Cold Mountain and Robert Olmstead’s Coal Black Horse , M"/>

Walking to Gatlinburg

Howard Frank Mosher, Author . Crown/Shaye Areheart $25 (332p) ISBN 978-0-307-45067-8

A Civil War odyssey in the tradition of Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain and Robert Olmstead’s Coal Black Horse , Mosher’s latest (after On Kingdom Mountain ), about a Vermont teenager’s harrowing journey south to find his missing-in-action brother, is old-fashioned in the best sense of the word. Seventeen-year-old Morgan Kinneson goes in search of his older brother, Pilgrim, a Union soldier reported MIA at Gettysburg. But first, Morgan accidentally causes the death of a runaway slave he was leading to safety in Canada. In the course of tracking down his missing brother, Morgan is pursued by slave catchers, accompanies an elephant on an Erie Canal showboat, visits the battlefield at Gettysburg, meets an escaped slave who turns out to be the dead slave’s granddaughter, and gets wounded during a mountain feud before learning of Pilgrim’s fate. Complicating matters is a rune stone the dead slave left to Morgan, which could compromise the security of the Underground Railroad if the slave catchers get their hands on it. The story of Morgan’s rite-of-passage through an American arcadia despoiled by war and slavery is an engrossing tale with mass appeal. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/11/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
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