Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Love and Lament-John Milliken Thompson

Love and Lament

John Milliken Thompson

Other Press, Aug 6 2013, $15.95

ISBN: 9781590515877

The residents of Haw County, North Carolina believe 1887 is a breakthrough year as the railroad finally arrives. Also in that same historical year, Mary Bet is born as the ninth and last child of Rezin Cicero and Susan Elizabeth Hartsoe. By the turn of the century, Mary Bet is the lone survivor as her eight older siblings are dead; as well as their mom. By 1906 her Civil War veteran father shows signs of senility while also suffering with physical ailments forcing a reluctant Mary Bet finally to take him to Morganton State Hospital; while Cattie Jordon sells the store. Over the next decade, Cicero remains at Morganton while his only surviving offspring remains single working as a clerk at the Haw County Courthouse and on call as a deputy to Sheriff Teague pursuing moonshiners. When Teague leaves to fight in WWI, Mary Bet replaces him as the state’s first female sheriff.

Love and Lament is a deep vivid look at the Piedmont in the three decades preceding WWI. The storyline is mostly seen through the eyes of Mary Bet, a granddaughter of slaves. She observes the Civil War continues to hold a grip on the townsfolk as powerful as the circuit preachers while a neo industrial revolution has shaken tradition. Readers will appreciate this strong historical that will have the audience believing this is a fabulous biographical fiction.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: