By Courtney Allen
From the first, I was impressed with the author’s rich descriptions in Down from the Mountain. Normally I don’t enjoy reading a book that contains so much detail, but the vivid descriptions brought the story to life. The author researched his subject well and depicted an Appalachian family that was hard-working, fierce, and loyal. The story is based in Fort Mountain, a town in northern Georgia near the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
Narrated by Silas McCarter, who along with his sister Clara, was orphaned at a very young age and taken in by their Uncle Troy and Aunt Bly. They worked the land on Fort Mountain, scaping out a meager living.
The story is filled with family love, a family feud, murder, and violence. The community pulls together to help their friend Troy Stanton. There are racial taboos of the time and unexpected outcomes. This book has all of this and more. The many diversions of the plot are all pulled neatly together for a satisfying end.
I recommend Down from the Mountain to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.
I was given a copy of Down from the Mountain by the author in exchange for my honest review.
I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review.
Down from the Mountain is a historical fiction of a struggling Appalachian family, working and living a hand-to-mouth existence on hard and unforgiving land. In the beginning, Troy Stanton’s young niece, Clara, becomes pregnant, and there is much contention as to the father and how to manage the circumstances. When the pregnant Clara suddenly vanishes, Troy is mired in indecision and finds few answers with no one to turn to. The Stanton’s suspect foul play from someone inside the small town, but Clara’s brother, Silas, discovers the secret and must bury it from the eyes of the community for the truth is never to be told.
From the greatest desires comes the most bitter hatred, and the Stanton’s must stand their ground in order to survive in a world fraught with unjust grievances and black-hearted adversaries. The story is built as Clara embarks on a treacherous journey and brother Silas copes with living on the mountain, ultimately defending his own life, while Troy goes in search of his niece after she mysteriously disappears from their mountain home. Along the way, Clara’s fatherless, unborn child is in peril as Clara undertakes the dangerous road to another life and onto her final destination, one that she never intended arriving at in the first place. Involving matters in the region, the Stanton’s are faced with generational hatreds that refuse to die and negotiating their lives in the highlands of Appalachia becomes increasingly difficult. They are paired with many challenges and dilemmas of moral choices, life decisions, compromising situations, danger, distrust, and honor. Life in the mountains is hard and keeping his family name is first and foremost to Troy Stanton.
This story is an intriguing journey of love and struggle, even murder and death, between the will to move their lives onward and the desire to become a family once again. Turn the cover to find the opening pages compelling, the heart of the book strong, and the ending satisfying yet bittersweet. Down from the Mountain is a tasteful début novel that will fill you with wonder, entice your soul, and leave you wanting more.
Blurb is taken from Goodreads.
About the Author
Courtney Allen lives with his family in Atlanta, Georgia. He has been writing for many years and has written six other novels. Down from the Mountain is his first published book.