Arthur Holland is a World War I veteran suffering from a failed romance and what we would now call PTSD. In an attempt to sort himself out, he rents a cabin outside of Beckett, North Carolina. The cabin is nothing special, but its location is spectacular. The agent from whom he rents the cabin provides Holland with a well-trained, spirited horse, Cham. Soon Holland is taking long rides into the woods. On one such ride he comes upon an enormous rhododendron, rooted in a brook. When Holland passes under the rhododendron he feels as though he has entered an enchanted land. Soon things happen–enchanting and otherwise–as Holland makes friends with a mysterious old man and his beautiful granddaughter and experiences hospitality unimaginable in such a remote location. But he also has a dust-up with a band of malevolent mountaineers who may be shadowing him on his rides. Throughout these days of adventure, Holland still feels detached from the dangers and beauty he encounters until his foolish curiosity puts a young woman in peril.
Tryon, North Carolina is thought to be the model for Beckett. In this novel, the mountains of Polk County are portrayed as wild and dangerous.
Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.