King's Mountain, Cats, Etc.
I recently finisheded read Sharyn McCrumb's historical novel, King's Mountain, which is about victory in a Revolutionary War battle—the Battle of King's Mountain in October 1780. But McCrumb's battle account isn't like the history book ones—hers has plenty of hardship, blood, and difficult choices. While the battle itself actually lasted about an hour, getting ready for it took some time. Frontiersmen had to band together, recruit unpaid militia members, acquire provisions, and travel to where the Tories posed a threat. This battle, while not widely known, was important in America's winning the war.
Reading King's Mountain took me some time, too, because there was a lot of information to digest. I read a few chapters a day. The cats kept me company while I read.
Another reason I liked King's Mountain is that the story was told in first person using alternating narrators—frontiersman John Sevier and camp follower Virginia Sal, though Tory leader Patrick Ferguson narrates one chapter. The alternating viewpoints give the story more depth and make it more up-close and personal.
The characters—mostly based on real people (except for one who's supernatural)—are complex and face difficult choices. I like how McCrumb handles both description and dialogue. The language flows naturally, and the rhythm of Appalachian speech is evident. Both dialogue and description work to keep the narrative moving while letting the reader understand what's happening.
Because I'm descended from one of those involved at King's Mountain, Sharyn McCrumb sent me a special bookplate.