Those Bones at Goliad

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In this historic novel, the author addresses the Texas Revolution, the fight for independence from Mexico, including the famed siege at the Alamo Mission in San Antonio in 1836. The Texas troops, greatly outnumbered by those of Mexican General Santa Ana and composed mostly of civilian volunteers, were all killed after a heroic stand-off that lasted days. This story is told from the point of view of mostly fictional characters, especially that of Shelby Whitmire, a volunteer haunted by his service before mass execution at nearby Goliad. From a troubled family and unable to shake the memories of his first love and a friend presumed killed in the Revolution, Shelby drifts to and from multiple jobs and homes, unable to find a place in the world.

This is a well-written story, its focus on an important part of American history detailed and fascinating. I have to confess I did not know as much about the Texas fight for independence as I should before having read this novel—as I suspect might be true of many readers raised outside of the Southwest—and I spent some time web searching historic references and looking up maps of the era. The Texas Revolution took place in the early nineteenth century and was caught between the American Revolution and Civil War, overshadowed by both. It is nonetheless important and spawned many legendary figures, such as Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie. This novel then serves to educate about this period of Texas and American history, as well as that of Mexico and Indian nations, also implicated. A concern with the novel is its attempted breadth, covering a large expanse of history surrounding the Texas Revolution and popping in and out of the points of view of numerous characters. Adding to this challenge is that three important female characters connected to the Shelby Whitmire character are named Adeline, Ann, and Angelina. “Adeline” and “Angelina” in particular are so close that often I had to stop and remind myself of which character was which.

These are minor concerns, however, in an otherwise strong work that educates as well as entertains.

Reviewed By:

Author Judith Austin Mills
Star Count /5
Format eBook
Page Count 344 pages
Publisher Plain View Press
Publish Date 22-Sep-15
ISBN 9781632100139 Buy this Book
Issue April 2016
Category Historical Fiction


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