A soldier wounded in the Civil War, Inman turns his back on the carnage of the battlefield and begins the treacherous journey home to Cold Mountain, and to Ada, the woman he loved before the war began. As Inman attempts to make his way across the mountains, through the devastated landscape of a soon-to-be-defeated South, Ada struggles to make a ...
A soldier wounded in the Civil War, Inman turns his back on the carnage of the battlefield and begins the treacherous journey home to Cold Mountain, and to Ada, the woman he loved before the war began. As Inman attempts to make his way across the mountains, through the devastated landscape of a soon-to-be-defeated South, Ada struggles to make a living from the land her once-wealthy father left when he died. Neither knows if the other is still alive.
I recently read this novel on a recommendation. I thought it was strictly historical fiction. Instead, I found an allegory framed by a snippet of American history. It took me several chapters to adjust to Frazier's style of writing. His tale was weird and wonderful and gruesome almost beyond belief. I thought the ending rather abrupt. I'm not sure whether I would read any of Frazier's subsequent novels.
Dec 22, 2011
This is a truly wonderful story, beautifully told.
Oct 9, 2007
If you like war books mixed with a touch of really depressing romance, you'll probably love this. The writing style is interesting with the story line - be prepared to go without quotation marks in dialogue areas. This is better read if you have a good knowledge of Civil-War-era Southern society. History is written by the victors, so most of our collective Civil War knowledge comes from the Union perspective. This book challenges that perspective, giving a sympathetic view of a war-torn society.
Aug 29, 2007
A Love Letter
Being a resident of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and living down the road from Cold Mountain itself, I picked up the book out of curiosity, and with a hope to recognize some old hiking grounds. What I found instead was a masterpiece of narrative, and not about the adversity facing two lovers.
This is a love letter to the mountains. Frazier carefully details each scene in Cold Mountain with the smell of sweet hay, the buzzing of cicadas and wisps of bugs in the sunset floating over the tall weeds just outside of the garden. You're immediately transported to a time and place where you're reminded that yes, life can be simple, and what you need can be cultivated from the earth outside your door.
Several readers have mentioned that they found the book to be boring. I think if you get past the first chapter, the book can engage the reader completely.
Jul 19, 2007
This is an outstanding book. A true representation of the "war of nothern agression" portrayed through southern eyes. Although not a historical book, it is based on the authors' family. A wonderfull love story intertwined around the idiocy and terrible price of war. Truly a good read!
Publishers Weekly, 1997-05-05 Rich in evocative physical detail and timeless human insight, this debut novel set in the Civil War era rural South considers themes both grand (humanity's place in nature) and intimate (a love affair transformed by the war) as a wounded soldier makes his way home to the highlands of North Carolina and to his prewar sweetheart. Shot in the neck during fighting at Petersburg, Inman was not expected to survive. After regaining the strength to walk, he begins his dangerous odyssey. Just as the traumas of life on the battlefront have changed Inman, the war's new social and economic conditions have left their mark on Ada. With the death of her father and loss of income from his investments, Ada can no longer remain a pampered Charleston lady but must eke out a living from her father's farm in the Cold Mountain community, where she is an outsider. Frazier vividly depicts the rough and varied terrain of Inman's travels and the colorful characters he meets, all the while avoiding Federal raiders and the equally brutal Home Guard. The sweeping cycle of Inman's homeward journey is deftly balanced by Ada's growing sense of herself and her connection to the natural world around the farm. In a leisurely, literate narrative, Frazier shows how lives of soldiers and of civilians alike deepen and are transformed as a direct consequence of the war's tragedy. There is quiet drama in the tensions that unfold as Inman and Ada come ever closer to reunion, yet farther from their former selves. BOMC and QPB selections; paperback rights to Vintage; rights sold in Germany, the U.K. and France; film rights sold to Lynne Pleshette. (June) FYI: Frazier's great-great-grandfather was the source of this story about a Civil War soldier who deserted and walked home.
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