Pliney Fiskeby Mark Travis
Pliney Fiske is a timid young pension agent for the federal government who finds himself sprawled and bleeding in a barnyard in Concord, New Hampshire, the muzzle of a gun in his face and the Civil War veteran behind it quivering with rage. Fiske is no detective, but he has stumbled into a mystery. At its center is a 15-year-old boy maimed in the war and tormented by… See more details below
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Pliney Fiske is a timid young pension agent for the federal government who finds himself sprawled and bleeding in a barnyard in Concord, New Hampshire, the muzzle of a gun in his face and the Civil War veteran behind it quivering with rage. Fiske is no detective, but he has stumbled into a mystery. At its center is a 15-year-old boy maimed in the war and tormented by his dreams since. Pushing Fiske toward the truth is the boy’s guardian, a spirited war widow. Arrayed against him is a group of soldiers, celebrated, battle-scarred, and intent on preserving a dark secret.
- Martha Jane Books
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- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
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- 3 MB
Meet the Author
Mark Travis has loved history and writing since early in life. He still owns the slim American Heritage volume on the Civil War that he scuffed in a fall on the pavement outside his kindergarten classroom on a spring day in 1963. The best review his writing has ever earned came in a high school English class, when his description of the teacher’s “well-defined potbelly” was read aloud in class and the cheerleader who sat next to him burst out laughing.
Travis graduated from Brown University in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in American history. His interest in a political career was cured by a stint on Ted Kennedy’s disastrous presidential campaign, a setback that turned him to the fortunate fallback of journalism. In the years since, he has worked as a reporter and editor for the St. Petersburg Times, the Concord Monitor, and the Valley News in West Lebanon, N.H., where he now serves as publisher. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 2002-3.
Pliney Fiske is Travis’s first novel and his second book. He was the co-author with Mike Pride of My Brave Boys, a history of the Civil War’s Fifth New Hampshire Volunteers, who suffered the most deaths in battle of any infantry regiment in the Union Army. My Brave Boys was published by the University Press of New England in 2001.
Travis is a New Hampshire native who lives in Grantham. His wife, Brenda, is a clinical dietitian whose patient teachings have kept him thin. They have a son, Ben, a mechanical engineer, and a daughter, Leanna, a high school junior.
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I thoroughly enjoyed Mark Travis' novel, Pliney Fiske, a story about post-Civil War life in a small New Hampshire town. The author did a good job developing the story's characters as well as the issues Civil War veterans experienced when they returned home. Since I am not a Civil War "buff", I was not familiar with those issues. However, once I was exposed to the characters and the challenges they faced in civilian life, the issues made a lot of sense. For me, the book was a "page turner". On each occasion that I read it, I found myself reading one more page to determine how the characters would deal with a given issue before I could put the book down. I recommend the book to anyone who enjoys reading a well written novel. I can't wait to see the movie at a local theater! Thanks, Mark! Roger L. Berlinguette