This is a book I can see being taught in classrooms in the future. It has all the elements that make for a great discussion — symbolism, unreliable narratives, controversial depictions of real-life historical events and places.
John Brown is one of those historical figures who has been overshadowed by some of his contemporaries — Lincoln, Douglass, Tubman (the latter two make cameos in GOOD LORD). The raid on Harper’s Ferry – the climax of the novel – is largely considered a failure, but McBride makes the case that it was, in many ways, the catalyst for the Civil War.
It dragged around the 3/4ths mark, and I got antsy waiting for the raid to begin. I found it difficult to feel much suspense, since we all know how the raid goes down, and the eventual fate of Mr. Brown.
The ending is one of the most perfect and poignant endings I have come across. I would recommend this book solely so you can be experience the last page.