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A Way Through the Shadows by Robert Heffner

A Way Through the Shadows

by Robert Heffner

200 pages
The novel portrays the struggles of a remote mountain family forced to contend with an uncertain fate as the chaos of the Civil War, once confined to the lowlands, begins to creep like ominous shadows, into the hills of their highlands.

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Category: Fiction:Historical:American Civil War
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About the Book
High in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Alma Hawkins anxiously awaits the return of her son Virgil, who against her wishes and despite all her reasons went down into the lowlands to volunteer for the Confederacy. This trouble over slavery wasn’t their fight she’d argued. She and his young wife needed him here. But he wouldn’t hear it. It was a matter of honor he’d told her. And besides, his service would only last a few months. He’d be back before they knew it.

Just as his term is nearing its expected completion however, he is told that he is no longer a volunteer and that he can’t go home. The government has passed a conscription act and all men between the ages of 18 and 35 are now required to serve indefinitely.

Meanwhile, in the time that he’s been away, the shadows of war, once confined to the battlefields, have begun to spread into the mountains, and the war’s deteriorating conditions have provoked growing violence among deserters, evaders, and the authorities. Seeking to profit from all this confusion, rogue outlaws have also begun to roam the hills, and when unexpected events occur in the highlands near their home both Alma and Virgil are forced to make decisions for the preservation of their family in the face of danger.

Along with the central character, Alma Hawkins, the novel involves the interactions of mountain neighbors, townsfolk, soldiers, outlaws and the rest of the Hawkins clan.The story, although plot driven and well paced, is also philosophic in tone and examines both the strengths and insecurities of an aging woman struggling with decisions in the face of an uncertain fate.

 

 

About the Author
Robert Heffner is an author, artist, and poet living in Saint Augustine, Florida. He was born 1947 in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1969 he graduated with a degree in English and Journalism from Miami University, Oxford Ohio. He retired from teaching literature in 2009 and now focuses on his writing.

 

 

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