Tag Archives: Dialect

David Madden. Pleasure-Dome. Indianapolis, IN: The Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1979.

Desperate to get his little brother Bucky off a chain gang, Lucius Hutchfield attempts to rescue his brother from his misdeeds. Newly released from reform school, Bucky got caught for passing a string of bad checks. Now Lucius has taken responsibility for talking Bucky’s way out of a whole mess of trouble. Lucius tracks down each of Bucky’s ‘victims’ and negotiates that Bucky will make restitution (eventually – he notes the loophole of not arranging a deadline), if they will drop charges. Lucius is training to be a teacher, but his true passion rests in writing. Stories bubble up from within Lucius’s mind. His story-telling urge is now put to the test as Lucius must learn to twist his words to benefit Bucky’s case. However, the antics of their older brother Earl, a dedicated con man, is a corrupting influence on Bucky.

In the midst of trying to redeem Bucky, Lucius learns of old Zara Jane Ransom, the sole resident of the Blue Goose Hotel, in the small town of Sweetwater. Zara purports that in her youth she was Jesse James’s lover. The novel then transitions to Lucius convincing Zara to share her stories of Jesse James. Lucius is intent on using her recollection to inspire a story for publication in Harper’s Bazaar. After settling on cash payment in exchange for her memories, the pair meets for three sessions and Zara shares the details of her possible (but unproven) relationship with Jesse James and another man, Davis Woodring, who was interested in gaining Zara’s attention. While Lucius transcribes the story, he becomes acquainted with Hart Woodring who is obsessed with a beauty named Sabra Van Ness, and dangerously intrigued by Lucius’s story of Zara and Jesse James.

Novelist David Madden presents a character-driven story with a balance of humor and pathos. The novel opens conversationally, from Lucius’s perspective, as part of one long, winding quest that meanders around two major stories filled with a number of different plotlines and characters. The Southern influence is prominent; Madden includes dialect and an intense level of detail. The novel is set in Tennessee and North Carolina during the 1950s. Pleasure-Dome is a sequel to Madden’s earlier work, Bijou (1974), although Madden considers Pleasure-Dome as a sequel in the loosest sense of the word. In an interview, Madden explains that he originally conceptualized the novel with five separate story lines, which he later cut down to two for length. Read more here and here in a series of interviews compiled by the University of Tennessee’s Newfound Press. In Pleasure-Dome, Madden tackles concepts of truth and reality versus myth and illusion through the Lucius’s story-telling.

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

2 Comments

Filed under 1970-1979, 1979, Madden, David, Mountains, Watauga

R. E. Bradshaw. Waking Up Gray. United States: R. E. Bradshaw Books, 2011.

waking At forty, Lizabeth is starting her life over.  Her marriage, to an inveterate philanderer, is finished and her daughter is grown.  Lizabeth has returned to school to study linguistic anthropology.  Her thesis topic is the Caroline Brogue, so she’ll be spending a few months on Ocracoke Island to do her research.

Lizabeth’s cousins have a cottage on the island, a place that Lizabeth used to visit as a child.  Lizabeth knows that she should call on Fanny O’Neal, the elderly woman who lives across the street.  Miss Fanny is an island treasure and almost kin.  But before Lizabeth can pay a call, she sees a brief romantic exchange between Miss Fanny’s granddaughter Gray and another woman.  Lizabeth is shocked by what she feels when she sees the two women, but that doesn’t keep her away from Miss Fanny’s.

Soon her visits across the street are matched by Gray’s visit to Lizabeth’s cottage and excursions around the island.  A same-sex attraction is new territory for Lizabeth, but even as she is exploring her feelings, Gray is struggling too.  Gray’s ex-wife, Dana, cheated on her and even after five years Gray is not ready to give her heart to anyone else.  Lizabeth, Gray, and Fanny survive a hurricane, but will the lovers’ budding relationship survive Dana’s unexpected visit to the island?

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Bradshaw, R. E., Coast, Hyde, Romance/Relationship

Kathleen Thomas. Blackbeard’s Treasure. Greensboro, NC: Tudor Publishing, 2009.

Blackbeard's TreasureMatthew and Lauren Bakker, and their cousins Haley and Luke Bakker, are all set for a fabulous six weeks of summer camp on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Everyone is excited about different parts of the camp, but Matthew is focused on one thing only: Blackbeard. The most infamous pirate to terrorize the coast of the Old North State, Blackbeard supposedly left mountains of treasure behind when his ship Queen Anne’s Revenge sank in 1718. Matthew has been reading a book about the bloodthirsty buccaneer, and it’s not long before his enthusiasm infects his sister and cousins. Incredibly, when the four children arrive at summer camp, they discover that an underwater archaeological expedition is in progress nearby to find and recover Blackbeard’s ship for a local university.

Unfortunately, more than one person is interested in the sunken pirate galley. A private collector thinks he can beat the academics to what could be the discovery of the century. He’ll stop at nothing to steal the priceless wreck from under their noses and sell its treasure on the black market. Yet, the children come to suspect that a modern-day privateer is the least of their worries. Could Blackbeard’s angry spirit be haunting the beaches and coves of the Outer Banks, as well? With the help of the archaeologists, their harried camp counselors, and a crusty local former sailor, the four young troublemakers are determined to protect the treasure and thwart the ghost…by hook or by crook.

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Carteret, Children & Young Adults, Coast, Thomas, Kathleen

Fay Robinson. The Wish List. Don Mills, Ontario: Harlequin, 2011.

Susannah Pelton is determined never to be emotionally dependent on anyone again. During the nine years that she cared for her mother, who was afflicted with Alzheimer’s, all her friends and even her fiance abandoned her. Grieving her mother’s death after nine years of constant nursing, Susannah is determined to live life to the fullest. She writes a list of what she wants to do most in life, including visiting Paris, dancing in a ballet, skydiving, and seeing the Amazon River. At the very top of the list is “create a thing of beauty that will last forever.” Stunned by the detailed artwork in a mosaic she sees in a hospital while having a broken arm set (the skydiving wasn’t such a good idea after all), Susannah tracks down the artist at his remote mountain home in Graham County, North Carolina. Her plan is to ask for lessons, spend eight weeks learning the art of mosaics, and then get to New York City in time to watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve– another item on her list.

Artist Ryan Whitepath is struggling. His six-year-old daughter, Nia, has been suffering from massive anxiety and depression ever since the death of her estranged mother. Although he understands, Ryan doesn’t know how to react, as Nia was never close to her mom. Carla lived all the way in London, which might as well have been the other side of the moon to a little girl living in the mountains of North Carolina. His grandmother insists that Nia will be healed by a redbird with a broken wing, but Ryan dismisses her prediction as old-fashioned nonsense. When a young woman shows up at his door asking for lessons in mosaics, Ryan immediately denies her request– he just doesn’t have room in his life for a stranger. But Nia attaches to the beautiful, red-headed Susannah immediately, and Ryan begins to think that she might be just the cure his little girl needs. But what happens when Nia isn’t the only one captured by the outsider?

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Graham, Mountains, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Robinson, Fay, Romance/Relationship

Susan Donovan. I Want Candy. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2012.

Set just after the events of Cheri on Top, I Want Candy follows the misadventures of Cheri’s best friend Candace “Candy” Carmichael. Like Cheri, Candy was a high roller in Tampa’s real estate scene. When the market crashed and the girls lost everything, Cheri was the first to come crawling back to their childhood home of Bigler in the mountains of western North Carolina. Cheri’s return home went better than well– she’s happily engaged to her childhood sweetheart, and editor of the local newspaper, the Bigler Bugle.

Broke and crashing on the couch in her mother’s apartment at fancy retirement home, Candy can’t imagine what Bigler could offer. The answer comes in the form of the dashing Turner Halliday, Cataloochee County Sheriff and Candy’s former high school classmate. Turner has been in love with Candy ever since the seventh grade, but she seemed to see him as nothing more than a friend. Candy’s racist father, one of Bigler’s good ole boys, quickly put an end to any ideas the biracial Turner might have had about dating his blonde, blue-eyed daughter, too. But Jonesy Carmichael has been dead for years, and Candy is back in Bigler. When their first encounter leads to a steamy kiss, Turner begins to hope Candy might see him differently. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have as much time to think about Candy as he would like– Cataloochee County is becoming central to the production of illegal methamphetamine in North Carolina, and Turner is working overtime to bust the dealers. Additionally, Candy insists that she’s only staying in town long enough to regain her bearings before heading out to make more millions. Can Turner convince her that Bigler is more than just her past?

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Donovan, Susan, Mountains, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Romance/Relationship

William F. Kaiser. Bloodroot. Deep Gap, NC: Bloodroot Books, 2007.

It’s 1860, and Billy Jack Truehill thinks he’s a goner for sure. Bitten by a giant rattlesnake while hunting alone in the North Carolina mountains, the tough woodsman knows he’s likely to perish. But Providence must smile on Billy Jack, for instead of dying in the forest, he stumbles onto the Widow Johnson’s humble homestead.

Elvira May Johnson was gently raised in New York City, where she was married off to the affluent Methodist preacher, Reverend Hiram Johnson. At twenty years her senior, Reverend Johnson was not her ideal match, but Elvira May bowed to the wishes of her father and brothers. But a sudden, unexplained assignment to a parish in western North Carolina meant Elvira May was uprooted from all she knew and loved, and taken out of civilization into the mountain wilds. Yet, the twenty-four-year old Elvira proved stronger than anyone thought, learning herb-lore from local granny-women and how to care for her humble living space. When Hiram died, the self-sufficient Elvira was more than prepared to cope on her own. Or at least she thought she was, until the day Billy Jack falls over in her cornfield.

Elvira heals Billy Jack’s snakebite, and it doesn’t take long for them to begin courting. Unfortunately, the day they marry is just after the formation of the Confederacy, and it doesn’t take long for the simmering mountain communities to boil over. Now Elvira and Billy Jack must fight to defend their country, their neighbors, and their very lives. But can a young woman with strong ideas about abolition and a young man with a stubborn streak a mile wide survive in the wartime mountain wilds for five years? With bandits, soldiers, and feuding neighbors roaming the highlands, it will take a lot more providence to see them through.

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Historical, Kaiser, William F., Mountains, Novels Set in Fictional Places

William F. Kaiser. Hellebore. Vilas, NC: Canterbury House Publishing, 2011.

In this rousing sequel to Bloodroot, the Civil War has ended and peace has been declared. Billy Jack Truehill and his wife Elvira May have retired to a small farm deep in the high mountains of fictional Afton County, North Carolina. But while peace may be the official state of the once more United States, life is far from peaceful in a North Carolina undergoing Reconstruction. Billy Jack must face raiders from both the former Union and Confederate armies, an ongoing feud with the treacherous McBigger clan who killed his parents, and the willful ways of his own wife, who insists that in order to be a true husband, Billy Jack must always stay by her side. Unfortunately for Billy Jack, veteran of two armies and a seasoned hunter and tracker, the pastoral tranquility of farming is not very exciting. He longs to once more take to the Blue Ridge as the wild, fierce mountain man he knows himself to be at heart. But soon he’ll have all the excitement he can stand, as a terrible new power known as the Ku Klux Klan begins to rise and wreak havoc on an already destitute community. Billy Jack must once again take up arms to defend his life, his family, and what he knows to be right.

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

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Historical, Kaiser, William F., Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Margaret Maron. Shooting at Loons. New York: Mysterious Press, 1994.

Judge Deborah Knott leaves her seat in Colleton County and heads to the Outer Banks in this, the third installment in Maron’s popular Deborah Knott series. Filling in for a temporarily incapacitated judge in Carteret County, Deborah is happy to be away from her nosy, trouble-making family and back in Beaufort, NC– home to her cousins, and the site of many happy girlhood summers. However, her nostalgic memories are rudely banished when she finds Andy Bynum, and old family friend, floating murdered in the surf. Deborah isn’t sure who would want to kill the amicable fisherman, but his death hangs like a pall over what was supposed to be her peaceful ocean getaway.

Andy’s death isn’t the only problem. North Carolina’s so-called Crystal Coast is on the brink of war–with increasing levels of tourism, there is continual tension between the High Tiders, who have been fishing the waters for centuries, conservationists, who want to curtail potentially harmful traditional fishing techniques, and developers, who are looking to get the most out of any land they can buy. Andy Bynum, a local and former poacher who unaccountably founded a conservationist organization, was in the center of the conflict. Deborah isn’t sure who killed him, but it’s a fact that many people wanted the stubborn community leader dead. But who pulled the trigger? Knott must carefully navigate a sea of lawyers, judges, greedy developers, tight-lipped locals, and unexpected old friends to find the killer.

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

 

1 Comment

Filed under 1990-1999, 1994, Carteret, Coast, Maron, Margaret, Mystery, Novels in Series

Horace Kephart. Smoky Mountain Magic. Gatlinburg, TN: Great Smoky Mountain Association, 2009.

Horace Kephart on the summit of Mount Kephart, courtesy of the National Park Service

Horace Kephart, known as one of the fathers of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, was a prolific writer and naturalist. He is well known for his nonfiction works on camping and the inhabitants of the southern Appalachians, but it was not until 2009 that his great- great-granddaughter and her husband were able to publish his long-lost novel, Smoky Mountain Magic. Originally written in 1929, the novel draws deeply on Kephart’s years of experience living in and wandering through the Smokies.

It’s 1925, and a young man from New York arrives on the outskirts of Kittuwa (Bryson City) in the Smoky Mountains. John Cabarrus has been away for fifteen years, but has finally returned to claim the land that is rightfully his. But his property is still in possession of the wicked W. G. Matlock, the greedy businessman who stole it from Cabarrus’ grandfather, so John must keep his intentions secret. Unfortunately, a local troublemaker sees Cabarrus on the property, possibly panning for gold. Matlock finds out, and goes after the prodigal son with a vengeance.

Marian Wentworth, a young woman visiting relatives in Kittuwa while on holiday from college, is immediately drawn to the mysterious, handsome Cabarrus. She soon discovers his family’s sad tale, and Cabarrus tells her the whole truth- he isn’t searching for gold, but for beryllium, uranium, and other mineral deposits in high demand as science advances. If he can find enough, his career and fortune will be made and he can regain his grandfather’s prized land from the scheming Matlock. Marian is determined to help, so the two young people search the mountains together for this precious treasure. Along the way, they encounter witches, the Little People, gum-chewing teenagers, mythical beasts, ornery dogs, the Cherokee, and magical crystals.

In this fascinating glimpse into the colliding cultures of the Roaring Twenties and the still wild back woods of the Great Smoky Mountains, Horace Kephart has written a masterful portrayal of the mountain folk, the Cherokee, and the land itself. Readers of adventure, natural science, and early twentieth century literature will all be delighted.

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

1 Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Kephart, Horace, Mountains, Suspense/Thriller, Swain

Marian Nichols. House of Riddles. New York: Xlibris, 2007.

Raven and Shane Hawkins are newlyweds honeymooning near Boone, North Carolina when they see an advertisement for a dilapidated mansion. Curious and feeling spontaneous, the couple travel south to Swain County, where they purchase the estate for a mere $6500. As their families visit and they explore the house, it quickly becomes clear that something isn’t right. There are odd noises and phone calls, an hour sometimes passes but only feels like a few minutes, and strange shapes and shadows appear. When Raven finds a mysterious parchment containing indecipherable writing hidden in one of the doors, she knows she must call her great-grandfather, Blackfox, to help her and Shane solve the puzzle. A full Cherokee, Blackfox is an ancient and wise person, although he struggles with broken English. Blackfox realizes immediately that the mansion is a holy place, and is filled with restless spirits. With her great-grandfather’s help, Raven and Shane uncover secret chambers and passages, finding treasure along the way. Unfortunately they also find bodies, which Blackfox declares explain their ghostly encounters.

A homeless man called Rusty arrives at their door looking for the former owners of the house, and Shane and Raven take pity on him, inviting him to stay. But Rusty’s presence only increases the strange phenomena, and as the newlyweds uncover more about the violent history of the mansion, Raven also uncovers more about her Cherokee family’s sad past, acting as a translator for the spirits of those long gone. Featuring many surprises and thrills, including an actual raven with the power of speech, this novel engages in an interesting characterization of the Cherokee.

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

6 Comments

Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Horror, Mountains, Nichols, Marian, Suspense/Thriller, Swain