This historical fiction, published in 1997, tells the story of a young boy, Joseph Gershomsoln, from an outcast Jewish family in Dittelheim Bavaria. The boy is a natural horse genius who works with his father in breeding and training cavalry horses for the elite Royal Wittelbach Hussar regiment owned by Count von Falkenbrecht. The narrative takes Joseph from Germany to America in the mid 1850’s, and into the Civil War. In all of this, Joseph struggles with his identity as a Jew and the existence of the “Jewish God”.
To say the story is heavily weighted in the exploration of Judaism and Jewish culture is not denied. Some may dismiss this as an attempt at proselytizing Judaism. Maybe so. I would submit in this case that it might cause the reader to gain some insight as to what changes occurred and why they occurred in Abraham’s tribe after coming to America, and perhaps extrapolate the mindset that allowed the Holocaust a century later.
Flicker’s descriptions of Joseph dealing with horses and the techniques used in combat serve as a reminder that the European cavalry officer was highly dependent on dressage as the foundation for training of horse and rider. That officer then became the primary trainer for NCO’s whose job it was to train the recruits in his command.
Many will recognize Linda Tellington-Jones in the acknowledgments as one of the main inspirations for the techniques that Joseph utilizes to socialize and train the horses he comes in contact with.
In the end this is action adventure. Fortunes made, lost and remade, deceit, loyalty, betrayal, acts of bravery and cowardice, love, sex, more sex… more sex. Yikes! In the end, I’ll reread it for the horses and the cavalry actions.
Oh yes… George Custer and a custom Whittman saddle.
Available as a Kindle book, and the other formats from Amazon.
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