The love story...the beginning of the Ingram bloodline. It was about the land...a blood tide of war is sweeping across the South, a tide that might be impossible to stand before.
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Life is good for widower Rundell Ingram and his hazel eyed, roan haired son, Hamilton. Between the two of them, they take care of Moccasin Hollow, their rustic dogtrot ancestral home, a sprawling non-slave plantation in the rolling farming country outside Queensborough Towne in east Georgia. Adjoining Ingram lands is Wisteria Bend , the vast slave-holding plantation of Andrew and Corinthia Greer, their daughter Sarah, and son Benjamin.
Both families share generations of long-accepted traditions, and childhood playmates are no longer children. The rangy, even-tempered Norman-Scottish young Hamilton is smitten with Sarah, who has become an enticing capricious beauty--the young lovers more in love with each passing day, and only pleasant times ahead of them.
...but a blood tide of war is sweeping across the South, a tide that might be impossible to stand before.
A tale of war and loss and love and hope...it is July 1859. Young lovers from privileged families, Hamilton Ingram and Sarah Greer are swept into the upheaval, the tragic loss of loved ones, of everything that is their world. Their bonds of love tested, of resolute determination set against the devastating turmoil that comes to Queensborough Towne in the rolling farm country of east Georgia.
Anne Lovett, News Magazine, GWA
Moccasin Trace is at heart a tender love story with a generous dollop of military history and commentary about war and its leaders. In 1859, Hamilton Ingram of Moccasin Hollow and Sarah Greer of Wisteria Bends, passionate young lovers residing on neighboring plantations in a region of Georgia somewhere between Augusta and Macon, become engaged and are looking forward to their grand wedding. They "jump the gun," but no one notices--or so they think. They don't realize the seriousness of the winds of "secesh," blowing from Washington City to Charlestown, and their families get caught up in the path to war. The main story is how they and their love manage to survive the war's devastation and desolation, as well as their personal losses. The strength of the book lies in its description of the war's effect on farmers and on commerce, on ports and harbors, something that is dry in history books, but comes alive in these pages. The conversations between the older men and their sons reveal various attitudes people had toward the upcoming secession and about their leaders, which may be relevant to the world today. The characters are well-drawn and likable, distinctive, strong, and even heroic.
The dialogue is believable. This author is at his best in his wonderfully descriptive passages...
Swarthy billows belched from the twin stacks, and settled out on the river. Dockside mooring lines cast off from the bollards splashed the water, dragging alongside, and the gangplank hoisted, swung inboard. Twin paddle wheels sloshed several lazy rotations; stopped; slowly churned in reverse; stopped again. The Harbor Pilot let her drift away from the dock. She took to the river; the current swung the bow...and the city slipped astern. A white egret winged its way over the syrupy water. Settled ahead of them down-river among the tall regal cypress trees, that seemed to be wading through the lush undergrowth along the banks.
MacKinney has a distinctive style which has a charm of its own. Sometimes it tends to keep the reader outside the story rather than inside, but that's okay; it's recognized way of writing. Moccasin Trace is an entertaining and informative addition to the War of Northern Aggression bookshelf. Mr. MacKinney, author and public speaker, is a former Navy commander and professor and lives near the area described in this book.
Anne Lovett, News Magazine
Georgia Writers Association
Moccasin Trace is part love story, part family saga and part Civil War History. Set in East Georgia in 1859 and going through 1864. Moccasin Trace is a gripping novel that brings the era to life. It will make you laugh and cry and feel that you have lived through that turbulent period. Moccasin Trace is historical fiction well worth the time it takes to read it.
Booklovers Bookstore, Aiken SC
Hamilton Ingram worships the young Sarah Greer of the next plantation in eastern Georgia in the summer of 1859. As the looming war creeps upon the community, dividing friends in philosophy, young Hamilton struggles with his own decisions of loyalty. The neighboring families share generations of tradition and closeness. As war breaks out, the young couple marry and find greater challenges await them. The families face the difficulties of war and hardship while attempting to survive on war torn land. A well-crafted novel of the effects of war sweeping over the South. The effective use of dialect brings the story even closer to the reader. Very good characterization--highly recommended.
Review by Billie Clements
Greater Cincinnati Library Consortium Reviewers of Young Adult Liturature
Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library
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