03/10/2007

A Thousand Shall Fall (by Bodie Thoene)

This book in the Shiloh Legacy trilogy is the first sequel to 'In my Father's House'. Bodie Thoene is a powerful writer, all the more so, perhaps, because her husband Brock is a historian who helps with her research.

'A Thousand shall Fall' mainly features Max, who is now a well-known financial journalist in the days leading up to the Wall Street crash of 1929. It also features his nine-year-old son David, whom he has never met. Indeed, he doesn't even know that David exists at the start of this book.

The other main characters in this book are Birch, Max's friend from the First World War, and Birch's wife Trudie who is Max's cousin. They have three small sons, and have decided to return to Birch's family home after the death of his alcoholic father.

There's lots of excitement in this book, which is less violent than the first in the series, and could easily be read on its own. It's a great picture of life in the USA in the late 1920s - at least, I assume so, given the historical credentials of the author's husband. It certainly helped me to understand what the Wall Street crash meant for ordinary people in America, and how far-reaching its effects were.

As well as the main plot-lines, there are horrors of high-up financial crooks, connected with illegal bootleggers in the days of prohibition. There's also still some racism in the South of the country, where few white people, even then, treated black people as human beings.

There's an over-riding theme of the need to trust in God no matter what one's circumstances, and also of knowing which people to trust.

Well-written, exciting and believable, if a bit too finance-orientated for my tastes in places.

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