Freedom's Altar

Freedom's Altar

by Charles F. Price
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Freedom's Altar by Charles F. Price

Winner of the 1999 Sir Walter Raleigh Award, given to the best work of fiction by a North Carolinian

Judge Madison Curtis has just pronounced the benediction over the grave of his eldest daughter when two grimy women riding double on a mule enter his driveway.
"Have ye got misfortune, I wonder?" the elder one calls. "Iffen ye do, I rejoice in hit."

The Curtises have misfortune indeed. The Civil War has left them a dead daughter, two dead sons, vengeful neighbors, and a once-grand home now broken down. Just as debilitating is Judge Curtis’s guilt over his actions in wartime, when he sacrificed another family to save his own.

The most immediate reminder of the judge’s past sins is a man he once held in bondage, who has returned to the mountains of western North Carolina after serving with the Union army. In slavery, the Curtises knew him as Black Gamaliel, but he now insists on being known by his proper name—Daniel McFee. They achieve an uneasy peace as Daniel proposes a sharecropping arrangement and begins a new life in freedom.

But the judge perceives that the opportunity for true racial reconciliation after the war is being squandered. Militating against it is an antihero who would elevate the blacks by crushing the landed whites—a demagogue by day and a killer by night. He is Nahum Bellamy the Pilot, and he means to hold Judge Curtis accountable even unto death.

In this, the sequel to his critically acclaimed novel <i>Hiwassee</i>, Charles F. Price examines those sacrificed on freedom’s altar: carefree Andy Curtis, who returns from war to assume burdens beyond his capacity; Oliver Price, who must weigh his responsibility toward his dying wife against the need of his friends; and foremost, the Curtises’ former slaves, who struggle against bitterness and discover their better selves at an hour of need.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940016428130
Publisher: Blair, John F. Publisher
Publication date: 04/05/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 291
Sales rank: 749,118
File size: 653 KB

About the Author

Charles F. Price is the author of the Hiwassee series, four works of historical fiction set in his native Western North Carolina that comprise a single narrative cycle interweaving the partly imagined private history of his 19th-century ancestors with the public history of the Southern Appalachians.

His first book, Hiwassee: A Novel of the Civil War, appeared in 1996. His second, Freedom’s Altar, won the Sir Walter Raleigh Award as the best fiction of 1999 written by a North Carolina author. The Cock’s Spur, his third title, received an Independent
Publisher Book Award as one of the Ten Outstanding Books of 2001 and Price was named Story Teller of the Year; it also won the Historical Fiction Award of the North Carolina Society of Historians. The last in the series, Where the Water-Dogs Laughed, was released in 2003. It also garnered the Society of Historians’ award and was a first finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award for historical fiction that year.

Price has been a Washington lobbyist, management consultant, urban planner, and journalist. In 1995, after working for 19 years in the nation’s capital, he retired to Burnsville in his beloved North Carolina mountains to devote full time to writing. He holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an undergraduate degree in History and Political Science from High Point University.

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Freedom's Altar 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like historical novels and especially civil war era then this book is for you. It covers the year after the war and I had tells of the families and attitudes of that time. Very interesting and well written.