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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
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.