Fiction - Historical - Event/Era

JOURNEY: The Story of an American Family: Volume 2

Category:Fiction - Historical - Event/Era

Author:Gary V. Brill

  • Publisher: Independently Published
  • Publication Date: June 2, 2022
  • Number of Pages: 344
  • ISBN-13: 979-8819633533

In this gripping sequel to Journey Book 1, the story starts in the tumultuous years prior to the Civil War, with free black James Woodman and his family as they struggle to keep control of their Pennsylvania farm and their freedom in the increasingly hostile environment. James’ dangerous double life as a conductor on the Underground Railroad has become known to ruthless men, and he has to flee for his life, joining runaway slaves in a frightening, danger-laden journey to freedom in Canada. Five years later, he is called home. The immediate danger has gone, but a far bigger one is coming up the pike—the Confederate Army is marching north and in June 1863 the Woodman farm is in its path.

Brill skillfully weaves the historical context throughout the narrative, bringing the Battle of Gettysburg right to their door, without ever losing sight of the human story at the heart of the book. One of the strengths of this book is the depth of characterization, as he details the struggles and triumphs of the family members and how they cope with not only normal farming challenges, but the difficulties of being free blacks in a predominantly white community.

Overall, Journey: The Story of an American Family, Volume 2 is a powerful and engrossing read that will leave readers eager to read more from this author. Brill’s writing is both clear and accessible, and he shows a keen understanding of the complexities of family dynamics and the impact of historical events on individual lives. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys well-crafted historical fiction; it is a page-turning tale that is hard to part with. 


Reviewed By: Robyn Pearce

Reviewed Date: March 19, 2023

Category: Fiction - Historical - Event/Era