was 11 she used to pretend that she was Lafayette and rode around the yard on her horse; and one of my dreams used to be driving with her to all the Revolutionary War battlefields.

The book, however, is much more complex and interesting than that. Katherine (or Kat) is 11 and lives in the south and is fascinated by the Civil War. She has a stable, loving set of grandparents and a wonderful, covetable aunt. Her own nuclear family is less posi
Liz Crowe
Nov 12, 2014 Liz Crowe rated it liked it
This book was ambitious and achieved many of its over-arching goals: showing general family dysfunction by keeping some family members' motivations mysterious while simultaneously representing the horror that is a child's view of a parent's manic/depressive disorder with veracity.

As the child of a parent like Katherine's I felt every single nuance very early in her description of her mother. That is the 5-star part of this novel. The way her mother unravels in front of her eyes during their "tr
May 28, 2013 Gail rated it really liked it
I have been fascinated with Gettysburg since I was 9 and read a story called Emmeline about a young girl caught on the battlefield. I also have kind of a crush on Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and Stonewall Jackson and Robert E Lee since reading The Killer Angels and watching Ken Burns documentary about the Civil War. I also loved Allen Gurganus' book The World's Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All. This story was very imaginative and heartbreaking as an 11 year old tries to be in charge of ...more
Frederick Bingham
Nov 28, 2014 Frederick Bingham rated it really liked it
This is a nicely told story of an 11 year-old girl in about 1968. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, the Vietnam war, the assassination of MLK, etc. In the middle of all this, her crazy mother drags her out of her home in Georgia and heads north to take up the antiques trade.

The interwoven story of the trip, the Civil War history she encounters and her past is charming and sweet.
Jan 09, 2010 Kitty rated it it was ok
A rather poignant story of an 11 year old girl who goes on a "venture" with her mother driving through Civil War historic sites. But is Mom OK? Kat has to be the adult as her mother begins spiraling down. The story of Kat and her Mom is good, but I did not like the interjected portions where Kat is an imaginary Confederate general. As the end of the book I just started skipping those passages.
Sep 03, 2010 Nancy rated it it was ok
A mediocre and meandering story about a mother who decides to suddenly take her precocious, civil-war-buff daughter on a road trip to New England. This underlying civil war narration is cute and provides an 11-year old's views on the trip and what happens as a result. The only good thing about this novel was the surprise at the end. Otherwise, it's completely predictable and formulaic. Save yourself a credit and look for this at your local library.
Aug 17, 2009 Valerie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
What a great read! I loved how the story of Kat's trip was interspersed with her imaginings of the "Confederate General." This book was great on so many levels. It was historical, a family story, a story of struggle both external and internal and a coming-of-age story all at once. I hope that Amanda Gable writes more novels soon!
Apr 29, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this story of a Mother-Daughter trip to Maine that includes stops at the major Civil War battle fields of the North. You are drawn to Kat and watch her grow thorough her fantasies of being "the general". It is not easy having a crazy mother, but Kat does the best an 11- year-old can in difficult circumstances.
Lana Hasper
Sep 18, 2010 Lana Hasper rated it liked it
Really a 2 1/2 star rating. It is a very creative storyline. I have always been interested in the Civil War but I had a difficult time getting caught up in the present day story of Katherine's dysfunctional family life.
Donna Jo Atwood
Oct 26, 2009 Donna Jo Atwood rated it it was ok
I would compare this book to The Ya-Ya Sisterhood, only without the whimsey, or maybe just a different kind of whimsey. I was not so entertained.

Sue (booknbeachbag)
Nov 15, 2009 Sue (booknbeachbag) rated it really liked it
I could have done without the imaginings of the "Confederate General." I am a fan of Civil War literature and this was a definite twist. I'm also a big fan of books set during the time of the Civil Rights Movement... so for me, this hit both interests.
Kitty Tomlinson
Aug 17, 2011 Kitty Tomlinson rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Set in the 1960s, Katherine, a Southern Confederate warbuff, and her mother embark on a vacation heading north and stopping at Civil War Battlefields along the way. Audiobook.
Aug 11, 2014 Knitgrr rated it really liked it
Well written and well structured novel using the Civil War to parallel the development of the main character. I loved it.
Beverly Steenstra
Nov 03, 2009 Beverly Steenstra rated it really liked it
Impressive, but was let down by the ending.
Mar 25, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it
I was drawn into the book with the main character, Kat. I finished because I wanted to know everything turns out alright.
Oct 28, 2009 Stephanie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Free book from work
Sep 15, 2009 Kassie rated it it was ok
Very different!!! Took me a long time to get into this book....not in my taste!!!!
Nov 02, 2009 Sherri rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book much more than I expected. I'm not a big civil war buff, but the story of Kat and her mother were very well written and believable - I would recommend it.
Lisa of Hopewell
Feb 22, 2010 Lisa of Hopewell rated it really liked it
It's started out well.... I would have killed for a trip like that at about her age.
Susan Stans
Jan 23, 2016 Susan Stans rated it liked it
This book was hardly what I expected but was pleasantly surprised by the tenderness.
Lindsay Waddell
Apr 12, 2011 Lindsay Waddell rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club
Finally done. I knocked off a star because it just didn't hold my interest. I liked the parallel of war and the narrator's struggles, though....
Janet K
Janet K rated it really liked it
Oct 29, 2012
Karen Zacharias
Karen Zacharias rated it really liked it
Oct 02, 2011
Bettycindy rated it liked it
Sep 28, 2010
Tracy rated it it was ok
Feb 23, 2010
Susan rated it liked it
Jan 22, 2017
Mo rated it liked it
Oct 24, 2011
Ann rated it liked it
Nov 18, 2009
Pat Newman
Pat Newman rated it liked it
May 20, 2014
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