Gray Skies by David Self
A Civil War legend of family courage

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When a father is tricked into serving the Confederacy during the American Civil War, he risks the ultimate price for his bravery. His wife, however, must carry on and somehow find within herself the courage and strength to carve out a future for herself and her children. Inspired by his own family history, David Self's remarkable debut is a fascinating true story that captures time and place with the skill and deft hand of a true master craftsman.

Jon and Mary Self have a three hundred acre farm in northern Alabama when the Civil War begins. While Jon has no quarrel with war in general, he doesn't believe in this one—it seems to be a planters' war to preserve slavery and secede from the union. But a desperate Confederate conscription officer's tricks put Jon in a corner: either Jon volunteers or his sixteen-year-old son William will be drafted.

Leaving Mary to figure out how to survive—and thrive—in this harsh new reality, Jon agrees to take up arms for the Confederacy and soon finds himself playing an important role in major battles. But war exacts a heavy price on all who serve, and for some, it is the ultimate price. Certain that her husband will never return and facing unwanted visits from an aggressive suitor as well as Union cavalry raiding the family farm to steal food and livestock, it is up to Mary to stand her ground and save her family. With little to go on besides grit, courage, and strength of character she only suspected herself of having, Mary must somehow craft a future for her children.

A journey into the bloodiest, most sorrow-filled era in US history, David Self's remarkable true story is a testament to the families whose losses help build the soul of America. As intimate as it is sweeping, Gray Skies: A Civil War Legend of Family Courage is an extraordinary depiction of the horrors of war and the indomitable human spirit.

About David Self

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David Self is an Anglican priest. Born and raised in Toronto, he moved to Lesotho, one of the most economically challenged countries in the world, where he taught mathematics. Later, David developed a deep interest in contemplative prayer, in social issues, and in working with people on the fringe. Currently he is Team Rector of St. Paul's, a multi-racial, inner-city parish in Bristol, England.
Published December 31, 2012 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 164 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, War. Fiction

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Self's debut Civil War novel fictionalizes the true story of his ancestors and their place in United States history.

Mar 18 2013 | Read Full Review of Gray Skies: A Civil War legen...

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