Madison Co., Georgia, 1864—14-year old Georgie Wax has spent the three years since his father left for the war looking after the family farm. WIth his mother and young brothers, Georgie and his grandfather Lafayette "Fate" Eschenbach have brought in the crops every fall, slaughtered the hogs every winter, and kept the farm running as the faraway war stretches on longer and longer and his father seems ever farther and farther away.
But when the enemy reaches their own state, Georgie and his grandfather are called up to the militia to protect Georgia against the invaders. Drilled mercilessly, mocked for lack of experience, and put to work at manual labor, Georgie finds war isn't the adventure he imagined it to be. Only with Atlanta fallen and the enemy on the move will Georgie, Fate, and their fellow Georgia militiamen find a chance to prove themselves and save their homes from destruction—at a railside factory town called Griswoldville.
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING:
I am an avid reader of American history, particularly as it relates to my native Georgia. Although I often have been disappointed with historical fiction . . . I decided to give Griswoldville a try. The historical background is familiar to me, particularly since I lost a 55 year old great-great grandfather in that tragic battle. Jordan Poss relates this American tragedy in a compelling, insightful manner. He advances the narrative wonderfully through compelling, very realistic characters. His prose is poetic at times, but spare and real. I highly recommend this page turner!
—Wayne on Amazon.com
Griswoldville could fit in several categories. It’s a coming of age tale, a multi-generational drama, a war novel, and a work of historical fiction. . . . [T]his is a book you really should read. Poss has done his homework on the topics at hand. The dates and places follow along the historic record. He paints the picture of Georgia before and during the war, including an accurate portrayal of the striated social class system.
His descriptions drop you into a country church, along a dirt road, around the fire at story time. You get the sights, the sounds, the smells. You find yourself in Georgia in the mid-19th century. It’s hard to come across a narrative that is so historically accurate while maintaining that personality, that soul. Griswoldville has both.
—Sam Burnham, curator at All the Biscuits in Georgia
I love the Civil War era. As a native South Carolinian, I understand the southern perspective of life that is so often misconstrued in modern literature. This novel, however, captured so well the rural south that I grew up knowing, with all its joys and all its faults. I found this to be an extremely readable novel while also staying true to the time period with dialogue and vocabulary. It read like a memoir of someone who lived during the late 1800s. . . .
I was also drawn in by the relationship shared between Georgie and his grandfather. . . . The beauty of this relationship brought tears to my eyes! . . .
I enjoyed learning something new through this story about Civil War history—a story that has been little told through the years. I love how the author took a footnote from history and turned what has been deemed an insignificant “battle” into the most significant point of one man's story.
—Rob on Goodreads
It was difficult to set this book aside so that I could get a good night of rest . . . [T]he settings and characters of this novel are rich and engaging. Written from the viewpoint of Georgie Wax, whom we first meet as a 10-year-old on a Georgia farm, Griswoldville portrays his pride, joy and shame deeply, as he and his family are thrust into the defense of his state during the Civil War. I love the readability of this book, the beautiful word smithing . . . The characters are wonderful and I cared deeply about them. The realities of farm life and the rigors of army life, Georgie’s love of all things chivalrous, heroic and adventuresome combine to make Georgie a wholly believable militiaman, by the time he is thirteen. You will love him, his family and the nobility with which Jordan Poss imbues him. . . . Responsibility, family, boyish idealism, honest emotion, the profane and the sacred all come together in a highly readable book for lovers of good storytelling.
—HuntSouth on Amazon.com
However, I found this novel particularly readable. The best history is local history, and Poss brings his knowledge of rural Georgia and southern family dynamics to bear on this “discovered memoir.”
—Jay on Goodreads