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White Doves at Morning: A Novel Hardcover – Oct 22 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Oct. 22 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743244710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743244718
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.2 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,228,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
THE black woman's name was Sarie, and when she crashed out the door of the cabin at the end of the slave quarters into the fading winter light, her lower belly bursting with the child that had already broken her water, the aftermath of the ice storm and the sheer desolate sweep of leaf-bare timber and frozen cotton acreage and frost-limned cane stalks seemed to combine and strike her face like a braided whip. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "chamberland10" on Jan. 13 2003
Format: Hardcover
White Doves at Morning has the stark beauty and vivid imagery of all Burke's novels, but not it's strong plot. The many characters introduced are never fully developed beyond a few central personalities. No one can compare to James Lee Burke when he discribes with similes and all five senses the character's surroundings, in this novel the Cival War, but his similies wear thin in one passage as he strings one after the other and seems to lose his point. The hero of the story, Willie Burke, is in the vein of Billy Bob and Dave, heroes of Burke's two wonderful series, but one doesn't feel any greater empathy for Willie by having known him so well through Burke's other strong, defiant characters. The story ends rather abruptly and does not rap up the lose edges as cleanly as a fan of Burke's would expect. The story is a decent one if the reader does have expectations after having read Burke's other, nearly perfect novels. But a new reader of Burke should consider reading a second novel of his before judging his abilities on just this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary Griffiths on June 13 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In a departure from Burke's spellbinding Dave Robicheaux mysteries, James Lee Burke aims his lyrical prose at historical fiction, taking on the American Civil War. Leaning on family ties - reluctant Confederate soldier Willie Burke is the author's ancestor - Burke's antebellum south is a dark and somber place, ripe with suffering, death, and inequity. At its best, it is a compelling portrait of the horrors of our Civil War, capturing in vivid and brutal detail the battles of Shiloh and Shenandoah Valley. Some will recall Stephen Crane's "Red Badge of Courage", as young Willie Burke wanders dazed behind enemy lines in search of his unit. In the carnage of the battlefield, the suffering among the filth, disease, and severed limbs of field hospital charnel houses, the reader will ask, "did we really do this to our own countrymen?" At its worst, "White Doves at Morning" slips into preachy stereotype: the corrupt plantation owner, the noble slave, the evil overseer. But through it all, Burke tells the story with his own brand of passionate prose, stating his views with power and clarity, while limiting his palette only to shades of gray and black. Notwithstanding, Burke's characters as always are strongly developed, flawed and vulnerable, and ultimately believable. "White Doves" delivers precious little "feel good" closure and little in the way of redemption, instead shining an all-too bright light on a period of American history most of us would just as soon pretend never happened. While not a perfect effort, "White Doves" is a powerful novel, demonstrating Burke's versatility and adding further proof that he is perhaps the most talented living American writer of fiction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 21 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've enjoyed many of James Lee Burke's Robicheaux novels (and intend to enjoy more of them) so I jumped into the Civil War-era novel "White Doves" eagerly, but was ultimately disappointed.
Burke seems to have lost the tight control of his best work; this book feels overwritten and underplotted, dealing with a small group of angst-ridden characters acting out dramas of oppression and revenge against the backdrop of the war and its aftermath. The pot boils, and boils, and boils some more, but as the pages turned I found myself thinking "Just get on with it and stop the DRAMA, please!"
There are quite a few good moments, but this isn't prime stuff. Maybe the historical genre just isn't Burke's forte.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By rokkit on March 3 2004
Format: Audio CD
This review is based on the audio book, NOT the written word. I thought it might make a good companion on a long trip to visit relatives. Everything you look for in the writing of James Lee Burke comes through--AND MORE. Will Patton is the most amazing reader of audio books I have ever listened too. After several hours in the car as we approached our distination I found myself slowing down and avoiding the direct route to try to finish listening before arriving--sadly, my wife caught me, so the conclusion had to wait until after the visit. Even if you've read the book, Patton makes it worth a listen, too. His accents are dead on the Louisiana dialect Burke writes!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Jan. 21 2003
Format: Hardcover
This was a good story and my first time reading a Burke novel. Perhaps for white America it all rings true to a certain degree. But as an African American female who has a 99 year old mother who throughout her life related recollections from her mother and grandmother(who lived through slavery) the Flower Jamison's character was nowhere near the mark. One could compare it to the way that blacks and whites viewed the O.J. Simpson's verdict. Through his writings I felt that Burke doesn't have a clue about black folks souls and I do get tired of the cliches. But then this is white HIStory.
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By A Customer on Sept. 21 2003
Format: Hardcover
I think the part of the book that makes the least sense is that Flower Jamison's father would ever acknowledge her as his daughter. In that time period white plantation owners just didn't do that. That she was able to become free and read and write without more problems from the people in the area is hard to accept as well.
The depiction of the Civil War I think was accurate, it wasn't portrayed as at all glamorous. Some parts of it were good.
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