The General and Julia showcases the complexity of a man who carried the nation’s fate on his shoulders yet always remained devoted to his family.


The Description

Publication Date: November 14, 2023

Barely able to walk and rendered mute by the cancer metastasizing in his throat, Ulysses S. Grant is scratching out words, hour after hour, day after day. Desperate to complete his memoirs before his death so his family might have some financial security and he some redemption, Grant journeys back in time.

He had once been the savior of the Union, the general to whom Lee surrendered at Appomattox, a twice-elected president who fought for the civil rights of Black Americans and against the rising Ku Klux Klan, a plain farmer-turned-business magnate who lost everything to a Wall Street swindler, a devoted husband to his wife Julia, and a loving father to four children. In this gorgeously rendered and moving novel, Grant rises from the page in all of his contradictions and foibles, his failures and triumphs.

Moving from blood-stained battlefields to Gilded Age New York, the novel explores how Grant’s own views on race and Reconstruction changed over time. “A graceful, moving narrative” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) from historical fiction master Jon Clinch, this evocatively crafted novel breathes fresh life into an American icon.

The Review

As a larger-than-life historical figure, Ulysses S. Grant is remembered not only for his presidential service but for his military prowess.

Author Jon Clinch offers a unique slice of historical fiction with The General and Julia. Facing his last days fighting throat cancer, Grant is determined to pen his memoir in an effort to provide his family with financial support.

The story’s timeline shifts from Grant’s last days, depicted by the heading “Forty Days and Forty Nights,” to key flashback events beginning in 1843 featuring a tender scene between an obviously smitten young couple.

Grant faces numerous challenges regarding the topic of slavery, especially since his own father-in-law relied heavily on the practice. Grant’s sense of equality is demonstrated multiple times throughout the book, as is his focus on hard work.

Seeing Grant through today’s lens reflects a man ahead of his time. Much debate has centered around the terms of his agreement with Robert E. Lee to end the Civil War, but Grant’s focus was always on unity.

A peek inside his personal life reveals a family man dedicated to his wife and four children. The author’s masterful storytelling technique brings the characters to life so readers can experience both the highs and the lows.

The General and Julia showcases the complexity of a man who carried the nation’s fate on his shoulders yet always remained devoted to his family.Buy Links

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About The AuthorJon Clinch is the author of the acclaimed novels FinnKings of the EarthThe Thief of AuschwitzBelzoni Dreams of EgyptMarley, and The General and Julia. A native of upstate New York, Jon lives with his wife in the Green Mountains of Vermont.



Amy Wilson
Amy Wilson
My name is Amy W., and I am a book addict. I will never forget the day I came home from junior high school to find my mom waiting for me with one of the Harlequin novels from my stash. As she was gearing up for the "you shouldn't be reading this" lecture, I told her the characters get married in the end. I'm just glad she didn't find the Bertrice Small book hidden in my closet. I have diverse reading tastes, evident by the wide array of genres on my Kindle. As I made the transition to an e-reader, I found myself worrying that something could happen to it. As a result, I am now the proud owner of four Kindles -- all different kinds, but plenty of back-ups! "Fifty Shades of Grey" gets high marks on my favorites list -- not for character development or dialogue (definitely not!), but because it blazed new ground for those of us who believe provocative fiction is more than just an explicit cover. Sylvia Day, Lexie Blake, and Kristin Hannah are some of my favorite authors. Speaking of diverse tastes, I also enjoy Dean Koontz, Iris Johansen, and J.A. Konrath. I’m always ready to discover new-to-me authors, especially when I toss in a palate cleanser that is much different than what I would normally read. Give me something with a well-defined storyline, add some suspense (or spice), and I am a happy reader. Give me a happily ever after, and I am downright giddy.


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The General and Julia showcases the complexity of a man who carried the nation’s fate on his shoulders yet always remained devoted to his family.5-STAR REVIEW: THE GENERAL AND JULIA by Jon Clinch