Dennis McFarland



  • Title: Nostalgia
  • Author: Dennis McFarland
  • ISBN: 9780307908346
  • Page: 106
  • Format: Hardcover

Washington Post Best 50 Books of the Year This stunning Civil War novel from best selling author Dennis McFarland brings us the journey of a nineteen year old private, abandoned by his comrades in the Wilderness, who is struggling to regain his voice, his identity, and his place in a world utterly changed by what he has experienced on the battlefield In the winter of 1 Washington Post Best 50 Books of the Year This stunning Civil War novel from best selling author Dennis McFarland brings us the journey of a nineteen year old private, abandoned by his comrades in the Wilderness, who is struggling to regain his voice, his identity, and his place in a world utterly changed by what he has experienced on the battlefield In the winter of 1864, Summerfield Hayes, a pitcher for the famous Eckford Club, enlists in the Union army, leaving his sister, a schoolteacher, devastated and alone in their Brooklyn home The siblings, who have lost both their parents, are unusually attached, and Hayes fears his untoward secret feelings for his sister This rich backstory is intercut with scenes of his soul altering hours on the march and at the front the slaughter of barely grown young men who only days before whooped it up with him in a regimental ball game his temporary deafness and disorientation after a shell blast his fevered attempt to find safe haven after he has been deserted by his own comrades and, later, in a Washington military hospital, where he finds himself mute and unable even to write his name In this twilit realm, among the people he encounters including a compassionate drug addicted amputee, the ward matron who only appears to be his enemy, and the captain who is convinced that Hayes is faking his illness is a gray bearded eccentric who visits the ward daily and becomes Hayes s strongest advocate Walt Whitman This timeless story, whose outcome hinges on friendships forged in crisis, reminds us that the injuries of war are manifold, and the healing goodness in the human soul runs deep and strong.

Recent Comments "Nostalgia"

Dennis McFarland's new novel Nostalgia, is the product of an outstandingly empathetic mind. This is a writer who truly knows us, especially the unanswered questions that manipulate our lives. As a work of historical fiction, this stands in a very select company. It succeeds as a brilliant re-telling of the typical Union conscript's soul-numbing experiences during one of the most destructive, protracted battles of the Civil War. It stands as a compelling study of the oddly dis-connected times whe [...]

Nostalgia is either the third or fourth book by McFarland that I've read. I liked the others but I loved Nostalgia. It's an introspective Civil War novel told from 19 year old Summerfield Hayes's perspective. It truly gives voice to the phenomenon known as soldier's heart or battle fatigue or PTSD. To the extent that anyone can be emotionally adept at navigating war Summerfield is completely without resources. He's a quiet boy/man who loves to read and play base ball. He and his beloved sister h [...]

I gave this book 3 stars because I was torn between 3 and 4. I think 3 1/2 would be accurate. I thought the book started slowly and was hard to get into, but since I won the book I wanted to finish. After forcing myself through the first chapter (71 pages), the book was definitely more interesting and I flew through the it at a fairly fast pace. I wouldn't say it's a "page turner" but since it skips around it was easy to keep reading so I could find out what was happening. Overall, I would say i [...]

I received Nostalgia in a first-reads giveaway. The book caught my interest because of the Civil War setting and I was excited to start reading. This story was unlike any I've read before, being on the battlefield, and later in the hospital with Summerfield opened my eyes to the horrific struggles of the men and women during this time. Unlike most books I've read about the Civil War discussing generals and troops, Nostalgia put me there with one soldier and his experiences times I was as confus [...]

I received Nostalgia in a first-reads giveaway. It started out slow in the beginning. Once I got into the meat of the story I couldn't put it down. I fell in love with Summerfield Hayes! I love books that have great character development and vivid descriptions. This book painted a picture that completely enveloped me and had me in the moment. I would definitely recommend this book!

Dennis McFarland's "Nostalgia" is a deeply textured historical novel of the Civil War, a portrayal of America, and a coming of age story. The portions of the book that describe combat are set in the horrific Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864. Ulysses Grant had assumed his role of commander of all the Union Armies and had assumed immediate command of the Army of the Potomac. The Battle of the Wilderness began Grant's Overland Campaign which, with terrible slaughter, led the following year to A [...]

In 1864, nineteen-year-old Union Army private, orphan at sixteen and star New York City baseball pitcher Summerfield Hayes finds himself wounded by an artillery concussion and abandoned on the battlefield by his comrades. His first four days of battle, in Grant’s bloody Wilderness campaign, are more horrific than he could have imagined, but he acquits himself well. After wandering through an after-battle purgatory, Hayes finds himself in a Washington military hospital--stripped of his identity [...]

If I could give this novel ten stars I would. I'm a huge fan of Dennis Mcfarland. One of the rare writers out there who writes with heart, brain, soul, and with such understated not show-offy style. I was drawn in reluctantly. The topic, the Civil War, with a sprinkling of baseball thrown in, didn't grab me immediately. So I figured, I'll read it for the exquisite writing I was sure to find. The sentences were so true I took out my pen and kept underlining. But then I threw away my pen because t [...]

War novels are often grizzly, sometimes overly sentimental and often one dimensional. Not this novel. It is a perfect balance of engaging story, character development, caring and a head-on confrontation with the horrors of war both during and after the event. Summerfield Hays goes off to fight for the Union in the American Civil War at the age of 19. Although the fighting for him is short the intensity and impact are devastating. What was then called nostalgia and is now called PTSD is described [...]

There's nothing as comforting as spending a half-week with your people, then extending the conversation.

NostalgiaDennis McFarlandSummerfield Hayes is a star baseball pitcher and hitter. He lives with his older sister Sarah; their parents died recently. Perhaps caught up in civil war patriotism, Summerfield enlists, to the dismay of Sarah. Will she be left without any family? After much marching, poor food, and confusion, Summerfield and his company finally join the battle. It is chaos, filled with noise, smoke, explosions, death, and disfigurement. His senses are overloaded. He is caught in no-man [...]

Great book. I love that it was based on a real battle. Wonderfully written.

Top-notch writing, though-provoking prose. A brutal look at the casualties of war and the survivors who are never the same. Family, friendship, baseball. Worth the time.

This review first appeared in WroteTrips Novels about baseball aren’t new. Novels about the Civil War aren’t new. But in Nostalgia, Dennis McFarland blends the two themes and creates a unique coming of age story. Injured, lost and left-behind, 19-year old Summerfield Hayes stumbles through deadly terrain in the aftermath of the bloody war of attrition at the Battle of the Wilderness. The dense underbrush of Spotsylvania County, VA, proved difficult for both the North and South to navigate, a [...]

Nostalgia by Dennis McFarland offers an engrossing read about a gripping time in American history. Using the backdrop of the Civil War, the author is able to craft a coming-of-age tale that examines Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the invisible wounds that can haunt a person. The Battle of the Wilderness was fought over three days in May 1864 in the woods of Virginia, and was the first clash between the armies of Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee. Because each side received such heavy losse [...]

DNF.Today was apparently a day for some DNF audiobooks. I honestly didn't get very far in this one at all, but it was just so dry. Being up all night and working doesn't really allow for anything to be dry.Worth a shot, but just a book that wasn't for me.

In early 1864 nineteen year old Summerfield Hayes decides to leave behind Brooklyn, his older sister, and baseball – sort of – by enlisting in the Union Army. This “choice” just in time for Grant’s Overland Campaign in Virginia and specifically the opening salvo, The Battle of the Wilderness. It’s not exactly clear why the young Mr. Hayes makes this drastic decision – patriotism, a need to distance himself from his sister, adventure – yet he does. Nor in fact is much else apparen [...]

There have been many accounts written of the American Civil War. Virtually every aspect of this monumental struggle has been explored. Dennis McFarland, in his novel “Nostalgia,” probes the mental wreckage into which a young Union soldier descends and his struggle to escape memories, visions, and physical infirmities that threaten to destroy him.Nineteen-year-old Summerfield Hayes enlists in the Union army and leaves his sister and numerous baseball teammates perplexed, wondering how life ca [...]

Update following the completion of chapter 3 (because I need to talk about it with somebody but nobody I know has read it): This book is good in a strange way; I can't tell if I like it or am just fascinated by it. The overall writing style is mostly unfamiliar, slightly frustrating, but not extremely displeasing. Is the way the flashbacks are interwoven into the story, which is noncontinuous, the derivative of the novel's title? Disturbing but not repulsive enough to quit reading; outwardly rea [...]

This novel switches around between a few separate (though adjacent) time periods: Summerfield’s life at home right before he enlists in the army, his time spent as a private before and during his first battle, and the events that occur after he is abandoned on the battlefield and ends up in a military hospital. I’ve never encountered this type of narrative arrangement before, but I loved it. McFarland’s transitions between the time periods are smooth and keep the story moving along briskly [...]

Beautiful writing highlights this tale about a young man who signs up to join the Civil War. I can't remember the last time I read such a beautifully written book as Nostalgia-it's been a little while. Dennis McFarland recreates the war with beauty, blood and guts, bravery and a fairly simple man named Summerfield Hayes. Summerfield is a baseball player in Brooklyn. Summerfield leaves his only living relative, his sister who is adamantly opposed to his departure, in Brooklyn and sets off into ba [...]

This stunning Civil War novel from best-selling author Dennis McFarland brings us the journey of a nineteen-year-old private, abandoned by his comrades in the Wilderness, who is struggling to regain his voice, his identity, and his place in a world utterly changed by what he has experienced on the battlefield.In the winter of 1864, Summerfield Hayes, a pitcher for the famous Eckford Club, enlists in the Union army, leaving his sister, a schoolteacher, devastated and alone in their Brooklyn home. [...]

McFarland's Nostalgia is a thoughtful imagining of war trauma during the Civil War. The plot follows Summerfield Hayes, a young baseball player dealing with the loss of his parents and inappropriate thoughts about his sister, as he survives the battle of the Wilderness and recovers in a Washington, DC hospital with the help of Walt Whitman. It's appropriate that Summerfield finds himself in the Battle of the Wilderness as he is, of course, dealing with his own, internal wilderness. McFarland ill [...]

“ ‘but can I put it? The whiskers, my boy. They’reconclusive’” (119).“ in the world mattered, nothing in life possessed any value, and all human endeavor was as foul and menacing as the scavenging of wild pigs in the street” (136).“But now he longed to find his own comrades, his own officers, and rest in the self-abandonment that came with following orders” (137).“What had seemed to him so convincingly the heart of the war was but a single lesion on the leprous body of a gian [...]

Every once in a while, I read a book, finish it, and have no idea what to say about it.Nostalgia is one of those books. I didn’t love it, but it’s well written and one of those rare books that has to be read to the last page to fully understand and appreciate it. Nineteen-year-old Summerfield Hayes is a standout baseball player in Brooklyn when he decides to enlist in the Union Army in 1864. He’s wounded during his first battle, resulting in a condition known at the time as Nostalgia (what [...]

If I were able, I'd probably give this book 4 1/2 stars. It's a very deep, profound story of a young man, Summerfield Hayes, who enlisted in the Civil War, and experienced the absolute horror of a battle that lasted three days. Injured, he was left for dead, and somehow managed to make his way to an Army hospital.(view spoiler)[His injuries are more psychological than physical, and he is rendered mute by his experience on the battlefield. This is described by one of the doctors as a case of "nos [...]

It's a wonderfully written story about a nineteen year old soldier in the Union Army in the Battle of the Wilderness, and of his life before and after the horrors of that experience. Summerfield Hayes is a Brooklyn boy, a baseball player who is making a name for himself when he enlists in the Union Army. He and his twenty one year old sister were orphaned two years earlier and they have become uncomfortably close when he decides to enlist. The scenes of camp life and battle are unforgettable. Th [...]

NostalgiaDennis McFarlandHardcover: 336 pagesPublisher: Pantheon; 1st Edition, 1st Printing edition (October 1, 2013)I received a complimentary First Reads ARC of this novel; I did not receive compensation for this review.Injured, lost and deserted, 19- year old Summerfield Hayes finds himself wandering through deadly terrain in the aftermath of the Civil War’s bloody war of attrition at the Battle of Wilderness. Dennis McFarland’s evocative, empathetic and lyrical prose skillfully depicts t [...]

Random thoughts: I liked many of the meditative aspect of this book. The power of Summerfield's experiences in battle were overwhelming -- his observantly confused interior dialogue was in sharp contrast to the fury and chaos of the actual fighting. I loved how the baseball elements constantly reminded me that these were boys -- not men, boys. Billy Swift's suggestion that the north and south play a baseball game instead of fight a war sweetly captured that youthful innocence in the middle of ho [...]

If you had told me (like I told many others), "Hey, you should read this book about baseball and The Civil War," I would have looked at you incredulously. But then I would have thought about for a split second and with a quick search to confirm, slapped myself upside the head and said, "Of course there was baseball back then, it's America's past time for godsakes."So that's how this book began for me and it was only the initial layer to peel off here. This book does an incredible job of showing [...]

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    Posted by:Dennis McFarland
    Published :2019-01-27T14:20:01+00:00