Wednesday, January 28, 2009

On My Nightstand - William Henry is a Fine Name by Cathy Gohlke

This story follows the transition of a 13-year-old boy, Robert Glover, from the innocence of childhood to the real-world issues of adolescence.

He notices the late-night disappearances of his father, and the strains in his parents' relationship. Others around him, including his best friend, William Henry, seem to be keepers of some mysterious secret. After someone declares his buddy is not human because he's black, Robert must decide what he thinks about slavery.

His mother and father have opposite viewpoints. Must he take sides? The cost of opposing slavery in the pre-Civil War South is high and extremely dangerous. His decision demands not only a change of heart, but also a call to action.

Cathy Gohlke does a remarkable job bringing this era to life. We see flesh and blood people struggling with life-altering decisions. The author reaches into the reader's heart and connects the dots with a bygone era.

Adults and young adults alike will find this story captivating, educational, and soul-stirring. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel, "I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires."

16 comments:

Jessica said...

I think I would like this book a lot.

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Susan,

Thanks for adding my blog on your blog roll. I've also added you to my blog roll.

Many blessings,

Rita Gerlach said...

I have a copy of 'I've Seen Him in the Watchfires' and look forward to reading it. It's on my stack of must reads and hopefully I will get to it soon. I've read a portion of it, and Cathy's writing is exceptional. She is also a fellow Maryland author.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rita -

I still have to pick up Watchfires.

Some folks might think, "Ugh, history," but Cathy brought it down to a personal level. She captured the inner turmoil of Robert, as well as the courage of those who ran the Underground Railroad.

Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jennifer -

Thank you!

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jessica -

Cathy's a stellar writer. I found myself thinking about her character's predicament throughout the day. I had to remind myself that although the book talked about a real time in history, the character was fictional.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Sarah said...

This book sounds good. The title is interesting to me because Chris and I are already discussing what we'll name our first born if it is a boy (and no, I'm not pregnant yet). I love the names William and Henry and about two years ago I suggested William Henry as a good name for a boy. Chris, of course, shot it down.

Sorry for adding that meaningless tidbit, but I laughed when I read the title of the book "on your nightstand."

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sarah -

Don't apologize. I loved your story.

My Dad's name was William, so I'm rather partial to it. The name William Henry has great significance in the book, but you'll have to read it to find out why. :)

Blessings,
Susan :)

Terri Tiffany said...

You write great book reviews!

Cathy said...

Thank you for your wonderful review, Susan, and for the encouraging comments from your readers.

I'm looking forward to connecting with more Maryland authors, too, Rita!

It is funny that you mentioned the importance of William Henry's name, Susan. From the moment I wrote the first scene I knew the names of the two boys at the fishing hole--and that was long before I realized the significance of William Henry's name. But it all came together as though it really happened--something very exciting for me as a writer!

I know you'll find the perfect name for your future baby, Sarah. When the time comes, it, too, will seem like the logical choice and most perfect name!

Blessings on your day everyone!

Cathy Gohlke

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Cathy -

Thank you for writing such an awesome book! I hope a lot of people will read it and spread the word.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

Thanks for the compliment. When authors write such powerful books, it makes reviewing a pleasure. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Jessica said...

When I was a kid I was very much obsessed with the underground railroad, Harriet Tubman and later, MLK Jr. I LOVE the people who acted so courageously during this evil time.
I'm going to be on the lookout for this book.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jessica -

Unless I'm mistaken, I haven't seen a whole lot of Christian writing about this time period. Of course, there's information out there about William Wilberforce, who was instrumental in pulling England out of the slave trade.

One thing I find interesting is the fact that people of faith had a huge part in bringing down the evils of slavery in the U.S. and England.

Hope you enjoy the book.

Blessings,
Susan :)

quietspirit said...

You keep telling us about these books and now I havet to get to the library and see what they have. Yes, I have to get there soon.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Quiet Spirit -

If they don't have the books, maybe you can suggest they get them. :)

Blessings,
Susan