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Keowee Valley by Katherine Scott Crawford

Keowee ValleyKeowee Valley by Katherine Scott Crawford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


"Spring, 1768. The Southern frontier is a treacherous wilderness inhabited by the powerful Cherokee people. In Charlestown, 25 year-old Quincy MacFadden receives news from beyond the grave: her cousin, a man she’d believed long dead, is alive—held captive by the Shawnee Indians. Unmarried, bookish, and plagued by visions of the future, Quinn is a woman out of place… and this is the opportunity for which she’s been longing.

Determined to save two lives, her cousin’s and her own, Quinn travels the rugged Cherokee Path into the South Carolina Blue Ridge. Defying her furious grandfather and colonial law, she barters for leverage against the Shawnee with a notorious Cherokee chief—and begins building a daring new home in the Keowee River Valley, a fiercely beautiful place.

But in order to rescue her cousin, Quinn must trust an enigmatic half-Cherokee tracker whose loyalties may lie elsewhere. As translator to the British army, Jack Wolf walks a perilous line between a King he hates and a homeland he loves.

Together they journey across the Appalachian Mountains and into the heart of Cherokee country. They encounter wily trappers, warring Indians, British soldiers, desperate settlers, and a contested backcountry on the brink of changing forever.

When Jack is ordered to negotiate for Indian loyalty in the Revolution to come, the pair must decide: obey the Crown, or commit treason…"

My Review:
Quinn yearns for the freedom of the valley; not only does she yearn, she dreams. With the familial MacFadden Sight in tow, she dreams her way to her ambitions. While she's on a mission to find and free her cousin, Owen, from the hands of the Iroquois, she gains her own settlement, The MacFadden settlement. Her guide, half-Cherokee half-Irishman, Jackson Wolf changes her life course as she finds herself falling madly in love. With the impending war, Jack is to make a choice: either to be entrusted by the King as a translator, or to commit treason.

"'I just wonder if you've considered that by trusting this man, you are taking on two lives: one white, one savage. Can you live in that in-between world, Quincy?'" (loc. 1425)

Such a well written piece. As a debut novel, I'm taken aback at how seasoned and classic this novel feels. Told in first-person, I felt as though I was reading a diary and thus entering the inner most thoughts of Quinn. Quinn, as the strong independent woman she is, was a breath of fresh air from the usual damsel in distress. The depth this book goes into, steeped in history and culture, is wonderfully done. I admit I was a bit weary to continue, in the beginning, but I'm glad I did because the story line of war, freedom and romance caught me up in my imagination. As the descriptive scenery and vivd characterization is put before us, the author paints a glorious picture of a in-depth historical romance.

First Line: "My story begins before the fall, in that Indian summer time when the hills are tipped with oncoming old, and the light hangs just above the trees, dotting the Blue Ridge with gilded freckles." (loc. 50)

Last Line: "For the land called to me even now, in an ancient tongue, willing me home." (loc. 5350)

"In the eighteen years I'd known my cousin Owen, I'd lost him four times." (loc.102)

"It all came to this: could Grandfather send me to trade for Owen, surely a man's job, dangerous and uncertain?" (loc.184)

"It infuriated me that I remained at the mercy of Jackson Wolf, a man I didn't know and was beginning to doubt I'd ever meet." (loc. 823)

"I wanted the creek to myself, the whole valley to myself, the world--before life began again and the day wasn't wholly mine anymore." (loc. 895)

"He'd said we were meant. That we belonged together. But was it enough?" (loc. 2000)

"But the pain was only a pulsing reminder of the task at hand: I had to find out what was happening in Charlestown. I had to know if the war I'd been dreaming of had begun." (loc. 2242)

Galley Courtesy of Bell Bridge Books via NetGalley

Paperback354 pages
Expected publication: September 27th 2012 by Bell Bridge Books
 ISBN: 1611941725

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