Reviewed by Lauren Cannavino
Becoming George Washington is an excellent piece of historical fiction that provides an intimate look at one of history’s most interesting people. The story is full of a rich imagined dialogue that gives insight into what George Washington may have been thinking and how his personality may have actually been. Author Stephen Yoch clearly did extensive research into the professional beginnings of Washington as well as his social and personal presence. When available, this research provided Yoch with snippets of actual correspondence that he included, as well as accurate historical context and references.
George Washington is often remembered for being the first President of the United States, but Becoming George Washington shows how he grew into that role and all of the steps and people that helped him get there. There are many facts and instances presented in the book about Washington’s life and his career path that will be new and fresh to readers, especially those who are unfamiliar with his background. The novel focuses on his very beginnings, his relationship with his overbearing mother and his doting older brother and more. The reader sees Washington grow into a powerful, intelligent and successful man that rose to the top through dedication and hard work.
Washington learns in the book how to navigate the Virginia social scene, how to manage a farm, how to serve in the military and how to become a surveyor. Along the way, he suffers failure, rejection, loss and hardships that make him realize that he is destined for so much more. After surviving an illness that almost kills him, Washington is given a clean bill of health from his doctor and realizes that he is not destined for an early demise like so many other Washington men and hits his life with a new found vigor and appreciation. Becoming George Washington shows the personal side of George Washington and makes him accessible. While he is not always likable, his life and his achievements are impressive. As Washington grows into his manhood and his career, the reader can see the evolution of what successes are still to come for the impressive man. As he matures, falls in love and succeeds in life, the powerful man that so many admire, can be seen on the horizon.
Stephen Yoch took an interesting and fresh look on one of the greatest figures in American history and made him come alive. Becoming George Washington is a great read for history buffs as well as historical fiction fans. Yoch focuses on Washington as the person and picks a great points to include in the story that provide a look into all of the different elements that contributed to Washington’s success.
Lauren Cannavino is a graduate student, freelance writer, wine lover, and avid reader. Random musings can be found over at www.goldiesays.wordpress.com.
Review copy was provided by Wise Ink Creative Publishing. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.