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Product Description

A gripping epic about the great moral struggles of the Civil War.How is tonight different from all other nights? For Jacob Rappaport, a Jewish soldier in the Union army, it is a question his commanders have answered for him: on Passover in 1862 he is ordered to murder his own uncle, who is plotting to assassinate President Lincoln.After that night, will Jacob ever speak for himself? The answer comes when his commanders send him on another mission-this time not to murder a spy but to marry one.A page-turner rich with romance and the history of America (North and South), this is a book only Dara Horn could have written. Full of in-sight and surprise, layered with meaning, it is a brilliant parable of the moral divide that still haunts us: between those who value family first and those dedicated, at any cost, to social and racial justice for all.Also: * Author tour: New York, Washington, DC, Boston, Philadelphia * National print advertising * National media interviews * Off-the-book-page features * Extensive Jewish Book Fair tour Fall 2009/Winter 2010 * Library promotions * Promotion to social networking book Web sites * Reading group guide available * Advance reading copies * Co-op available

Customer Reviews:

  • Engrossing read
    If you like historical fiction (especially about the civil war), then you're in for a real treat. This book is quite entertaining.

    The book centers around Jacob Rappaport, a Jewish soldier in the Union army. Desperate for recognition and for a promotion, Jacob agrees to do the unthinkable: murder his own uncle, who is planning on assassinating Lincoln.

    Jacob's next mission is perhaps even more daunting; instead of murdering an enemy, he is to marry one! Jacob and Jeannie's relationship is undoubtedly a complex one, as both are spies for opposite sides. Can their love survive?

    Dara Horn is a master storyteller. The back of the book calls this novel a "page-turner" and that is no exaggeration; I pretty much read it straight through. The history and the characters in this book truly come alive, and you will find yourself rooting for them.

    If you like historical fiction (and even if you don't!), I urge you to pick up this book and I bet you'll become as engrossed in the story as I did. I am now determined to check out Ms. Horn's other two novels.

    Happy reading!
    ...more info
  • What Would You Do?
    Very good novel. I had a hard time putting it down. The choices and moral dilemmas Jacob is constantly facing makes for an intriguing story. Jacob, is a Jewish living in America during the Civil War. To avoid an arranged marriage to a mentally incompetent woman, Jacob runs away from home and joins the Union army. From there, it is one difficult choice after another. Can he kill his own uncle? Can he infilterate a family and marry one of the daughters? Can he turn in his own wife? I found myself pondering his choices as tho I myself had to make them. What would I do?? For a war novel, however, it really lacks much in the way of fighting. There was little or no detail about the fighting techniques or gruesome details of war. What this book shows it mostly "behind the scenes" of the war, the spying, the decisions, the money changing hands. Jacob does not even become wounded in combat, but an explosion. He simply is in the wrong place at the wrong time. I loved the character Jeanne, but found her "magic tricks" a bit preposterous and unexplained. I really enjoyed this book, but due to way too many coincidences within the story and an ending that left me hanging, I give it four stars instead of 5. I do, however, recommend it....more info
  • A simple novel of great moral questions
    Because of my father's near hatred of his upbringing I know next to nothing about my Jewish heritage. So when I saw this novel-a chance to learn about Jews during the civil war (who I admit I had boxed in as the natural allies of abolitionists) I jumped at the chance.

    "All Other Nights" is the story of Jacob Rappaport, the son of a wealthy Jewish New York family. All his life Jacob has done as he was told and followed the rules laid down by others. But when he suddenly finds himself engaged-without any choice on his part- to a girl with serious mental problems at the age of 19 Jacob runs away from home and joins the Union army.

    Because of his Jewish connections inside the confederacy Jacob is picked out to be a spy-another situation he really has no choice in. His first assignment is to kill his own Uncle- a man who is plotting to kill Lincoln. He soon finds that as distasteful as it is he has a knack for this kind of work-and because of his heritage there is a stigma hanging overhead that he will do almost anything to get rid of.

    But then his most difficult mission comes. Not an assassination, not an impersonation-but a marriage into a family of four sisters suspected of running a spy ring for the confederacy.

    As the war rages on and America is burning down to its bare bones the moral quagmire that Jacob is mired in becomes deeper and deeper and he is forced to choose between his family, his country, his morals and his own people.

    The style of this book is very straightforward. No flowery language, no huge descriptions of people or landscapes or emotional moments. Somehow this style fits perfectly with the complicated storyline, turning this into a book it's nearly impossible to put down.

    The history of Jews in the civil war was equally fascinating. I had no idea that the secretary of state for the confederacy was Jewish-or that the same man had also been the first Jewish united States senator. In fact I had always assumed that with the history of the Jewish people slavery would be seen as evil. But the truth is the Jewish population was as divided on the issue as everyone else.

    This is a great book. An excellent story that's wonderfully written and obviously impeccably researched. It was a pleasure to read and I hope to find more of the authors work.

    Five stars.

    For another Civil war novel that's detailed about the Jewish experience try Shaman by Noah Gordon.
    ...more info
  • Fast Paced: Suspension of Disbelief Required
    This is a fast read, suspenseful and sometimes predictable.

    The key characters are from Jewish Families in the Civil War.

    At times, I felt like I was witnessing 21st Century conversations. But if you can suspend your sense of disbelief, and just go with the flow, this is a very engaging, lively historical romance.

    And yeah! A story about Jewish lovers.
    ...more info
  • Informative with little payoff
    I attended a book group meeting where Dara Horn spoke about the book and the research she had done. She is a brilliant young woman, very well versed in the annals of the Civil War and the Jews who participated in it or were either the casual observers, perpetrators or the victims. But they were always united in the undercurrent of understanding of who they were.

    But even Ms. Horn's thorough knowledge could not present the novel "All Other Nights" in a better light than her written words. She had failed to transfer her knowledge of the facts to believable fiction.

    While the background of the Civil War worked well, and the Jewish angle is fascinating, the plot read like a list of episodes in which the protagonist, Jacob, starred. His motivation, starting with the first excruciating assignment by his officers to kill his uncle, was unconvincing, for the internal passion required for a nincompoop such as Jacob to commit this murder was missing.

    Later, when Jacob met the fascinating Jeannie, she was so far beyond him in intelligence and character, that I braced myself to see her toying with him. I pitied him for what was coming as he fell in love with this dangerous woman. The author set up Jeannie as a feisty woman who pulled magic tricks and who could dislodge her own jaw at will (seemed pretty ugly, and never served any particular purpose). Their marriage signaled to me a disaster for the weak Jacob. I expected some sort of failed "taming of the shrew." Instead, Jeannie became so out-of-character docile, that all the setup came crashing down.

    These kinds of loose ends was frequent in the book. In fiction, every scene should work double hard--move the plot along while taking on an extra task (e.g., characterization) and come back with some payoff. Ms. Horn failed all too often to make this happen. If other readers, like me, kept asking "so what?" it is probably because of the flatness of the events that no dramatic telling could revive them. ...more info
  • Fast Paced: Suspension of Disbelief Required
    This is a fast read, suspenseful and sometimes predictable.

    The key characters are from Jewish Families in the Civil War.

    At times, I felt like I was witnessing 21st Century conversations. But if you can suspend your sense of disbelief, and just go with the flow, this is a very engaging, lively historical romance.

    And yeah! A story about Jewish lovers.
    ...more info
  • Just short of the mark
    Normally, I love historical fiction and the Civil War is a favorite time period of mine, but I just didn't find this book as compelling as many of the other reviewers. It had all the ingredients -- spies, intrigue, betrayal, lovers, hardships -- but somehow it just didn't work for me and I struggled to make it to the end. The plot was disjointed in places, and sometimes I didn't understand the motivations of the characters. As a result, I never really warmed up to most of them. I did like the main character, Jacob, but for the majority of the book he was so naive that I felt sorry for him. Through his hardships, he did finally grow wiser and his journey to maturity was one of the more interesting themes of the book....more info