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Going Home

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  1,723 Ratings  ·  143 Reviews
Amazon-bestselling author James D. Shipman’s Going Home is a Civil War historical novel based on a true story and a tragic drama of trust betrayed.

Joseph Forsyth is the Irish immigrant son of a jobless alcoholic. Indentured to a printer in Quebec at age 11, he undergoes abuse and alienation before escaping to rejoin his family in upstate New York. Joseph is forced to pay o
Paperback, First, 365 pages
Published September 15th 2014 by Log Cabin Press
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Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Going Home By James D Shipman

My wife recommended this book. What can I say; I couldn't put it down!
A well written narrative based on a true story and written by the main character's great-great-great nephew. I say based on a true story, because there is obviously, a bit of poetic licence, but why not? That makes a good yarn and this is definitely a good yarn. Joseph, the hero, is a wonderful character and all the other characters are well rounded. Set at the time of the American civil war it is
Felicity Gibson
May 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Going Home
By James Shipman
Read 1st June 2015
This book should come with a warning! You will not be able to put it down once you start. There are two story lines in the narrative; the current time in the book and Joseph’s early life and the conditions which led to him enlisting in the army. I was so pleased to read that the author is writing about his early family. The story is captivating and the reader is drawn into Joseph’s life and we care about him from the first moment on. I award this book
Jul 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Historical Fiction
Recommended to Maura by: Sparks Point
Immigration was a major socio-economic factor in shaping the United States in the Nineteenth Century. Territorial expansion and the prospects of owning land, as well as finding employment, were enticements to Europeans seeking a better life. James D. Shipman has taken the true story of his great-great-grandfather Joseph Hastings and transformed it into an historical novel which is affecting. While the plot has many sensational events, Shipman’s skill prevents melodrama from seizing center stage. ...more
May 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dianna-owns
The author, James D. Shipman, writes an interesting story based on the lives of his great great grandparents. Of course I didn’t realize this until I read about the lineage of Joseph and Lucy Forsyth. This civil war story was unique, compelling and very sad.
Diane Moyle
Jul 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read and enjoyed Mr. Shipman’s first novel, Constantinopolis, so I was very anxious to read this one. He did not disappoint!!! Going Home is based on the life of his great-great-grandparents, Joseph and Lucy Forsyth. It is actually two stories in one, with Joseph being the common denominator. The first story involves Joseph when he is injured during the Civil War in the trenches at the battle for Petersburg. It follows his recovery and the complicated lives of his nurse and doctor. The se ...more
Jul 27, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaway-winner
I won this from Good Reads Giveaways! Thank you!
I didn't realize this novel was based on a true story until I was well immersed in it. Written by the main character's great-great-great nephew, it toggles back and forth from Joseph's early years, coming to America with his parents and the events that led him to join the army in the Civil War. He is a hard worker and admired by his peers. An all around nice guy.
The story line is interesting and kept me engaged. For awhile. But when trusting Joseph
Rosita Sanchez
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Must Read Book!!!!!!!!!!!

I read this book and wept tears of sadness several times ... I felt the abandonment and betrayal of Joseph both as a boy and later as a man. I felt the burdens placed on him as he took on the responsibility of caring for his dad and his step mum and step sister ... the losses he had ... and I rejoiced to see him overcome all the challenges that surrounded him .... and I am humbled and in awe to have shared his life ...even though it is only through the printed media. I
May 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was fascinated by this book. I loved that there were two story lines going on - the current time in the book and then both Joseph's early life and the circumstances that led him to enlist in the army. To find out the author has a very personal interest in the characters makes it even better.

I think this book would spark lively discussions in book discussion groups and would be a good literature connection in a high school US History class.
Meryl Duprey
Jul 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A poignant emotional portrayal of the Irish immigrant experience in 19th century America. The story follows the true events of Joseph Forsythe's life, following his journey from Ireland to America and culminating in his Civil War history.

I found the story compelling and informative. The dramatic ethos recalls the better novel styles of the 1800s--Hardy and Bronte come to mind.
Chrissy Van Der Laan
May 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
this is an amazingly touching historical story. there is soo much hardship but also happiness. great losses and only minor gains. i enjoyed this book greatly and would highly recommend.
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
James Shipman is one of my new favorite authors. This is the second book of his I have read. Going Home is a Civil War story mixed in with family connections. Joseph is brought to the United States as a young boy from Ireland. On his voyage here his father gives Joseph to a man whom he owed money to in a card game as payment. Joseph lived a very hard life while growing up as an indentured servant. The family whom he lived with began to love him but mostly for his work ethic. He left this family ...more
Tony Parsons
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
1849-1865, Joseph Forsyth (son, husband/father) lived with his parents: Robert Forsyth (husband/father, drunk, abusive, lazy, seldom works), Lydia Forsyth (wife/mother).
Joseph goes off to the Civil War & joins Company D, 186th NY Volunteers (Union).
His friend David (Union, married) is killed & Joseph is taken to the Union Military hospital (Petersburg, VA).
Rebecca Walker (nurse), & Dr. Thomas Johnston slowly nurse him back to health.
Joseph returns home his mother has died & the
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As I began reading this novel, it became immediately apparent why this has been a #1 Bestseller on Amazon. Based on a true story, author James D. Shipman has brought to life an utterly compelling protaganist by the name of Joseph Forsyth. The plight of this character from his childhood throughout the novel is at times heart-wrenching, victorious, and amazingly impressive, a very true and believable hero.

The characters in the story are so real, so believable, I could not help but become totally e
Victoria Roberts
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, fiction
From the first chapter I was pulled into the world of young Joseph and all of his trials and tribulations. This story unfolds by telling two stories simultaneously the present in a war hospital and the past following his journey from Ireland to Canada to New York. All while trying to find the family that abandoned him to a like of enforced apprenticeship. This is a brilliant read learning about the persecution that Irish immigrants suffered when coming from Ireland to the United States back in t ...more
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A mystery wrapped up in historical fiction

Joseph is an Irish immigrant son of a jobless alcoholic. On their way to America to start a better life, Joseph's parents give him over to a printer in order to make good on a bet that Joseph's father lost. Although Joseph doesn't understand the cruelties of his family,he dreams of reuniting with them when his service is over. The Odwyers hope to change Joseph's mind and end up hiding letters from Joseph's mother. Once Joseph finds out, he knows he must
Polly Krize
Aug 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The story of a young man’s struggle to survive is well-told in this absorbing novel. Whether he is dealing with his drunken father, abusive employers, a spoiled demanding wife or suffering the horror or the American Civil War, Joseph somehow maintains his humanity and his sense of duty and honor. The back story of Rebecca Walker, a nurse in the Union Military Hospital in Virginia is also a touching reminder of the losses of war and
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I thought this would be just another Civil War story. I was wrong! I loved how the story drew me in, both present and past. The author transitioned between the two times with ease of reading. The strength and courage of the main character was astounding. So glad his mother instilled in him good character and values. He truly upheld who he was throughout the story. The nurse was led to him for a reason, not only to help him but to reinstill in her who she was during a wartorn time in her life. Gr ...more
Melanie Beck
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazingly Written

I was not fond of the simple life ending. I thought Joseph would go on to be some sort of rich printing company owner. And furthermore, Oliverwould come around and be part of the family, as well as Pete. Also wish the doctor s wife and child hadn't survived the war as Rebecca would share that in common and both remarry each other. Too simple of an ending for how detailed Joseph's dreams were.
Jun 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Historical fiction has always been one of my favourite genres and was pleased when I came across 'Going Home' on Netgalley. This is my honest review.

This is amongst a few novels that I have enjoyed this year. Based on real events, this was certainly a page turner. I rarely write what a story is about for fear of spoiling for others, but I do highly recommend.
Gail Jicinsky
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lessons to be learned in this account of testing of a man of character and strength

Loved the dual stories of challenges and hardship where Joseph and the nurse who saved him faced tough decisions and consistently chose the honorable high road. Inspiring and heart wrenching read. I highly recommend.
Deborah Martin
Aug 01, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not worth your time.

This could have been a good book. The characters were flat and uninteresting. This story was based on true facts. Instead, the characters are presented as preaching and whining people. This book disappoints. Don't waste your time with this.
Donna Meller
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Based on the author's ancestors lives during the Civil War

joseph Forsyth came from Ireland as a boy and was betrayed by his father and others as he grew up. To get away he enlists in the Civil War and his trials follow him until he stands up and takes charge of his life.
Doni Healy
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book is is well written with a great plot.I especially like books in the civil war era.please keep writing Mr.
Shipment.thank u.Doni
Martha Rust
Jul 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read!

This is a very good story ,great and interesting civil war story with an exciting ending, I would highly recommen d it !!
Jul 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.
It was hard to put down.
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scaned-books
I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway.
Going Home is one of those novels that leaps straight into action, instantly immersing the reader into a different time and place. This particular novel begins on a January night in 1865 with a skirmish between Union and Confederate soldiers in some trenches in Petersburg, Virginia. I loved the way the story progressed from that initial Civil War scene to a Union Military Hospital Camp where a soldier named Jacob Forsyth fought for his life. At the hospital camp, we're introduced to a nurse whos ...more
Barb Klein
Apr 27, 2018 rated it liked it
“Going Home by James Shipman is a book about growing up and going home. It wasn’t until I finished this book that I realized that it was written by the author about his family ancestors. Poor Joseph Forsyth has been used and abused from the beginning. First he and his family leave Ireland to find peace and prosperity. On the voyage to America, Joseph’s drunkard father loses all his money in a card game and sells Joseph into bondage. Joseph is taken to Quebec and after his indenture is determined ...more
Pam Walter
This was a wonderful story which was written loosely based on the life of Shipman's great, great grandfather Joseph Forsyth, who emigrated to the United States from Ireland as a young lad with his parents in the mid 1800s. Joseph's father Robert was a disingenuous alcoholic and a lifelong albatross to poor Joseph beginning aboard ship. Robert lost money he didn't have in a poker game. As payment he sold Joseph into slavery (indentureship - 7 years).

Joseph is subsequently caught up with 2 masters
This book is historic fiction based on the ancestors of the author, who emigrated from Ireland during the potato famine. The story is layered with the hero James as a boy, as a civil war soldier and as an adult trying to find his way in the world. Many seek to take advantage of his industry and empathy. He falls again and again into the "saviour" role, rescuing friends and family from debt, alcoholism and self indulgence.

He narrowly survives a wounding in the war. While he is unconscious and se
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“The saw made a wet, ripping sound as it tore through flesh and bone. The wounded man jerked upward, his torso coming off the table. “Damn it! Hold him!” “I’m trying,” responded Rebecca.” 1 likes
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