Saturday, April 25, 2015

Revolutionary by Alex Myers

by Alex Myers
5 stars - almost late for work finishing up, just couldn't stop reading
ALR Blue - some calvary horses in battle, but nothing graphic

Revolutionary is a fictional account of the time historical figure, Deborah Sampson, spent as a soldier in the Revolutionary Army of the United States. 

If you want some background on Deborah Sampson, check out this link.

In her early twenties, Ms. Sampson is looking at a rather grim life. She comes from a poor family and has served as an indentured servant and is now a weaver of cloth. But the world frowns on a woman making her way on her own and she is viewed as a rather unsavory character and her circumstances invite ill treatment, from men and women alike.

She longs to be free and so she borrows male clothing and, under the name Robert Shurtlieff, signs up to serve in the Revolutionary army. She's able to carry out the deception and does her duty with diligence and bravery.

Alex Myers is a gifted author. He combines just the right blend of adventure, history, and observations on the lines we draw between men and women to keep this reader hooked throughout. His characters are rich and conflicted about the war, their lives, their loves.

While much has changed regarding the freedom of men and women to express their true natures, we continue, even in this country, to slot people into "appropriate" roles. Every time I go shopping to pick out toys or clothing for my two grandsons, I despair over the sorting, from infancy on, of items into "for boys" and "for girls." Nowhere is this more apparent than in the clothing department where the girls' department is overrun with pink and lace and the boys' choices are limited to drab colors and conservative cuts. 

And we still struggle with behavior issues. In the workplace, authoritative women are often viewed as "bitchy" and empathetic men as unable to lead. 

And now, a confession. When I was a child, I yearned to be a boy. Not because I wanted a penis or to date girls, but because, growing up in the sixties and seventies, it was clear that my nature would be more acceptable if I were male. Not just that, but I saw the opportunities granted to boys that were withheld from girls. It wasn't until I was in sixth grade that girls were even allowed to wear trousers to school. Prior to that, skirts and dresses were mandatory in public school and any deviants would be sent home to change. Ugh. 

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Mr. Myers has another novel in the works. It would jump to the top of my reading queue in a flash. 

1 comment:

  1. I've heard of Deborah Sampson. How great that someone wrote a book about her. What with TURN on TV and at least 2 books about Woodhull and co., the American Revolution seems to be a popular topic these days.

    I think I'm maybe a couple of years younger than you, because I don't remember a time when girls couldn't wear trousers to school. I decided I'd do everything the boys could do, but while wearing a dress. No doubt I'm considered as harsh as most men, but I never cared. And since my dearly beloved thinks I'm close enough to perfect, I guess it worked out.

    I love Dexter's new picture in your header, by the way.