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Posted February 15, 2008
Wayne Caldwell's Cataloochee was such a joy to read that I look forward to reading it again. I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction-type books, but I loved Frazier's Cold Mountain and thought I give Caldwell's a chance as well. It doesn't disappoint! The story itself unfolds in an episodic structure--enlightening and engaging the reader on the many folks in the mountain community, some more colorful than others. I believe the prose is beautiful--with just enough dialogue, imagery, and details to make it fluid and even quite poetic at times. Caldwell manages to intertwine history and fiction in such a way that I'd really love a sequel to Cataloochee. It would be fun to meet all their descendents in the post-national park decades. Overall, this is one of the best books I've read in awhile, mostly due to its precise prose and diverse characters.
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