Siege: How General Washington Kicked the British Out of Boston and Launched a Revolution by Roxane Orgill, March 6, 2018. 240 pages. Published by Candlewick Press. Source: ARC from publisher.
Step back to British-held Boston and hear the voices of citizens, militiamen, and redcoats at a turning of the tide in the American Revolution, brought to life in Roxane Orgill's deft verse.
It is the summer of 1775. The British occupy Boston and its busy harbor, holding residents captive and keeping a strong military foothold. The threat of smallpox looms, and the town is cut off, even from food supplies. Following the battles of Lexington and Concord, Congress unanimously elects George Washington commander in chief of the American armed forces, and he is sent to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to transform the ragtag collection of volunteer militiamen into America's first army. So far the war is nothing more than a series of intermittent skirmishes, but Washington is in constant fear of attack — until he takes the offensive with results that surprise everyone, the British most of all. Roxane Orgill uses verse to zoom in on the siege of Boston that launched the war to defeat the British, giving voice to privates and generals, their wives and city residents. to tell a story that is usually overlooked in Revolutionary War history. Back matter includes source notes, a glossary, and a bibliography.
The situation is this:
Seven hundred British regulars
Marched to Concord in April
Looking to steal weapons
Got a nasty surprise from some colonials
Who trailed them back to Boston.
I usually tend to shy away from novels told in verse; they typically don't work for me. But I decided to give Siege a chance because, well, history!!
- If I don't really enjoy verse novels, why did I say "yes" to featuring Siege on my blog? Well, that would be because I really like books that delve into history. Though my interest lies more in Medieval rather than American history. Nonetheless, this proved to be an entertaining book to read over lunch one day last week.
- One of the things this book does well is capturing the feeling that those fighting felt. Like sections that were letters to loved ones back home, to life at camp and the discipline that is involved to maintain order. I kind of liked the emphasis of the book was more focused on the small aspects of the characters and their respective stories, than that of the war; it made for interesting reading.
- With the fact that I read the entire book in a half hour, I'm still not entirely sure I loved it. Overall, I liked how it was laid out and the way the different sections blended together...but in the end, I'm really not all that into books told in verse. One of those like it don't like it kind of things, you know. Though it was still entertaining and fairly enjoyable.
An advanced copy of this book was received for review consideration. All thoughts are my own.