Category Archives: 2002

2002

Ann B. Ross. Miss Julia Throws a Wedding. New York: Viking, 2002.

When Hazel Marie decides to move out of Miss Julia’s house–and in with her boyfriend, J.D.–the proper widow isn’t sure what to do. Luckily, there are people in town who are more in the marrying mood and Julia throws herself into planning a proper wedding for a local couple. But nothing is ever easy in Abbotsville; there are bridal wedding jitters, uninvited guests, and a local thief for Julia to contend with. This is the third novel about Miss Julia’s exploits in the fictional town of Abbotsville.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library Catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Henderson, Humor, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Ross, Ann B.

Deborah Smith. The Stone Flower Garden. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 2002.

This is a novel with some mighty strong women in it. Parts of the book are narrated by Darl Union, who at the start of the book is a young girl and sole heir to her family’s substantial fortune. Darl’s childhood relationship with Eli Wade and their later reunion drive the story forward, but the emotional center of the book resides with the women of an earlier generation–Darl’s grandmother, Swan Hardigee, Swan’s best friend, Matilda, and Darl’s great aunt, Clara. Clara’s arrival back in Burnt Stand, North Carolina, a town that Darl’s grandmother controls, precipitates twin tragedies that haunt Darl for the next twenty five years. Darl builds a life away from Burnt Stand as a successful defense attorney, but when she reunites with Eli she knows that she must return to her hometown and confront her family’s tangled past. Darl must discover if she has her ancestors’ strength without their heartlessness.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Buncombe, Mountains, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Romance/Relationship, Smith, Deborah

Jan Karon. In This Mountain. New York: Viking, 2002.

After spending time as an interim minister on Whitecap Island, Father Tim Kavanagh and his wife Cynthia have returned to live full-time in Mitford. Father Tim is having a rough time, though. He is in his late sixties, has some health problems, and doesn’t really know what to do with himself now that he is retired. At the same time, his wife Cynthia is receiving attention and awards for her children’s books. Amidst serious life changes and problems, the mundane issues in Tim’s life–like learning to use email–keep the story from getting too heavy. In This Mountain, the seventh in Karon’s series, is populated with familiar Mitford residents, including former jewel thief George Gaynor, but also expands on the stories of several lesser known characters.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Karon, Jan, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Religious/Inspirational

William R. Trotter. The Sands of Pride. New York: Avalon, 2002.

Set in Wilmington during 1861 to 1863, when the port city was the center of Confederate blockade-running efforts, The Sands of Pride is the first of Trotter’s two Civil War novels. Trotter is able to trace several narratives throughout the chaos of battle, with many of his characters based on actual people, and Trotter dramatizes many of the important events in coastal North Carolina during the Civil War. The story is continued through to the end of the war in The Fires of Pride. Trotter is also the author of a multi-volume history of the Civil War in North Carolina, and can be counted in these novels to provide accurate depictions of events, and careful attention to historic detail.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Coast, Historical, New Hanover, Novels in Series, Trotter, William R.

Isabel Zuber. Salt. New York: Picador, 2002.

Set in the fictional mountain town of Faith, N.C. at the turn of the century, Salt is the story of Anna Stockton, an independent young woman who dreams of a better life away from home, and her unlikely husband, John Bayley, an older man consumed by status and greed. Zuber pays close attention to historical detail, providing a careful description of domestic life in the North Carolina mountains in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. There is a town named Faith in Rowan County, however, the setting of Zuber’s story clearly takes place much farther to the west.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC Library Catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Historical, Mountains, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Zuber, Isabel

Judith Minthorn Stacy. Betty Sweet Tells All. New York: HarperCollins, 2002.

Four generations of Sweet women are held together by the unflappable Betty Sweet of Poplar Grove, N.C. Her daughter Maggie causes a stir by running away from her husband and family, while Betty’s mother, Mama Dean, continues to wreak havoc in the house. In the course of dealing with her wacky family, Betty’s own life takes a significant turn when she begins spending time with Poplar Grove newcomer Charlie Love, who has charmed Betty with his English accent.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Iredell, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Piedmont, Stacy, Judith Minthorn

Mark Slouka. God’s Fool. New York: Knopf, 2002.

Chang and Eng Bunker, the famous nineteenth-century conjoined twins from Siam (hence the term “Siamese twins”) are the subject of this novel. The brothers’ colorful life story is told from the viewpoint of Chang, following them all over the world, from Siam to Paris to stints in P.T. Barnum’s sideshows before they settle down to a quiet life in rural North Carolina. Slouka pays close attention to historical detail and portrays the brothers not as mere curiosities but as human beings, writing near the end of the novel about the close relationship between Chang and one of his sons.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Docufiction, Historical, Slouka, Mark, Surry

Charles Price. The Cock’s Spur. Winston-Salem: John F. Blair, 2002.

In the mountains of western North Carolina in the 1880s, moonshining and cockfighting are a regular part of the rough-and-tumble life. Webb Darling, the self-proclaimed king of the moonshiners, rules the region from his hilltop cabin. In contrast to the cruel and conniving Darling is a former slave named Hamby McFee who dreams of making enough money to escape from his life in the mountains, where he still farms the same land he worked as a slave. Unfortunately, the only chance Hamby has at making enough money to leave may be to win it from Darling.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Coast, Historical, Mountains, Piedmont, Price, Charles

Scott Nicholson. The Red Church. New York: Kensington, 2002.

The old red church in Whispering Pines, N.C., a fictional town in the Appalachian mountains, has stood empty for twenty years, said to be haunted by the ghost of the preacher who was hung from its rafters by his own angry congregation. Now that the church has been purchased by a minister whose fiery fundamentalism echoes that of his long-ago predecessor, strange things are starting to happen in town. The story is told through the eyes of thirteen-year-old Ronnie Day, who finds life complicated enough without a haunted church, and Sheriff Frank Littlefield, who must figure out what people or forces are terrorizing his town.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Horror, Mountains, Nicholson, Scott

Robert Morgan. This Rock. Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2001.

Set in the North Carolina mountains in the 1920s, This Rock continues to explore the themes and setting used by Morgan in his popular 2000 novel Gap Creek. The story follows the young brothers Muir and Moody Powell. Muir is earnestly committed to becoming a preacher, but finds his attempts at spreading the word frustrated by his older brother, who is much more interesting in running moonshine and gambling. As Muir struggles to understand his faith, the boys’ mother fights to keep the family together in the still raw wilderness in which they live.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2002, Historical, Morgan, Robert, Mountains