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I Have Seen Him In The Watchfires by Cathy Gohlke

I'm not sure I can ever write a review that can exhibit the true beauty of this novel. Although it is a stand alone, Robert's story continues on through this writing masterpiece. Yes, reading it as a stand alone would be wonderful, but reading it after Cathy's first novel, William Henry is a Fine Name, (check out my review), will allow you to uncover more about Robert and how he has come to be the young man he is today.

Are you ready to travel back in time to the year of 1864? The Civil War is raging throughout the countryside. What life once was is no longer to be. Change is an absolute. Robert isn't quite eighteen yet. Oh, how he wants to serve, but he has made promises to wait. 

I love the relationship and respect that Robert and his father share. Robert doesn't take any part of life for granted. He knows what loss is. He too knows the value of life. 

This is one of those great reads. One that belongs in every library and schoolroom across America. Cathy pens a story that is riveting, but passionate. Robert and the other characters are so well portrayed that you fall in love with them. We have the privileged of watching Robert grow up. We see the wounds of his heart and hope is keeps alive for tomorrow. 

The cover is beautiful. The title grabbed my attention. Cathy reveals just where that title comes from and it is brilliant. I feel like I know Robert. He feels like a little brother. A friend I long to meet. I connected with him right away. 

Robert is a gentle soul. Honest and pure. He walks with integrity. His character is to be admired. This young man is an example for young men of today. For all of us really. I long to have the heart that this young man holds. He is true to himself. Even when tragedy strikes, he never gives up. Even when all seems hopeless, he continues to hang on. After all, he has made promises. There are people who need him. His heart is after answers and in the Lord's perfect timing he finds them. That's another aspect that I love about this novel and William Henry is a Fine Name. We see that no matter what, God is still in control. Faith grows by continually walking forward when you can't see where your feet are traveling, but knowing without a doubt there is One who is leading. 

Everything unimaginable happens to Robert. Sometimes this is just how life feels to us. It's never gonna end. Will things ever get better? Robert walks us through a time in history that we should never forget. With Cathy's remarkable writing we never will. I am more intrigued than ever before about this time period and those who walked these miles in shoes my feet will never touch. 

If you love history this is a novel for you. I can see Keven Costner producing this on the big screen. Yes, it's that spectacular! It is one that will make your imagination soar! I am honored to have been blessed to review these two titles. 

This book was a gift from Moody Publishing for sharing my review with you.

Cathy Gohlke's first novel, William Henry is a Fine Name, won the Christy Award. She has worked as a school librarian, drama director for adults and young people, and as a director of children's and education ministries. Cathy lives with her husband in Maryland. You can visit her site at


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