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Storm Coming: A Novel of the Civil War in Western Virginia (Children of the Storm #1)

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Based on a true story, this first of a trilogy of Civil War novels chronicles the fateful events of 1861 in western Virginia, as a young man learns to cope with his world turned upside down by war. It is April of 1861. The shocking events at Fort Sumter are having devastating effects on Alexander Swaney, living on his family farm in Pennsylvania just a few miles north of th Based on a true story, this first of a trilogy of Civil War novels chronicles the fateful events of 1861 in western Virginia, as a young man learns to cope with his world turned upside down by war. It is April of 1861. The shocking events at Fort Sumter are having devastating effects on Alexander Swaney, living on his family farm in Pennsylvania just a few miles north of the border with western Virginia. He watches as Virginia fights its own civil war, as the disaffected western counties, long neglected by Richmond, attempt to secede from the rest of the state. Their political struggle produces the first land conflicts of the larger War of the Rebellion, involving the future military giants George McClellan, Stonewall Jackson, and Robert E. Lee fighting in the rugged mountains of western Virginia, soon to be a new state. As events sweep Alexander along in their path, he struggles to maintain some control over his destiny. Should he volunteer to join the Union army and fight to preserve the and he loves, but leave behind the girl he hopes to marry, as well as his family, at the mercy of marauders and bushwhackers? Adding to Alexander’s confusion is the fact that Sophia isn’t sure she’s ready to marry him, and a rival for her affections is on the scene in the form of his cousin Tip, a rake who has had his eye on Sophia. Fortunately, Alexander has a close friend in Harry Hagans, a young pastor who also feels the call to arms from his desire to bring an end to slavery. As the storms of war bear down on them, Harry and Alexander share a convoluted journey, ultimately arriving at their military home, the 1st Regiment of Loyal Virginia Volunteer Cavalry, later to become the 1st West Virginia Volunteer Cavalry. Along the way, their friendship is threatened when Harry reveals a dark secret that shakes Alexander’s trust. A detailed glimpse into a portion of Civil War history largely unknown, Storm Coming is a luminous story of a young man’s coming of age and the birth of a new state out of the storms of war.


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Based on a true story, this first of a trilogy of Civil War novels chronicles the fateful events of 1861 in western Virginia, as a young man learns to cope with his world turned upside down by war. It is April of 1861. The shocking events at Fort Sumter are having devastating effects on Alexander Swaney, living on his family farm in Pennsylvania just a few miles north of th Based on a true story, this first of a trilogy of Civil War novels chronicles the fateful events of 1861 in western Virginia, as a young man learns to cope with his world turned upside down by war. It is April of 1861. The shocking events at Fort Sumter are having devastating effects on Alexander Swaney, living on his family farm in Pennsylvania just a few miles north of the border with western Virginia. He watches as Virginia fights its own civil war, as the disaffected western counties, long neglected by Richmond, attempt to secede from the rest of the state. Their political struggle produces the first land conflicts of the larger War of the Rebellion, involving the future military giants George McClellan, Stonewall Jackson, and Robert E. Lee fighting in the rugged mountains of western Virginia, soon to be a new state. As events sweep Alexander along in their path, he struggles to maintain some control over his destiny. Should he volunteer to join the Union army and fight to preserve the and he loves, but leave behind the girl he hopes to marry, as well as his family, at the mercy of marauders and bushwhackers? Adding to Alexander’s confusion is the fact that Sophia isn’t sure she’s ready to marry him, and a rival for her affections is on the scene in the form of his cousin Tip, a rake who has had his eye on Sophia. Fortunately, Alexander has a close friend in Harry Hagans, a young pastor who also feels the call to arms from his desire to bring an end to slavery. As the storms of war bear down on them, Harry and Alexander share a convoluted journey, ultimately arriving at their military home, the 1st Regiment of Loyal Virginia Volunteer Cavalry, later to become the 1st West Virginia Volunteer Cavalry. Along the way, their friendship is threatened when Harry reveals a dark secret that shakes Alexander’s trust. A detailed glimpse into a portion of Civil War history largely unknown, Storm Coming is a luminous story of a young man’s coming of age and the birth of a new state out of the storms of war.

39 review for Storm Coming: A Novel of the Civil War in Western Virginia (Children of the Storm #1)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jack Lewis

    Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite I have always known that there is a state named Virginia, and a state named West Virginia. But in all my reading of American history, even Civil War history, I had never found out when this happened or even why it happened. Now I know. Storm Coming by Jack W. Lewis and Carol S. Lewis is a novel of the Civil War in western Virginia. I never realized how much of that story took place before Fort Sumter. Some of my favorite general officers from that war Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite I have always known that there is a state named Virginia, and a state named West Virginia. But in all my reading of American history, even Civil War history, I had never found out when this happened or even why it happened. Now I know. Storm Coming by Jack W. Lewis and Carol S. Lewis is a novel of the Civil War in western Virginia. I never realized how much of that story took place before Fort Sumter. Some of my favorite general officers from that war are featured here, including Stonewall Jackson. The history is told from the angle of big events and smaller, more personal happenings. I think this is what makes Storm Coming such a great book. The looming Civil War is always on everyone’s mind in this well written novel, but authors Jack and Carol Lewis are also good at telling the story of everyday life too. Wars come and go, but boys fall in love with girls and want to marry them, whether there is a war coming or not. Alexander Swaney is no exception. I like this character. I believe he is typical of the honest young men of his time. All the characters are done well in Storm Coming, and the plot is taken right out of a real situation in history. Perhaps this is why Storm Coming is such a great read. It is based on true events and real people. That adds a certain power to the story. If you are a Civil War buff, you definitely don’t want to miss this one.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Storm Calling by Jack W. Lewis is the first book in a Civil War trilogy based on the true story of Private Alexander J. Swaney. In 1861, AJ leaves on a farm with his family, trying to gain the courage to tell the girl next door that he loves her. When his shady cousin and rival, Tip arrives for a visit, he's devastated to see that Sophia may prefer his company. Talk of war sends AJ away from home to join the fight in Virginia where he must rely on a young pastor, Harry Hagans, new friend Oliver, Storm Calling by Jack W. Lewis is the first book in a Civil War trilogy based on the true story of Private Alexander J. Swaney. In 1861, AJ leaves on a farm with his family, trying to gain the courage to tell the girl next door that he loves her. When his shady cousin and rival, Tip arrives for a visit, he's devastated to see that Sophia may prefer his company. Talk of war sends AJ away from home to join the fight in Virginia where he must rely on a young pastor, Harry Hagans, new friend Oliver, and his horse Shiloh. Torn between home and duty, AJ learns some dark secrets as he trains for the approaching war. Jack W. Lewis immerses you into the past, following AJ's life as a private and his family life. Despite being in the 1800s, AJ is easy to connect with, well-rounded, and grounded. It balanced out his character to see him as both a soldier and a son/brother. There is a little bit of a love story as AJ pins after Sophia who lives next door, but it's more in the background. Of the relationships in AJ's life, two stood out most: Oliver, and Shiloh, the horse. Oliver fills a surrogate little brother role to AJ, described as being very young, innocent, and even adopts a stray kitten. The connection AJ has with Shiloh is so sweet and its a constant friendship that he has from home to Virginia. Storm Calling is emotional and in depth, reliving and honoring Alexander Swaney's life in a story of loss, friendship, family, belief, and courage. This is perfect for those who love historical novels!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Betty Adams

    Very readable story based on a real life cavalryman's training. The epilogue gives the straight history of West Virginia's formation. As I travel so often through the WVa. panhandle it was of great interest.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Blan D. Williams

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tom Peters

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chris Kmicinski

  7. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Montgomery

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bryce Spencer

  9. 4 out of 5

    Franklin Bishop

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carol S.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Perez

  12. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  13. 4 out of 5

    Melly Mel

  14. 5 out of 5

    Micielle

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joann

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kim Myers

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Buxton

  19. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jenn Fike

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marcia

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tammy Hornbeck

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stacia Chappell

  25. 5 out of 5

    Wanda C

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Pick

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kendra Epperson

  28. 5 out of 5

    Erika Messer

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

  30. 4 out of 5

    Stuart Kalman

  31. 5 out of 5

    Angie

  32. 5 out of 5

    Pam Mooney

  33. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

  34. 5 out of 5

    Charissa Rate

  35. 4 out of 5

    Gordon Bingham

  36. 5 out of 5

    Vicki Boyd

  37. 4 out of 5

    Joy Adams

  38. 5 out of 5

    Garret A

  39. 5 out of 5

    Sandy Pipp

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