In 1774, the friends and relatives of the Mowlan family of Tibbetston, Maine are shattered by an event that is rooted in personal animosity but that takes its occasion from the growing unrest in the American colonies. For some, it is the wake-up call announcing the inevitability of war; for others, it is a spur to long-delayed action. With searing emotional honesty, Ellen Cooney explores the fear and doubt of ordinary people at the approach of war. Cooney masterfully weaves together the experiences of several characters as they come to terms with their anguish and dread: Patrick Rouse and Jossey Avens, brother and sister of Lavinia Mowlan; John Avens, Jossey's husband; Jacques Wabanaki, the Mowlans' friend and neighbor; Winnie Goodridge, local tavern keeper; and Sarah Dudley, sister-in-law of a local Tory who flees her family and casts her lot with the residents of Tibbetston. Each character must come to terms with the staggering uncertainty that the war represents. For some, that means setting aside the concerns of "normal" life; for others, it means struggling to maintain some connection to normalcy in the face of disaster.
Gun Ball Hill is a beautifully realized novel about the circumstances and experiences of ordinary people who find themselves being drawn into a terrible conflict.
Publisher: University Press of New England
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 485 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 27 mm
"A careful, intelligent account of the personal motives behind historical events. Dramatic and instructive."--Kirkus Reviews
"A finely crafted narrative, a keen and sympathetic grasp of human nature, a convincing portrayal of place and time."--Down East
"Cooney's prose is lively and often surprising. Each character is fleshed out, earthy, and full of quirks. The major events of the time are woven into the story with ease."--Historical Novels Review
"Emphasis is placed less on the historic events of the [Revolutionary War] . . . and more on the effect of these events on the lives of ordinary people . . . Cooney convincingly shows how each person is changed forever by the violence that has touched his or her life."--Booklist