Review of “Day and Night” by Mattie Richardson
By Kaye Cover
Mattie Richardson’s most recent novel, “Day and Night,” tells the tale of two brothers (who are horses), whose peaceful life on a farm changes dramatically when they become war horses – fighting for opposite sides of the Civil War. The novel is told from the horses’ point of view and transports the reader to the battlefield, revealing the ravages of war. Initially the soldiers and their mounts can’t wait to engage in a real battle, but those feelings change when the realities of war are experienced. It is interesting to learn about the integral role the horses played in the Civil War; the extensive training they required, and the courage they displayed during battle.
As each horse tells his tale, it becomes clear that the two sides have similar feelings and that, to a certain extent, they fight for a similar cause – freedom and rights. It is pointed out that most of those fighting for the South didn’t own large plantations or many, if any, slaves; some people in this part of the country [the North] were not aware of the travesties the enslaved people endured.
This novel is an interesting depiction of the Civil War as it was fought in the Midwest. As a retired teacher, I think students and all readers will find this novel interesting, informative, and insightful.