Category Archives: 1957


John Ehle. Move Over, Mountain. New York: William Morrow, 1957.

mountainPa Cummings wanted his sons to go north.  The segregated South in the mid-twentieth century held limited opportunities for African American men.  All of his son did go north except Jordan, who married young.  Jordan has made a life for himself, with a wife and two sons, but you can’t say that he’s gotten ahead.  He’s worked at a number of jobs, but as the novel opens he’s lost his job delivering coal.  He’s also gambled away his wife’s savings.  Just as Jordan is hitting bottom, his brother Bryant returns from the North.  Bryant has money and opinions, and he seems to be interested in playing the big man to Jordan’s wife and sons.  Sibling rivalry helps Jordan harness his ambition, but he is not prepared for the lengths to which Bryant will go to defeat him.

John Ehle wrote this book when he lived in Chapel Hill, and the fictional Leafwood and Tin Top are widely thought to be modeled on Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

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

Press 53 of Winston-Salem published a 50th anniversary edition of Move Over, Mountain in 2007. The cover art in this posting is from that edition.


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Filed under 1950-1959, 1957, Ehle, John, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Orange, Piedmont

Inglis Fletcher. The Wind in the Forest. Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1957.

Both Royal Governor William Tryon and the Regulator insurrection are well known to students of North Carolina history.  In this novel, Inglis Fletcher retells these familiar stories through the actions of Hillary Caswell.  Caswell is a Marylander by birth, new to North Carolina, but wealthy and well connected (his cousin Richard is the speaker of the North Carolina Assembly).  As the novel opens, Caswell is making plans to go to New Bern where he will join Governor Tryon’s administration.  Although the complaints of his kinsmen and the allure of Cecelia Chapman should have kept him in Tyrrell County, Caswell goes on to New Bern and from there into the fray of late colonial unrest and the fateful Battle of Alamance.  As with most of Fletcher’s novels, historical figures like Tryon, Harmon Husband, and Edmund Fanning are integral to the story.

This is the ninth novel in Fletcher’s Carolina Series.

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


Filed under 1950-1959, 1957, Coast, Fletcher, Inglis, Historical, Novels in Series, Piedmont

Tom Wicker. The Devil Must. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1957.

Just outside of Marion (a town that might be Lumberton, Hamlet, or Rockingham), a farmer is murdered.  A young African American man is accused of the killing, but newspaperman Sandy Martin thinks he is innocent. The murder itself is gruesome, but what Martin uncovers during his investigation is worse: political corruption, personal betrayals, witchcraft. This is a dark picture of a small southern town in the last days of one party rule and Jim Crow.

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

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Filed under 1950-1959, 1957, Coastal Plain, Mystery, Wicker, Tom