A historical topic like the Civil War has a tendency to become a larger than life topic. Don't get me wrong, it is definitely a topic deserving of so much attention, however I've always seen it as a whole...one war that changed the course of a nation. I've never taken the time to break it down and notice how the Civil War changed the course of individual lives, and therefore the lives of their family for generations to come.
That's where The Killer Angels focused my attention...at the individuals who fought. Switching between individual viewpoints from chapter to chapter, the reader gains insight to both sides of the war. It is historical fiction, so the thoughts, words, and actions written are not absolute truth. These men were actual soldiers in the Civil War though, so the research exists to support the filling. This look at individuals threw me off at first. I was expecting battles, death, and victory for the Union - the bigger than life side; but, the first battle we view doesn't take place until the second half of the book. The entire book until then, and even during the battle, provides introspection. Each man's emotions and thoughts on family, war, humanity, life, etc. comes through. Sometimes it's through memories and other times through interactions with those around them, but with every chapter a new puzzle piece falls in place to create an overall picture of each man in turn.
I would say it was slow moving at first, but I can see already that a second read will tie more of it together for me. Overall, not something I would've read on my own, but a good book for an honors level class to study: challenging and made better with discussion.
Have you ever read historical fiction that didn't read as easily as you expected?