Item description for I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires (Civil War Series #2) by Cathy Gohlke...
Overview Seventeen-year-old Robert Glover finds himself in danger, and charged as a spy, as he heads south to help his estranged mother during the Civil War.
Publishers Description The bonds linking family and the lines separating enemies have become very blurry for 17-year-old Robert. With his father away fighting for the Union, Robert must decide to act alone in order to help his ailing mother, extricate his injured Confederate Uncle, and bring relief to his cousin, Emily. When he unwittingly gets entangled in a Confederate escape plot, Robert must forge his anger and shame into a new determination to save his family. And, perhaps, he must also realize that the saving might not be entirely up to him. Honor and duty to God and country aren't as clear-cut as he hoped them to be.
Awards and Recognitions I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires (Civil War Series #2) by Cathy Gohlke has received the following awards and recognitions -
Carol Award - 2009 Winner - Historical category
Christy Awards - 2009 Winner - Young Adult category
Citations And Professional Reviews I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires (Civil War Series #2) by Cathy Gohlke has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
CBA Retailers - 07/01/2008 page 64
Library Journal - 09/01/2008 page 108
LJ Best Books of Year - 12/15/2008 page 67
LJ Best Books of Year - 12/01/2008 page 67
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Born on a farm in the North Carolina Piedmont, CATHY GOHLKE was third in a family of four children. Cathy s first novel, "William Henry is a Fine Name," was awarded the 2007 Christy Award for Best Young Adult novel, was a finalist for the 2007 Christy Award for Best First Novel, and was awarded second place for the American Christian Fiction Writers 2007 Book of the Year Long Historical. Her second novel, " I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires," was released in September 2008 and was chosen by "Library Journal" as one of the best Christian fiction books of 2008. Cathy and her husband, Dan, live in Elkton, Maryland and have two grown children."
Reviews - What do customers think about I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires (Civil War Series #2)?
I Have Seen Him In The WatchFires...FANTASTIC!!! Mar 31, 2010
"I Have Seen Him In The Watchfires" is the sequel to "William Henry Is A Fine Name" and is just as brilliantly written. This time, instead of traveling north, Robert is traveling south in order to rescue his mother. He is also 5 years older and still an unlisted union soldier.
Robert receives a letter from his cousin Emily begging him to visit her father who was captured during the battle of Gettysburg and is now incarcerated at the Fort Delaware prison on Pea Patch Island. While there he unwittingly becomes involved in a prison escape and is himself captured and treated poorly. Emily's father, the very man he rode all that way to see, tricked and used him in the escape plan. An elderly couple, who had early assisted Robert, recognize him amongst the prisoners and garners his freedom and sends him on his way again in search of his mother.
Robert is thought to be a Confederate spy on the run and is risking his life at every turn. He is angry with himself for not joining the Union and fighting against slavery when he turned eighteen like he had promised his father, Charles. But Robert soon learns that God's plan and his are not always the same. Slavery is a terrible thing and comes in many different forms and finally has to learn to be a slave to Jesus Christ before he himself will ever be free. Robert learns "I know the plans I have for you"," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." He realizes he needs hope and a future and "...to trust someone." That someone is God.
Not only does Robert realize that his beloved country is divided, but so is his own family and he realizes that the rescue just might not be up to him but up to God.
This was a touching, exciting, thought-provoking read and one I would highly recommend to anyone. I'm actually quite sad to see the story end and would have liked a third book to make this a trilogy! Excellent writing, excellent story-line...thank you Mrs. Gohlke!
A Country Divided Sep 23, 2009
Cathy Gohlke's debut novel, William Henry is a Fine Name, was an excellent story that resonated with me long after I finished reading. When I got the chance to read the sequel, I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires, I couldn't wait to continue young Robert's journey. I was not disappointed.
I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires is an honest, thought-provoking look at both sides of the Civil War. Gohlke does everything right in telling Robert's story. The research alone that went into producing a story with such authenticity and honesty is award worthy. The author's multi-layered characters brought history alive in a way that will leave readers hungry for more on the subject. Stakes are raised throughout the story until it seems Robert will never reach the end of his journey.
My only complaint about the book was that it had been a long time since I read the first book in the series, and I was occasionally lost or confused by the introduction of characters who I probably should've remembered. Regardless, my poor memory did not hamper my enjoyment of this book. Excellently written and executed. I highly recommend it to any reader, teen and above.
Powerful view of Civil War South May 26, 2009
This sequel to William Henry is a fine Name is equally well written. Robert is five years older and makes a new friend who is a Confederate soldier. The author seems to make a point of keeping him a non-combatant, sympathizing with the abolition of slavery, but never actually enlisting in the Union army. I think I would have been more comfortable with this if she had made him a Quaker who struggles with pacifism in the face of injustice on both sides. As it is, she seems to be trying so hard to bring out the good and bad of both sides in the war, that neither is really effective. Parts of the plot seemed contrived to prolong the journey and give opportunity to portray yet another aspect of the Civil War. I enjoyed revisiting some of the people Robert met on his trip north in the first book as he now travels south to rescue his mother. The resolution of her story is both tragic and inevitable for a 'happy' ending. That and some of the other content is pretty strong, not suitable for younger readers.
I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires Apr 24, 2009
Robert Glover faces more choices in this sequel to William Henry is a Fine Name. This time, we join Robert near his eighteenth birthday at his home in Maryland. The Civil War rages on, and Robert's father Charles is away, working for the Union making maps. Robert's mother Caroline has decided to stay on her father's plantation in North Carolina. Despite his desire to fight for the Union, Robert promised his father that he would not enlist until he turns eighteen.
Emily, Robert's cousin, asks him to visit her father, an officer in the Confederate army. Uncle Albert is being held as a prisoner of war at Fort Delaware. Robert agrees, due in part to family obligation, but mostly because he loves Emily. After he visits Albert, Robert plans to go help his mother, who he has not seen in four years.
Robert involuntarily gets caught in a prison escape plan, derailing his plans to travel to North Carolina. He is abducted, left for dead, and faces charges as a spy, challenging his integrity, his endurance, and his faith. Robert's adventures include new friends, a persistent enemy, and even a friend from his past travels on the Underground Railroad.
This book is a roller coaster reading adventure packed with action and intrigue. We see Robert mature and find his place in life while coning to terms with family secrets. I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires is a wonderful story that gives the reader thoughtful insight into days gone by. Robert's story brings history to life, and it would serve as a great teaching tool for this era.
If you liked William Henry is a Fine Name, you are sure to enjoy Cathy Gohlke's satisfying conclusion to Robert's story. Pick up a copy; you won't be disappointed.
Parental Note: I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires contains subject matter pertaining to the realities of war and post Civil War slavery. Depending on the ages and maturity levels of your children, you may wish to preview this book before allowing your children to read it or using it as a read aloud. I recommend this as independent reading for mature preteens and up.
Moving Account from a Young Man's Eyes Mar 6, 2009
One of the finest qualities of Cathy Gohlke's I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires is the way lines become blurred between Union and Confederate sympathies. And I don't simply mean the sympathies of the endearing, believable young hero, Robert Glover. Any reader of this touching, exciting novel will be surprised to find herself rooting for the southern inhabitants as often as for the northern. By dividing Robert's family, Gohlke shows the reader how our divided country suffered; how the conflict wasn't as simple as pro-slavery vs. abolition, states rights vs. Federal power. And, best of all for this reader, Gohlke never reaches for sentiment. Still, she managed to move me to tears more than once. An excellent read for teens and up.