Category Archives: Novels to Read Online

1. Novels to Read Online

Christian Reid. A Little Maid of Arcady. Philadelphia: H. L. Kilner & Co., 1893.

At the age of four, Bernadette Araud is left an orphan when her mother is killed in a train wreck in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Bernadette is reared by a local family, the Camerons, until a chance meeting leads her mother’s family to her. The Ridgeleys are a well-to-do New Orleans family who are eager to have Bernadette with them. After Bernadette leaves her mountain home, the Camerons are so bereft that they decide to return to Scotland. There their son, Alan, completes his education. Alan then returns to the United States and attempts to woo Bernadette. Going against our current stereotypes, the Camerons are Catholics, and Bernadette’s attachment to her Catholic faith figures in the choices that she makes. A dangerous forest fire pushes the novel to a dramatic conclusion.

Check this title’s availability and access an online copy through the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1890-1899, 1893, Mountains, Novels to Read Online, Reid, Christian, Religious/Inspirational

Elia W. Peattie. Annie Laurie and Azalea. Chicago: Reilly & Britton, 1913.

Azalea and Carin are not happy when Annie Laurie joins their class, but eventually they become friends and want to help Annie Laurie when someone makes off with her family’s fortune.

Check this title’s availability and access an online copy through the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1910-1919, 1913, Children & Young Adults, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels to Read Online, Peattie, Elia W.

Elia W. Peattie. Azalea’s Silver Web. Chicago: Reilly & Britton, 1915.

Azalea, now 18, finds that she is the missing granddaughter of a wealthy South Carolina family, and she must make a choice between plantation life and the mountain people who have nurtured her. Told in letters from Azalea; heavy on dialect.

Check this title’s availability and access an online copy through the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1910-1919, 1915, Children & Young Adults, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels to Read Online, Peattie, Elia W.

Elia W. Peattie. The Azalea Novels.

These novels follow the life of a young girl, Azalea. When Azalea’s mother dies, the traveling show that Azalea’s mother belonged to leaves Azalea with a mountain family. Over the course of the novels, Azalea becomes part of the McBirney family and learns about the good and the bad in the mountain community. In the final book in the series, Azalea, now a young woman, is presented with an opportunity to leave her mountain home.

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Filed under Children & Young Adults, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels to Read Online, Peattie, Elia W., Series

Christian Reid. Miss Churchill, a Study. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1887.

Most of the action in this novel takes places outside of North Carolina. Through the generosity of a journalist-adventurer Bernard Lysle, Cecil Churchill gets to leave her family’s plantation and travel to Europe and the Middle East. Lysle is smitten with Miss Churchill, but she is too dazzled by the interesting sights and people and her new freedom to take notice of his love. Only when she becomes engaged to someone else does she realize what Lysle has to offer.

Check this title’s availability and access an online copy through the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1880-1889, 1887, Novels to Read Online, Reid, Christian, Romance/Relationship

Christian Reid. A Question of Honor. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1876.

When her wealthy father dies, Mary Carlisle, who is blind, depends on her kinsman, Basil Severn, to manage her mills, stocks, land, and money. This works well until Arnold Devereux comes to Stansbury (thought to be Salisbury) to claim Mary Carlisle’s inheritance. When a court case goes against Devereux, he tries to gain Mary’s wealth by wooing her. Devereux is not the only person who is eyeing Mary’s wealth, and it takes loyal friends such as Basil and his sister, Madeleine, to see that her wealth is preserved. Love interests complicate matters for all the main characters.

Check this title’s availability and access an online copy through the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1870-1879, 1876, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Novels to Read Online, Piedmont, Reid, Christian, Rowan

Christian Reid. Rosyln’s Fortune. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1885.

Young Rosyln Vardray has just reached the age when she can think about marriage, and this young woman has many suitors. She rejects the affections of her stepbrother and a much older, wealthy man in favor of the handsome outsider, Victor Laurent. When she learns that Laurent is engaged to someone else, she turns away from him. That should be the end of the story, but the actions of an sinister neighbor, Mr. Stanley, and the kind Colonel Duncan keep the possibility of a marriage to Laurent alive. It takes a near-fatal accident for Rosyln to see the true character of each of her suitors. The action takes place in Eldon County, which most readers have taken to be Rowan County.

Check this title’s availability and access an online copy through the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1880-1889, 1885, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Novels to Read Online, Piedmont, Reid, Christian, Rowan

Payne Erskine. A Girl of the Blue Ridge. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1915.

Lurry Bab’s future is bleak, almost Dickensian. When Lurry’s mother dies from her husband’s violence and neglect, Lurry takes her infant brother and runs away from home. Daniel McEwen, an old hermit who rescues Lurry, had a history with Lurry’s late mother. There are many connections among the mountaineers–those on the side of the law and those who make moonshine–and these connections come out during the course of the novel. Lurry is torn between what is left of her family–violent and drunken though they are–and a better life at a settlement school. Dave Turpin, a sometime assistant to the moonshiners, also moves back and forth between the moonshiners and the villagers. Lurry and Dave are attracted to each other, but when Dave is accused of murdering Lurry’s father, a happy life together looks unlikely.

Check this title’s availability and access an online copy through the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1910-1919, 1915, Coast, Erskine, Payne, Mountains, Novels to Read Online

Waldron Baily. June Gold. New York: W. J. Watt & Co., 1922.

It’s rare to find a novel about the illegal liquor trade in North Carolina that isn’t set in the mountains. This is that rare novel. It’s a prohibition era romance set around Bogue Banks. When one of their friends is blinded by bad liquor, a group of New York financiers decided to use a hunting preserve on Bogue Banks as a way station for their rum running. Lora Humphrey falls for one of the New Yorkers and spurns the attentions of a local coast guards man. Her jilted suitor seeks revenge by mobilizing the religious folks in the area against the liquor trade. When Lora takes her New Yorker to a revival they are singled out for condemnation; a well-described brawl ensues. As the locals start taking sides, Lora occupies herself helping a minister’s daughter and searching for long-buried treasure. All the plot lines come together in the end; along the way, the reader gets a good sense of the local geography.

Check this title’s availability and access an online copy through the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1920-1929, 1922, Baily, Waldron, Carteret, Coast, Novels to Read Online, Onslow, Romance/Relationship

Christian Reid. A Summer Idyl. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1878.

At the Tyrrell home in Transylvania County, lovely Flora Tyrrell pines for the attentions of her cousin Harry Sunderland and puts off another suitor, Geoffrey Charlton. While cousin Harry is entangled in another relationship, Geoffrey pursues Flora in walks, rides, and visits. Flora is outraged when she discovers that Geoffrey and Harry have been in cahoots. The novel contains many descriptions of the beautiful mountain scenery.

Check this title’s availability and access an online copy through the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1878, Mountains, Novels to Read Online, Reid, Christian, Transylvania