Toronto Book Review



Dennis Boisvert’s “Ghost Lips From the Trickster: A Civil War Story” is a compelling novel that intricately weaves the harsh realities of the American Civil War with elements of mystery and supernatural folklore. Published in 2020, this book is not merely a historical recount; it’s a poignant exploration of human endurance, familial bonds, and the spectral remnants of the past.

The story centers around Victor, a Union soldier whose life is irrevocably altered by the war. The plot is set in motion when Victor, alongside his comrades, becomes entangled in a series of extraordinary events following the death of a young drummer boy who supposedly sees human eyes in a crow moments before his death. This supernatural element introduces the titular “trickster” motif, a recurring theme that Boisvert skillfully weaves throughout the novel, blending historical realism with mythological elements.

Boisvert’s strength lies in his ability to create vivid, memorable characters. Victor Peters is a particularly well-drawn protagonist with depth and nuance, grappling with both external battles and internal demons. His journey is marked by a profound sense of duty, guilt, and the search for redemption. The relationship between Victor and his family, particularly his daughter Bessie, adds an emotional layer to the narrative. Bessie’s mysterious illness and her connection to the supernatural occurrences form a central thread that drives Victor’s actions and decisions.

The author skillfully blends historical accuracy with supernatural elements, creating a unique narrative atmosphere. His prose is both descriptive and evocative, capturing the era’s essence and the characters’ emotions. And his depiction of the Civil War’s brutal realities is unflinching, from the grim conditions of the prison camps to the chaotic and deadly skirmishes. This attention to detail grounds the supernatural elements, making the story believable and engaging.

“Ghost Lips From the Trickster” also delves into themes of faith and survival. Victor’s reliance on his faith, symbolized by the Saint James medal, contrasts with the brutal reality of war. This juxtaposition highlights the inner turmoil soldiers face as they grapple with their beliefs in the face of overwhelming adversity. The novel’s title itself suggests a duality—tricksters and ghosts, reality and illusion, past and present.

In conclusion, Dennis Boisvert’s “Ghost Lips from the Trickster” is a captivating blend of historical fiction and supernatural mystery that offers a fresh perspective on the American Civil War. Its richly drawn characters, evocative prose, and intricate plot make it a standout novel that will appeal to a wide range of readers. Whether you are a history buff or a fan of the supernatural, this novel is sure to leave a lasting impression with its unique and imaginative storytelling.

Purchase the Book Today on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5 Stars
Reviewer: Sophia Rogers
Date of Review: July 09, 2024

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