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Panther Mountain: Caroline's Story Paperback – November 14, 2015
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About the Author
Christy Perry Tuohey, great-great-granddaughter of Caroline Grose, is a 30+ year veteran of newsrooms and classrooms. She was a TV news reporter and anchor in markets including Charleston/Huntington, WV; Charlotte, NC; and Columbus and Cleveland, OH. Her writing has been published in multiple print and online newspapers and magazines including the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Pillars Magazine and the Charleston (WV) Gazette. Perry Tuohey taught journalism and grammar/writing mechanics classes at Syracuse University for 16 years and also served as web content producer and manager for the Newhouse School’s official website – http://newhouse.syr.edu Wielding her red pen, she has edited hundreds (maybe thousands) of students’ news stories and essays. She has just published her first book, Panther Mountain: Caroline’s Story, a historical fiction novel based on true events in 19th Century Virginia/West Virginia. You can follow along with the story on Twitter and Facebook, and she blogs about writing and food at Plots and Crockpots.
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Even though most families in the area do not own slaves, Panther Mountain is torn by the issue of slavery just like eastern and western Virginia. Caroline’s family is Methodist Episcopalian and resolutely against slavery but others, even within the church, do not feel the same way and eventually this leads to the split of the church and life-long friends. Aid given to a runaway slave and nearby Civil War battles add excitement to Caroline’s story.
Panther Mountain: Caroline's Story is historical fiction based on a love letter kept through the generations of the author’s family. Caroline is the author’s great-great grandmother and the amount of research spent on the time period is evident in the writing. I’ve read a lot of books about the Civil War era; few have pulled me back in time like this book. Circuit riders/traveling pastors, camp meetings, the general store, newspapers and even food and clothing are described in great detail and add to the authenticity of the tale. I really enjoyed Panther Mountain: Caroline's Story and I highly recommend it!
I gave this story four stars because it seemed a little one-dimensional. The main character, Caroline never really showed any emotional struggle or "character arc". There was only one scene that created emotional tension: when Caroline is faced with an old friend who rescues her and her family from enemy troops.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes genuine history, but it is not for those looking for "historical romance".