- File Size: 1149 KB
- Print Length: 350 pages
- Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (September 27, 2012)
- Publication Date: September 27, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0097HHHWG
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #617,366 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$5.99|
|Print List Price:||$18.95|
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Keowee Valley Kindle Edition
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|Length: 350 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Quincy McFadden is a 25 year-old Scottish immigrant residing in Charlestown, South Carolina, 1768. She is compelled to rescue her cousin, Owen from the Shawnee Indians that roam the southern Appalachian Mountains. Yet she also desires freedom and hopes to trade goods with the Cherokee for her own parcel of land in the Blue Ridge Mountains that mark the rocky confluence of North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Quincy has a dream of her own homestead, far from government intrusion and the culture of a woman's expectations; she's a pilgrim running from the politics of oppression created by earlier pilgrims. With a family protector along as guide, they make their way from city lights to the rugged country side where she spies her first Indian and finds herself fascinated.
"Both men were shirtless but the younger...looked somehow wilder in his deerskin leggings, a dangerously long knife tied with a leather strap to his waist. His black hair was shorn into a single, spiky line that became a long tail at his nape...I stood transfixed...I'd never seen men who looked as they did. Their skin looked the color of burnt cedar that gleamed in the sunlight. They were tall and leanly muscled, and for the most part, strikingly handsome."
Eventually Quincy makes her trade and settles into the Blue Ridge where she soon meets the man that will find Owen as well as her heart, Jack Wolf. Although at their first meeting, Jack ends up on the wrong end of Quincy's pistols, her pounding heart is fascinated:
"I could see beneath the battered hat he wore that his eyes were green as the moss growing on the boulders in the creek...He shifted to remove his hat and my eyes went to that arresting face, with its long, aquiline nose and hooded eyes. Surely he was Indian, I thought, though his hair was the color of a well-worn leather saddle, the tips dipped in white paint."
It's obvious from this moment that Jack and Quincy are destined for one another's arms. Jack is a half-breed, part Irish, part Cherokee, educated by a Scottish missionary and a Cherokee tribe, with a wit as sharp as his tomahawk. As he and Quincy verbally joust, first over the search for Owen then over their simmering desire for one another, Miss Crawford's skill and love of language shines forth. Throughout Keowee Valley, Miss Crawford gives life to Charlestown businessmen, English soldiers, early American settlers and most daunting, the Cherokee nation. Quincy and Jack spar in a cleverly crafted half-Scotch, half-English dialect that's peppered with Cherokee and filled with tension, nuance and playfulness.
As I read Keowee Valley I sunk into its stunning vistas, cool mountain streams, and spit-roasted wild game. Miss Crawford's vivid characters and striking scenery soared from the pages; gunpowder stung my nose, raindrops splashed across my face and the crispness of the mountain air revived me. In one of my favorite scenes Jack and Quincy hike behind a waterfall as Jack speaks of the ancient Cherokee spirits that inhabit such a place. I've hiked that trail myself, stood on the same mossy rocks, squished through the same mud and also found myself pondering ancient Cherokee spirits. It is a breathtakingly beautiful area where little Cherokee influence (save for the casino that draws gamblers into the town of Cherokee) remains.
If there is a downside to Keowee Valley, it is in Quincy's ability to see the future. She has been gifted "The Sight" and the scenes of her visions add a slight awkwardness to a fine novel.
At its heart, Keowee Valley is an exquisitely crafted love letter to a land and culture swallowed up by an encroaching civilization and inescapable change.
Now for the but. When Quinn and Jack go back to Charlestown my kindle showed in the neighborhood of 85 percent complete. No way I figured would she be going back to her settlement. And here was the thing for me. It was almost as if going to Italy was the easy secure way out. Oh yes they were in danger and her grandfather had the money and concerned about her welfare secured a place for her entourage on a ship bound for Italy if she wanted to or not. I might add that she wasn't the only colonialist to do that. Italy was well toured by expats during the revolution. But what of the welfare of the settlement she started then left behind. I can picture Quinn and Jack attempting to find a place for themselves in Italy but after a short time a yearning for the wild beauty they left behind and the welfare of the settlement draw them back to be engulfed in the disputes and hard loyalties that have to be made. I sense a follow up novel. At any rate I loved this book and will honor any thing Ms. Crawford writes with my full attention. Marshall L Dell
I bought this book primarily because I'm a native of upstate SC, and this is a place and time novelists rarely deal with. It piqued my curiosity, but my fear was that it was just a bodice-ripper romance.
Thankfully, that idea was quickly proven so wrong.
The history is strong---I'd call it a historical novel--the writing outstanding, and the characters well-developed. And there's a great story. So rare to have all those elements in one first novel. What a great read this is. Yes, the ending left some issues unresolved, but that's OK. Life's like that at times, and it makes me hopeful for a sequel, soon!
Most recent customer reviews
Valley must have looked like during the time of this story.
The Mtns are still there.Read more