Tag Archives: Reconstruction

Michael Phillips. Carolina Cousins Series.

In the Carolina Cousins books, the follow-up series to the Shenandoah Sisters books, cousins and best friends Katie and Mayme are still together, but the early years of Reconstruction are hard for the girls. They face both the normal difficulties of growing up and the many troubles of their time. Throughout the series, the girls face adversity–often related to race–and new characters who arrive at Rosewood become part of the family. The themes of friendship, forgiveness, determination, and faith run throughout the books.

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Filed under Historical, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Phillips, Michael, Religious/Inspirational, Romance/Relationship, Series

Michael Phillips. The Soldier’s Lady. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2006.

The Soldier’s Lady is the second book in the Carolina Cousins series and, although it continues the stories of Katie and Mayme, it is focused upon Micah Duff. Micah had a hard childhood in Chicago, but grew up to become an educated, thoughtful, and spiritual man. After the end of the Civil War, the former Buffalo soldier finds his way to Rosewood Plantation where he reconnects with old friends, becomes a new and important part of the Rosewood family, and helps them face a threat from a cruel man from Emma’s past.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2006, Historical, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Phillips, Michael, Religious/Inspirational, Romance/Relationship

Michael Phillips. A Perilous Proposal. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2005.

A Perilous Proposal follows the life of young Jake Patterson, a slave who flees for the north after fighting off his mother’s white attacker. After a stay with some Union army soldiers, he eventually finds his long-lost father in North Carolina and meets Katie and Mayme, the two young women who live at Rosewood plantation. Jake soon falls in love and wants to start a new life, but he is held back by anger and resentment from his past. In this, the first book in the Carolina Cousins series, the residents of Rosewood also face physical threats from intolerant men in the nearby (fictional) town of Greens Crossing.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2005, Historical, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Phillips, Michael, Religious/Inspirational, Romance/Relationship

J. G. Clinkscales. How Zach Came to College. Spartanburg, SC: W. F. Barnes, 1903.

Zach Whetsone, a lad from Rutherford County, happens to be selling his produce in Spartanburg, South Carolina one spring day when the commencement exercises at Wofford College are taking place. Zach is inspired by the event and later returns to Wofford as a student. As a poor mountaineer, Zach has to overcome many obstacles to complete his degree. When he finally does, he returns home to marry his true love, preach, teach, and start a high school. Zach is presented as an admirable figure: working hard, caring for his widowed mom, staying true to his love, and speaking out for national reconciliation, but his racial attitudes (or, those of the author) will offend many readers.

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

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Filed under 1900-1909, 1903, Clinkscales, J. G., Mountains, Novels to Read Online, Rutherford

Larry G. Morgan. Ivy: Lilies of the Field. Charlotte, NC: Catawba Publishing Co., 2006.

Ivy: Lilies of the Field is Larry Morgan’s third novel based on the lives of Ivy Rowland, his great-grandfather’s first wife, and her friends and family. While the previous two books–Ivy:Yankee Sweetheart, Rebel Nurse and Ivy: Camp Branch to Groveton–take place during the Civil War, this one is bookended by military conflicts: it starts in the final days of the Civil War and ends with the Spanish-American War. In the three decades between the wars, marriages are celebrated, houses are built, and children are raised. Some of the characters settle near the Nantahala Gorge in western North Carolina, while others make their lives in Georgia or Virginia.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2006, Historical, Macon, Morgan, Larry G., Mountains, Novels in Series, Swain

Michael Phillips. Miss Katie’s Rosewood. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2007.

In Miss Katie’s Rosewood, the fourth and final book in the Carolina Cousins series, it is 1870 and the main characters Katie and Mayme are now young women. At the urging of the older generation of the Daniels family, the cousins and best friends agree to travel to Philadelphia to visit a women’s college and explore the possibilities of higher education. They also hope to visit with their respective beaus, who have both traveled to Pennsylvania. On the train ride north, however, the cars are segregated by race, the girls are separated, and Mayme is kidnapped. Meanwhile, back in fictional Shenandoah County, Rosewood is threatened by the Ku Klux Klan. The girls weather their troubles with the help of family, friends, and their Christian faith.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Historical, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Phillips, Michael, Religious/Inspirational, Romance/Relationship

Michael Phillips. Never Too Late. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2007.

The third book in the Carolina Cousins series, Never Too Late follows the story of Josepha (Seffie). A slave in her childhood years, Seffie weathers significant personal hardship, beginning when she is sold away from her family as a punishment at seven years old. She plans her escape from slavery for years and eventually tries–and fails–to get to the North through the underground railroad. The story continues into the post-Civil War years, explaining how she comes to live and work at Rosewood, the home of the Carolina Cousins (and Shenandoah Sisters) series’ overall main characters Katie and Mayme. Like other books in the series, the main themes of Never Too Late are the characters’ faith, friendship, and dependence upon each other.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Historical, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Phillips, Michael, Religious/Inspirational, Romance/Relationship

Payne Erskine. When the Gates Lift Up Their Heads: A Story of the Seventies. Boston: Little, Brown, 1901.

Although this novel is set in the mountains of western North Carolina, plantation slavery is presented is part of the local heritage and figures in the plot. The shoe is on the other foot when John Marshall returns to his hometown near Asheville in the 1870s. Northerners have come to this part of the South and they are making their presence felt through land purchases and business deals. His family home has been sold and is now a boarding house run by the optimistic and energetic Portia Van Ostade. Old racial and social attitudes are still alive, but the younger characters find romance across the sectional divide. The happiness of one young couple is threatened by a secret from the past.

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

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Filed under 1900-1909, 1901, Buncombe, Erskine, Payne, Mountains, Novels to Read Online

Lee Smith. On Agate Hill.Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books, 2006.

Molly Petree, the orphaned daughter of a Confederate soldier, begins writing her diary in 1872, on her 13th birthday. From that point onward, Molly chronicles her life in post-Civil War North Carolina, both at Agate Hill–her uncle’s plantation located near Hillsborough–and elsewhere in the state.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2006, Historical, Orange, Piedmont, Smith, Lee

Charles Price. Freedom’s Altar. Winston-Salem: John F. Blair, 1999.

Set in the violent, lawless days just after the Civil War, this novel explores the deeply complicated questions about how the South would recover and adjust to new ideas about race and class. Daniel McFee, a former slave who had fought for the Union, has returned home to western North Carolina to become a sharecropper on land owned by his old master, Madison Curtis. Despite good intentions, both Curtis and McFee have trouble adjusting to this new relationship. It’s especially hard to make any meaningful progress when the whole region is overrun with violent vigilantes all too willing to take matters into their own hands. The novel is based in part on the author’s family history. Freedom’s Altar won the 1999 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for the best novel by a North Carolinian.

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

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Filed under 1990-1999, 1999, Historical, Mountains, Price, Charles