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Cataloochee by Wayne Caldwell
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Cataloochee

by Wayne Caldwell

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    Serena by Ron Rash (cataylor)
    cataylor: Same time period, same place.
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Generational historical fiction set in the pre-park Smoky Mountains. If you liked Cold Mountain, or In the Fall, check out Caldwell's excellent first novel. This book takes us through the ordinary lives of several families in the North Carolina mountains from just after the Civil War until 1928, when they learn of the government's plan to turn the land some of them have occupied for 4 generations into a new National Park.
June 2010 ( )
  laytonwoman3rd | May 14, 2017 |
Traces the families of this North Carolina valley from mid 1800's to 1930. Tho they have settled and farmed here for several generations, they are about to be displaced by a new National Park. This book traces the families and their reactions to this move. ( )
  pgabj | Jan 17, 2016 |
I'm always sprinkling a dose of southern lit into my reading and this scratched my itch for appalachian lore. Not a perfect novel, it was a little weak on plot development and pacing, but perfectly evocative of a time and place. ( )
  paperhouses | Jun 12, 2011 |
Since the Great Smokies is one of my favorite places to be, I enjoyed this book. I know people very much like these characters, and I know the scenery, so it was like putting on a comfortable pair of shoes to read this book. Don't expect a lot of hot action, but do expect to read about families who have spent generations in the hills. There is some action at the end, just enough to keep you reading non-stop! ( )
  hobbitprincess | Jan 15, 2011 |
Caldwell's debut novel is like a collection of short pieces linked by common characters and moreso by the setting, Cataloochee, in the Appalachian mountains of western North Carolina. The book covers the period between the American civil war and the 1920s, showing the transition from a very isolated mountain locale to greater contact with the outside world, leading up to the area's inclusion in a national park.

The characters are well drawn for short-story characters, but most appear fairly briefly and do not change or develop a lot. The character with the most face time, Ezra, is pretty disagreeable, but interesting as a foil for the other characters to interact with. The descriptions of the setting are nicely done without becoming rapturous or overdone. The book held my interest throughout, although it dragged a bit in the middle, then became more interesting again toward the end. Recommended for those with an interest in the area and time period. A sequel is in the works and I will definitely check it out. ( )
  Jim53 | Aug 22, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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Goe little booke: thy selfe present,
As child whose parent is unkent.

---Edmund Spenser
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For Mary
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Prologue:
Jake Carter was far from dark-minded, but had inherited a streak of what his mother called "worriment," along with her conviction that while a body ought not hunt for trouble, nonetheless he should be watchful, for woe walks up and down in the world.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812973739, Paperback)

“A brilliant portrait of a community and a way of life long gone, a lost America.”
–Charles Frazier

Against the breathtaking backdrop of Appalachia comes a rich, multilayered post—Civil War saga of three generations of families–their dreams, their downfalls, and their faith. Cataloochee is a slice of southern Americana told in the classic tradition of Flannery O’Connor and William Faulkner.

Nestled in the mountains of North Carolina sits Cataloochee. In a time when “where you was born was where God wanted you,” the Wrights and the Carters, both farming families, travel to the valley to escape the rapid growth of neighboring towns and to have a few hundred acres all to themselves. But progress eventually winds its way to Cataloochee, too, and year after year the population swells as more people come to the valley to stake their fortune.

Never one to pass on opportunity, Ezra Banks, an ambitious young man seeking some land of his own, arrives in Cataloochee in the 1880s. His first order of business is to marry a Carter girl, Hannah, the daughter of the valley’s largest landowner. From there Ezra’s brood grows, as do those of the Carters and the Wrights. With hard work and determination, the burgeouning community transforms wilderness into home, to be passed on through generations.

But the idyll is not to last, nor to be inherited: The government takes steps to relocate folks to make room for the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and tragedy will touch one of the clans in a single, unimaginable act.

Wayne Caldwell brings to life the community’s historic struggles and close kinships over a span of six decades. Full of humor, darkness, beauty, and wisdom, Cataloochee is a classic novel of place and family.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:26 -0400)

Set in the mountains of western North Carolina, an historical novel follows the lives of three families from the end of the Civil War until 1928, when the National Park Service prepares to uproot them to make way for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.… (more)

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