BY MEGAN TAYLOR
North Carolina is home to many famous artists, musicians, athletes, and actors. Andy Griffith, Julianne Moore, Luke Combs, Doc Watson, and Michael Jordan are a few of the numerous people who were born and/or lived in the Tarheel State. Another claim to fame our home state has are the many authors who have created best-selling novels and classic tales. Cold Mountain, At First Sight, and A Home on the Field are all written by North Carolina based authors. Let’s celebrate their writings by taking a look and a read at the novels this month.
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Set at the end of the Civil War, W.P. Inman is a wounded Confederate Army deserter. The Battle of Petersburg causes Inman to second guess his ability as a soldier and return home. After walking for months, he returns home to the woman he loves, Ada Monroe. During the war, Ada moved from Charleston to a farm near Cold Mountain, North Carolina, which is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The hope of seeing Ada again is the reason Inman deserted the Army and the war. Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain was first published in 1997 and shot to the New York Times Best-Seller List. The novel switches between Inman and Ada’s time together and flashbacks from the war and his travels back home. During his journey, readers learn that Inman spent time with bounty hunters, slaves, witches, and more as he discovers a South that has been permanently changed by the war. Cold Mountain is a perfect mix of romance, war, and a man’s journey that many readers have come to love.
At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks
From past articles of “Writers Who Read,” you may have discovered that I am a fan of Nicholas Sparks. I can devour one of his books in no time. One of my favorites is At First Sight. This novel is the sequel to Sparks’ other novel, True Believer. In the first story, readers are introduced to Jeremy Marsh and Lexie Darnell. Jeremy is a New Yorker who moved to the small town of Boone Creek, North Carolina. Now, in At First Sight, Jeremy and Lexie are newly married and awaiting the arrival of their daughter. Everything is going well until mysterious and unsettling emails are sent to Jeremy. These emails bring up old and new challenges and troubles in the couple’s marriage. Through the course of the novel, readers are taken on a journey of love, discovery, fears about marriage and parenthood, and overcoming those obstacles. Like all Nicholas Sparks books, there is a twist at the end with one of the characters. Yet, readers are given a happy ending to a great book.
A Home on the Field: How One Championship Soccer Team Inspires Hope for the Revival of Small Town America by Paul Cuadros
Published in 2006 by TIME reporter Paul Cuadros, A Home on the Field tells the story of an immigrant soccer team and their coach becoming community heroes in the town of Siler City, North Carolina. The city has become home to many immigrants from Latin American countries who have escaped their old lives for the American dream. However, being accepted and recognized in the small town has many challenges and culture clashes. To help with the struggle, Cuadros founded a youth soccer team at a highly Hispanic populated public high school in the area. The players were often overlooked by white soccer teams. Cuadros set out on a mission to show the young teammates they could do more than only working in the nearby poultry plants. In addition, he wanted to give them the opportunity to finish high school and understand that college could be a reality for them. To do this, Cuadros found an avenue for the boys to be accepted and to fit in, and that was through playing soccer. Through faith, trust, hard work, and loyalty, Cuadros and his team overcame all the obstacles thrown their way and made it to the state championships. A Home on the Field is an inspirational story right for all ages.
North Carolina authors have written hundreds of books in numerous genres. You can’t go wrong with adding any of them to your must-read list.