Whirligig and The Copper Road by Richard Buxton- a review


Whirligig, set during the American Civil War, isn’t exactly a war story. It is essentially about one man’s desire to keep his promise to his childhood friend, one that takes him to Tennesse as a part of a group of soldiers who are fighing in the war. Clara and Shire, our two friends are Englishmen, caught in the troubled Americal society, ravaged with war and slavery. Clara’s upbringing is constantly being challenged, her politeness and niceties lost in a land where there is a stark demarcation between the privileged and the help.

Buxton, as he unravels the story, gives us enough time to get a feel of the characters and the landscape. The writing is engaging and immersive right from the start. The readers are transported to the rugged ladscape of America during the way. The relationship between the characters, the subtelities and the differences are well explored. The story is fueled by emotions, raw and uninhibited, and is well supported by a plot that only gets better.

The Copper Road

The second book in the series and the writing gets exponentially better. While love triangles don’t excite me much, the one between Clara, Shire and Tod did make me want to read until the very end. Shire’s perspective of events builds a different war scenario, equally engrossing and brutal. Clara is his priority, the lady who has ended her marriage and has pushed Shire away in a desperate attempt to cut ties from her past life. Tod adds a different angle to the story, giving us major grey areas, testing our loyalty as we root for our favourite characters. These characters show great potential, and I hope the final book in the series is equally captivating.

With remarkable writing, ‘Shire Union’ is a series that is to be added to your TBR, if you’re a fan of Historical Fiction.


About the Books:

Whirligig: Keeping the Promise Shire leaves his home and his life in Victorian England for the sake of a childhood promise, a promise that pulls him into the bleeding heart of the American Civil War. Lost in the bloody battlefields of the West, he discovers a second home for his loyalty.

Clara believes she has escaped from a predictable future of obligation and privilege, but her new life in the Appalachian Hills of Tennessee is decaying around her. In the mansion of Comrie, long hidden secrets are being slowly exhumed by a war that creeps ever closer.

The first novel from multi-award winning short-story writer Richard Buxton, Whirligig is at once an outsider’s odyssey through the battle for Tennessee, a touching story of impossible love, and a portrait of America at war with itself. Self-interest and conflict, betrayal and passion, all fuse into a fateful climax.

The Copper Road: Beyond the Promise- Shire is far, far from home, his old life in Victorian England a fading memory. To keep a promise to his childhood love, he’s sailed an ocean and battled through war-torn America.

He’s kept his promise, but now Clara’s pushing him away.
The war won’t let him go.

Fighting for the Union and his friends, Shire must survive the brutal campaign for Atlanta and imagine a future without her.

After a violent end to a cruel marriage, Clara is free from her husband but not from his ghost. All that is left to her is Comrie, her home in the Tennessee hills. But the war relentlessly steals away its treasures and its people.

Tod, a captured Rebel, escapes in Pennsylvania. His adventures on the roads and rivers back to his regiment cast the Civil War in a new light. Does he still have the will to fight?

Three young lives become wrapped in the Rebels’ desperate need for copper. Friendships, loyalty and love will be tested beyond breaking point. Shire has new promises to keep.

The Copper Road is the second novel from award winning writer Richard Buxton. Book one of Shire’s Union, Whirligig, was shortlisted for the Rubery International Book Award. 


Thanks to the author for the e-book. All opinions are my own.

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