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Whirligig: Keeping The Promise

(Shire's Union #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Shire leaves his home and his life in Victorian England for the sake of a childhood promise, a promise that pulls him into the bleeding heart of the American Civil War. Lost in the bloody battlefields of the West, he discovers a second home for his loyalty.

Clara believes she has escaped from a predictable future of obligation and privilege, but her new life in the Appala
Kindle Edition, 499 pages
Published April 18th 2017 by Ocoee Publishing
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Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hfvbt
Whirligig" is a great view into what life was like during American Civil War. Buxton very colorfully crafts details about this time period that made me feel like I knew what life was like in Tennessee during this time period. I personally, enjoyed that the main character was an Englishman! It gave a very different perspective to the time period. Clara- the love interest for Shire- is also an Englishwoman. Just like Shire, she struggles with the differences of her upbringing and that of life in A ...more
Mridula Gupta
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Whirligig, set during the American Civil War, isn’t exactly a war story. It is essentially about one man’s desire to keep his promise to his childhood friend, one that takes him to Tennesse as a part of a group of soldiers who are fighing in the war. Clara and Shire, our two friends are Englishmen, caught in the troubled Americal society, ravaged with war and slavery. Clara’s upbringing is constantly being challenged, her politeness and niceties lost in a land where there is a stark demarcation ...more
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Richard Buxton’s debut novel is accessible historical fiction at its very best. Whirligig is the first in a series (Shire’s Union) and is the story of a young Englishman thrown unwittingly into the American Civil War. We follow Shire from rural England to the heart of the American South on his quest to keep a promise to his childhood friend, Clara, and save her from making a disastrous marriage. She’s the daughter of a Duke, Shire is a village schoolteacher, yet they’re both stubborn, brave and ...more
Helen Hollick
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has received a Discovering Diamonds Review:

Helen Hollick
founder #DDRevs

'The author very obviously knows his subject well: the history blends seamlessly with the fiction and the detail is superb but never overpowering.'
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is absolutely superb. As a lover of history, my shelves are filled with books set in the Tudor Era, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece and so on. Books set in the Civil War are rather non-existent, however, so I was really looking forward to diving into the setting of Whirligig. (Also, the main character’s name is Shire. I would have read the book on that, alone. Shire…don’t you just want to meet him, now?)

First, I need to point out that this isn’t a “war” story. This is most definitely a st
Jenny Q
Jul 12, 2017 marked it as to-check-out  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog-tour
Author Q&A + Giveaway @ Let Them Read Books! ...more
Billy Buttons
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was entered in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. This is what our readers thought:
Title: Richard Buxton
Author: Whirligig

Star Rating: 5 Stars
Number of Readers: 23
Editing: 10/10
Writing Style: 10/10
Content: 10/10
Cover: 10/10
Of the 23 readers:
23 would read another book by this author.
22 thought the cover was good or excellent.
23 felt it was easy to follow.
23 would recommend this story to another reader to try.
12 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘plotting a story’.
9 felt the author’s
S.J. Higbee
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a story about two young people who didn’t fit the roles offered by their small village community in the heart of England. Clara leaves first, beguiled by the dashing young American who spends a summer visiting, ready to cross the ocean and start a new life as his bride. However, in the wake of a tragedy, Shire discovers a terrible secret that will embroil Clare in a scandal. So he sets off to cross the States and find her before it is too late – the complicating factor is that America is ...more
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shire and Clara are childhood friends in England. Clara is the Duke's daughter, and Shire is the son of a school teacher. Being of different classes, the Duke feels Shire is beneath their station in life. Clara marries Taylor, her cousin from Tennessee. Taylor takes her back to Tennessee, during the height of the Civil War. Taylor raises a regiment and becomes a colonel for the Confederate States Army.
While children, Clara and Shire make a promise to each other. In order to fulfill that promis
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first novel in the Shire's Union trilogy weaves together two story lines: one of a secret wedding in England and one of the ravages of the American Civil War. The fulcrum, Owen "Shire" Stanton, is a schoolteacher, lover of horses, and the keeper of a secret. which soon takes him from Ridgmont to the crowded and stinking ships at Liverpool, and finally to America.

The American war is in full fury, and it seems that the easiest way to get to his southern destination, Comrie, after docking in N
Rubery Book Award
Shortlisted for the Rubery Book Award for Fiction 2017

A sweeping saga set in both 19th century rural England and the American South and reminiscent of Gone With The Wind. The narrative is both fluid and engaging, although there is rather too much focus on the American Civil War and the politics surrounding it, which sometimes gets in the way of the story. Whirligig is the first in a series (Shire’s Union) and is the story of a young Englishman thrown unwittingly into the American Civil War. He i
Mary Yarde
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

"Bet you wish you'd stayed at home now, don't ya?"

This wasn't Owen "Shire" Stanton's war, but he had made a promise a long, long time ago, and if nothing else, he was a man of his word.

Taylor Spenser-Ridgmont was handsome and charming. It was a good match. So Clara had packed her bags and followed her betrothed home to Comrie, Tennessee. But it was only after she married him that Taylor's true nature became apparent and Clara realised what a terrible, terrible mistake she had made. But alas, th
Cynthia Neale
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Civil War saga that will gather you into the heartbeats and thoughts of one man so in love that he leaves England to engage himself in the bloody battlefields of a war not his own, but one raging within himself for one woman and justice. Shire has made a promise to Clara who has married a tormented rebel in Tennessee, a marriage that is a lie and dangerous. The novel is meticulously detailed and soon you'll be sitting around the campfires with Shire as he finds new courage and loyalty with his ...more
Anthony Davies
Feb 18, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not a swashbuckling tale of the American Civil War. It is essentially a love story. If you are for looking for the excitement and action of a Conn Igulden novel then this is not for you. The action, such as it is, is well written but there is not much of it. I think I was 50% through the book before any meaningful action appeared. However, once I reconciled myself to the type of book this was, I did enjoy it.

Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written and enjoyable read. There were some spots where the story slowed down for me, but a good read overall. The print version had very small font that made it tougher to see. I look forward to the next book in the series.
Norman D. Voiles
Get your facts straight. I haven't finished Whirligig. I'm still reading it. I finally got the murky plot figured out and the the Civil War action is well written.
Louetta Waters
Another miss. So disappointing. Quit halfway through. Is it the books or me??
Dawn Burke
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book, you feel like you are on the battlefield. Loved the characters I great read.
Book Whisperer
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Jun 30, 2020
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Sep 13, 2020
D.K. Janotta
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Dec 25, 2020
Joanne Smith
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Nov 08, 2020
rated it it was ok
Sep 10, 2020
carol varn
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Jul 18, 2019
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Jun 21, 2018
Carol J. Timmerman
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Jul 23, 2018
Susie Seeber
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Jul 29, 2020
Faye Cutler
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Aug 16, 2018
Dylan Sentance
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Jan 21, 2021
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Richard lives with his family in the South Downs, Sussex, England. He completed an MA in Creative Writing at Chichester University in 2014. He has an abiding relationship with America, having studied at Syracuse University, New York State, in the late eighties.

His short stories have won the Exeter Story Prize, the Bedford International Writing Competition and the Nivalis Short Story Award.


Other books in the series

Shire's Union (2 books)
  • The Copper Road: Beyond the Promise (Shire's Union, #2)

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Happy Women's History Month! One of the undisputedly good things about modern scholarship is that women’s history is finally getting its due....
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