J. D. R. Hawkins does it again! A Beckoning Hellfire follows the same family as in her previous book, A Beautiful Glittering Lie. When the family receives devastating news, David is set on enlisting, and going into war against the North. He and his best friend, Jake, join up in the Cavalry Regiment. David leaves his family behind, and Jake leaves his family and fiancée, as they go off to finally get a taste of the adventure they had been craving.
The experience is far from what either of them pictured, and it gets worse when they have to be in different regiments. Driven onward by his faith in God, thoughts of his father, and the memory of those who took their last breaths at the hand of the North, David fights with every fiber of his being.
Hawkins should come with a Tissues Needed warning label, since she keeps breaking my heart. Her novels are poignant, beautiful, and thoroughly-researched. As with her previous book, I was drawn in from the very first sentence of A Beckoning Hellfire, and regretted how quickly I can read. I didn’t want it to end!
I love the way Hawkins develops her characters, and portrays their personal growth and the coming-of-age of David. With her novels, you’re doing more than just reading; you’re having an experience. I highly recommend this to everyone that likes fiction, even if historical isn’t usually your cup of tea. Students would also benefit greatly from this being adapted as part of the curriculum.
Hawkins should be nicknamed ‘Arachne’ for the beautiful tapestries she weaves of the Civil War. Without a doubt, 5/5 stars. I would give more but, alas, there are not enough stars on the scale.
5 of 5 Stars, Review by Alexia Bullard