In the years leading up to the Civil War, one enduring friendship embodies the tensions of a nation. Orry Main from South Carolina and George Hazard from Pennsylvania forge a lasting bond while training at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Together they fight in the Mexican-American War, but their closeness is tested as their regional politics diverge. As the first rounds are fired at Fort Sumter, Orry and George find themselves on different sides of the coming struggle. In John Jakes’s unmatched style, North and South launches a trilogy that captures the fierce passions of a country at the precipice of disaster.
Love and War (#2)
The Hazards and the Mains -- the first fatal shot fired at Fort Sumter divided them irrevocably with loyalties more powerful than family ties. The young would clash on the bloody battlefields of Bull Run and Fredericksburg, while in intrigue-ridden Washington and Richmond strong-willed men and beautiful women would defend their principles with their lives...or satisfy illicit cravings with schemes that could destroy friends and enemies alike.
Heaven and Hell (#3)
The last days of the Civil War bring no peace for the Main and Hazard families. As the Mains’ South smolders in the ruins of defeat, the Hazards’ North pushes blindly for relentless industrial progress. Both the nation and the families’ long-standing bond hover on the brink of destruction. In the series’ epic conclusion, Jakes expertly blends personal conflict with historical events, crafting a haunting page-turner about America’s constant change and unyielding hope.
I originally read these when I was 16 back in 1989. I fell in love with the Mains and the Hazards when I watched the made-for-television mini-series based on books 1 & 2 a few years before that. I've always been a bit of a history buff and the American Civil War has been a favorite era of mine to read and research. John Jakes has a definite specialty when it comes to writing historical fiction and with the North and South trilogy he combines both good and bad aspects of that part of our nation's past with intriguing characters and subplots that keep the reader captivated. If you love history, fiction, drama, romance, and intrigue than this is definitely a series you want to look into.
North and South
Love and War
Heaven and Hell