Empowering individuals to build a stronger community
Storm Coming by Jack W. Lewis is an ambitious historical novel that focuses on a less commonly known aspect of the Civil War: how West Virginia seceded from Virginia and formed a new state. Its main protagonist is AJ, a young farmer who joins the Union army, maneuvers through America’s rapidly changing social climate and fights for the heart of his childhood sweetheart. However, he is not the only protagonist. The perspective of the story shifts from character to character in segments within the actual chapters. AJ seems to receive the most attention, but the reader also witnesses the saga through the eyes of many other figures, varying from Robert E. Lee himself to AJ’s younger sister.
While Lewis has published many a nonfiction book in his day, this is his first novel, and the balance he strikes between fact and fiction is sometimes precarious. Ultimately, the book leans towards the former more than the latter. This is where casual readers and history buffs may find a source of disagreement in their perceptions. Those more deeply fascinated by the time period, however, may very well appreciate the grand scale and relish the many details of weaponry, equine care, etc.
Despite my mild hesitations, however, I have many praises for Storm Coming. Lewis’s heroes all have heart and are sympathetic even in their flaws. The writing covers complicated scenarios with clear, strong wording. The book also has plenty of additional facts included as an afterword for anyone new to the subject, giving the reader all the information they need to know to follow the more technical details. And although the subject matter is at times bleak, the darkness is undercut with a dry but hearty sense of humor that even a humble layman such as myself can appreciate. I would recommend it to anyone who is curious about the history of our area, or anyone who’s simply looking for a good yarn.
If you’re interested in reading Storm Coming, it’s now available at the Craig County Public Library along with the works from other accomplished local authors like Jack W. Lewis.
Library dates to remember:
July 21 Night Sky Program in conjunction with Roanoke Valley Astronomical Society, 8 p.m. Craig Valley Baptist Church picnic pavilion, just before Field of Dreams. Look for the sign on Route 615. Call the library at 864-8978 or look at our Facebook page for last minute weather cancellation if stormy or cloudy.
Ongoing: Books and Baseball- stop by the library and check out a book to enter for free Salem Red Sox baseball tickets.
Month of July: Friends membership drive- Join us in our mission to empower individuals to build a stronger community! For only $5 annually, you can support our work and be a library Friend. Email [email protected] for a membership form or come by and see us.
Board of trustees meeting September 11, 6 p.m. at the library
Want to get out of the house and meet people? The Craig library is seeking a desk volunteer for Wednesdays. Please inquire at the library!