Walking to Gatlinburg: Book summary and reviews of Walking to Gatlinburg by Howard Frank Mosher

Walking to Gatlinburg

A Novel

by Howard Frank Mosher

Walking to Gatlinburg
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Mar 2010
    352 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

A stunning and lyrical Civil War thriller, Walking to Gatlinburg is a spellbinding story of survival, wilderness adventure, mystery, and love in the time of war.

Morgan Kinneson is both hunter and hunted.  The sharp-shooting 17-year-old from Kingdom County, Vermont, is determined to track down his brother Pilgrim, a doctor who has gone missing from the Union Army.  But first Morgan must elude a group of murderous escaped convicts in pursuit of a mysterious stone that has fallen into his possession.

It's 1864, and the country is in the grip of the bloodiest war in American history.  Meanwhile, the Kinneson family has been quietly conducting passengers on the Underground Railroad from Vermont to the Canadian border.  One snowy afternoon Morgan leaves an elderly fugitive named Jesse Moses in a mountainside cabin for a few hours so that he can track a moose to feed his family.  In his absence, Jesse is murdered, and thus begins Morgan's unforgettable trek south through an apocalyptic landscape of war and mayhem.

Along the way, Morgan encounters a fantastical array of characters, including a weeping elephant, a pacifist gunsmith, a woman who lives in a tree, a blind cobbler, and a beautiful and intriguing slave girl named Slidell who is the key to unlocking the mystery of the secret stone.  At the same time, he wrestles with the choices that will ultimately define him – how to reconcile the laws of nature with religious faith, how to temper justice with mercy.  Magical and wonderfully strange, Walking to Gatlinburg is both a thriller of the highest order and a heartbreaking odyssey into the heart of American darkness.

Read a Sample

Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"The story of Morgan's rite-of-passage through an American arcadia despoiled by war and slavery is an engrossing tale with mass appeal." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. We are in the hands of a skilled storyteller, and every word matters. A captivating story, and one that cries for a sequel." – Kirkus Reviews

"[A] haunting and hallucinatory novel....Historical realism this isn’t but it is a violent, often puzzling picaresque with an invigorating take on the Underground Railroad and an unsettling vision of an America despoiled by the War between the States." - Booklist

The information about Walking to Gatlinburg shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Barb Harding

Puzzling
I found Walking to Gatlinburg both puzzling and exciting. I did not know whether to go back and read Pilgrim's Progress, which I still may do, or to consider the book's soul of darkness in the light of Heart of Darkness. I decided the subject best lent itself to the darkness of the war, cruelty, revenge, feuding, etc. Although Morgan is searching for Pilgrim his brother, the true pilgrimage is made by Morgan, who manages to do what must be done, something which Pilgrim could not do because of his Quaker beliefs. He leaves all the characters in the proper or wished for place.

I liked it because it is certainly unlike anything I have read in some time. It has many unreal incidents and characters. It travels from east to south through many dangerous areas and situations. Morgan comes through mostly unscathed and ends well in an epilogue. He is a wonderful character.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Howard Frank Mosher Author Biography

Photo: Linda Ramsdell

Howard Frank Mosher is the author of ten novels and two memoirs. He was honored with the New England Independent Booksellers Association's President's Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts and is the recipient of the Literature Award bestowed by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His novel A Stranger in the Kingdom won the New England Book Award for fiction and was later made into a movie, as were his novels Disappearances and Where the Rivers Flow North.

Author Interview
Link to Howard Frank Mosher's Website

Name Pronunciation
Howard Frank Mosher: MO-sher, rhymes with

Other books by Howard Frank Mosher at BookBrowse
  • The Great Northern Express jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more historical fiction...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Marriage of Opposites
    by Alice Hoffman
    Alice Hoffman's latest work, The Marriage of Opposites, is a historical fiction novel focusing on ...
  • Book Jacket: Miss Jane
    Miss Jane
    by Brad Watson
    National Book Award Finalist Brad Watson returns with an intimate novel about one woman's journey to...
  • Book Jacket: Dinner with Edward
    Dinner with Edward
    by Isabel Vincent
    In late 2009 Isabel Vincent and her family were still newcomers to New York City. She and her ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Falling
    by Jane Green

    "Readers who enjoy a love story with heart will adore this tale of homecoming and transformation." - LJ

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Imperial Wife
    by Irina Reyn

    A smart, engaging novel that parallels two fascinating worlds and two singular women.

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Girl Waits with Gun
by Amy Stewart

An enthralling novel based on the forgotten true adventures of one of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W M T N, W C F All

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

BookBrowse Summer Giveaway

We're giving away
5 books every
week in July!