Coal Black Horse

Robert Olmstead, Author . Algonquin $22.95 (218p) ISBN 978-1-56512-521-6

Olmstead's new work (after Stay Here with Me ) is a convulsive, bloody Civil War tale that tracks a boy's search for his father on the battlefield at Gettysburg. At 14, Robey Childs is on the cusp of manhood when he sets off from the family farm at his mother's behest to find his soldier father and bring him home. A sympathetic farmer loans Robey an uncommonly beautiful and sturdy black horse. On the road, Robey passes carts carrying the maimed and dead, and bands of Native Americans and runaway slaves. A chain of horrific trials begins for Robey when a man dressed as a woman shoots him and steals the horse. He's taken prisoner as a suspected spy, witnesses a girl's rape and is caught up in a carnage-drenched raid. However, he survives the attack, is reunited with the stolen horse and sets out again, days later finding his father on the battlefield, mortally wounded. Robey can't save his father, but he can try to save the raped girl, Rachel, from further violence. His return home and his testimony to what he saw forms a powerful, redemptive narrative. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 10/23/2006
Release date: 04/01/2007
Open Ebook - 241 pages - 978-1-56512-634-3
Paperback - 229 pages - 978-1-56512-601-5
Hardcover - 311 pages - 978-0-7862-9733-7
Paperback - 309 pages - 978-1-59413-237-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4561-0172-5
Prebound-Glued - 229 pages - 978-1-61383-818-1
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