My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I must admit that I bought ‘Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory’ biased in favor of it. I was first introduced to it when author Clint Goodwin contacted me to encourage me as a yet-to-be-published aspiring author and included a word about his own books.
This historical novel tells the story of America’s Civil War (1861-1865), based on real dates and historical figures, as well as the author’s imagination. It also expresses a pain and sense of loss that Clint Goodwin – a combat veteran, himself – did not have to research. Its purpose is to entertain its readers, to inform them on the Civil War and to provide the author an opportunity to express his feelings.
Clint Goodwin’s style in ‘Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory’ feels simplistic and easy to read. It re-explains key figures and events multiple times; helpful for readers like myself, who have little or no knowledge of American history, and who are taking in a lot of new information. There are multiple spelling and grammar errors throughout the book. even though it is easy to work out the intended meaning, I found these distracting. Similarly, there are numerous instances in which the verb tense or point-of-view change without warning.
Key figures in ‘Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory’ have a healthy recognition that blessings are ultimately and directly gifts from God. A common theme throughout the book is God’s sovereignty over all situations; that is, His ability to orchestrate large events and miniature details. It’s a healthy and edifying mindset for readers to feed themselves with, and it showcases God’s glory. At other times, however, the author refers to luck, Providence, chance and Mother Nature, etc. I’m unsure of whether or not he purposefully varies his language to refer to the God of the Bible using other terms, but I feel like it gives credit to other sources than God. I feel like it diminishes other instances throughout the book in which the author has strived to glorify Him.
All in all, I didn’t enjoy reading ‘Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory’ as much as I had anticipated. I recommend it to people who want to learn about the Civil War of America for the first time, and who aren’t particular about spelling and grammar. Ignoring potential confusion, I believe it glorifies God. I have the next book in the series and plan to read it.
Share your thoughts
- How familiar are you with American history? General world history?
- When you come across a spelling or grammar area in a published book, are you able to skim gracefully over it, or do you get tripped up or bothered?
- What does it mean for a book to “glorify God”?